Like all social relationships, couples are an example of one of them. It requires not only willingness and goodwill, but communication and relationship skills to get them on track.
On this day, some commemorate Valentine’s Day and many more celebrate love, it is worth remembering some characteristics of a good relationship, if we are interested in having a not only lasting, but satisfactory one.
Love Is Changing
Let us remember that Dr. Helen Fisher has already described the three types or distinctive moments of couple love that, from the brain, operate in human beings and that move us to the search for a relationship, whether sexual or long term.
First comes the attraction, which is a desire that drives us to approach anyone we like, regardless of their history or life history. It is mainly conditioned by hormones and what it basically seeks is to satisfy a very basic and mainly sexual desire.
- Here you are looking to get the attention of the other, it is of short duration from a few weeks to 6 months.
- It is what initially makes us approach a person to meet them later.
Second the crush itself. This is already more selective because, among all the people that you can just like, you choose one to make it the object of your love. Let’s say this stage is that of the honeymoon.
- It is very obsessive and addictive from the neurological point of view, especially at the beginning. Its duration ranges from 6 months to 4 and up to 7 years.
- Its function is to stay long enough in a relationship to go through the process of intercourse, reproduction and breeding.
Third the affection or long-term bond. This stage is what makes us cope with a long and successful relationship … or not. If things go well, increase tolerance towards the differences between the two.
Here it is especially important how they chose a partner, because the more shared interests they have, the more likely they are to remain by conviction.
- It goes from 4 to 7 years old. It is a companion love where complicity becomes evident.
- Its function is redundant from the biological point of view (they already had children if it were the case) and it fulfills a mainly social aspect; Be accompanied by a compatible person where love and romance are still present. The foundation of this love is conversations, trust and the ability to accept and negotiate.
What Makes A Couple Relationship Satisfactory?
- It is not so important how long we last, but how we last in a relationship (if we last, of course).
- Dr. Blaine Fowers and Cols, of the University of Miami, published in December 2016 a study in the Journal of Family Psychology where they sought to measure the factors that make a relationship satisfactory and found these 6 aspects or traits of that type of relationships.
- Traditionally the measurement of couple satisfaction has been based on terms of pleasure or happiness (hedonistic factors), but these researchers now focus on Eudaimonic aspects (well-being where the most relevant is the harmonious development of the human potential that each person has) as the main aspect that makes us stay and also be well.
Do You Feel That In Your Relationship You Find What It Takes To Flourish?
Think about your current relationship (if you don’t have any thoughts in the past). We will answer 6 questions with a “yes” or a “no”. If your answer is “depends” or “sometimes” count it as a “no”.
- Is this relationship motivating you to think beyond the immediate?
- Do you feel that you are a better person than before starting this relationship?
- When you talk or think about your relationship, do you do it in the plural with a “we” rather than a separate “me” and “he / she”?
- Are you willing to give what you want to get from this relationship?
- Do you feel safe allowing yourself to be vulnerable with your partner?
- Do you feel more alive when you are with your partner?
The more “Yes” you have answered, the better the quality of your relationship. Majority or a large number of “No” would indicate the need to rethink the way you are leading your relationship or even if you should be in it at all.
Remember that if you are going to answer the questionnaire as a couple, do it separately and there should be parity in the score to be able to say that you are “in the same boat”.
What Are Those 6 Characteristics Of A Good Relationship?
The relationship must mean something profound to both of you.
- Something deep has nothing to do with the esoteric or metaphysical as being “old souls”, being “predestined” or being “the other half” of anyone.
- Yes, of course, aspects related to values or even spiritual aspects are included, such as respect, transcendence or the linking of the soul from the relationship.
- This is a key factor of satisfaction in the relationship. A relationship where one feels that he is “pulling” or “carrying” the other in the intellectual, emotional, spiritual or even economic is not usually healthy or satisfactory.
- It is not only growth as a couple (with the parity of common projects such as children, home, work), but personally (as desires to continue developing and supporting each other).
- Shared goals
- Common long-term objectives that are compatible with the personal project and that are satisfactory and desirable for both. This implies lifestyle, family relationships, life as a couple, priorities, etc. that make them form what is called a “couple identity” (without dilution or sacrifice of individual identity).
- It is a balance between giving, receiving and returning what is obtained in the relationship. It is to accept each other, as the model comes, seeking each one to improve and contribute the best of himself to the relationship without meanness.
- If one of the two is always the one who gives in and the other the one who demands, the relationship may last, but it will be profoundly inequitable and unsatisfactory in the long term.
- It is about being able to be without pretense, concealment or conditioning to obtain approval or even acceptance and love from a couple.
- If you do not feel free to feel, express yourself or conduct yourself as you are in front of your partner without receiving criticism, scolding or contempt, trust and confidence in that relationship cannot flourish.
- Commitment is not an obligation, but the desire and the decision to stay in a relationship because, for both, there is no better place to be.
- Everything would be good being out of this relationship, but being inside everything is much better. The experiences are positively memorable, the richest meals, the most restful sleep and the most pleasant days.
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