We all know it isn’t easy finding “The One” but once you do, how do you make sure things last? Well, while some may think the key to a long-lasting relationship involves romance and grand gestures, new research suggest the exact opposite.
According to research by psychologists John Gottmanand Janice Driver, the key to a long-lasting relationship centers on how couples respond to small bids of attention from each other throughout the day. They note that there are three ways to handle these requests, and how someone reacts could be the key to whether things will work out.
The three ways to respond include:
- There are those who “turn toward” a partner, meaning they simply do what they're are asked to do, or respond or ask simple questions to their partner like how their day went or how they are feeling.
- Then there are those who reject the bid for attention, which is basically saying no when asked to perform a task, or you simply let them know you don’t want to talk about your day when asked. This response isn’t great, but it does leave room for negotiating, so things could be worse.
- The final, and worst response, is not noticing a partner’s bid for attention at all. For example, if a partner asks how a meal was and they simply respond to the question, not realizing their boo is looking for a compliment or maybe a thank you for making it.
While these may seem like little things, Gottman and Driver’s study notes they could be key to a relationship working out. As part of the study they followed newlyweds for six years and found that couples who stayed together turned toward each other 86% of the time. Meanwhile those who didn’t last only turned toward each other 33% of the time.