Your current relationship already possesses many of the qualities that are necessary for a fulfilling and long-lasting bond. Nevertheless, there is a single component that “could use some work.” After some time has passed, which particular aspect keeps coming to mind?
The unfavorable aspects, of course. A piece of you is aware that it is silly to let something as trivial as that bother you. Despite the fact that there is a great deal more good than bad in there, you just can’t seem to pull yourself away from it.
Sadly, We All Make the Same Mistake in the Romantic Relationships We Have
Pessimism bias can be defined as the propensity to concentrate on the unfavorable aspects of an experience. Because of this, both of us are more judgmental of our relationship than we ought to be. Along the way, we tend to take the fun moments for granted, which results in that aspect of our partnership becoming one that is unappreciated. But what are the issues? They are easy to spot. The insensitive remarks, mood swings, and general messiness of our partner consistently command our complete attention.
When you combine this with a partnership that has already lost some of its lusters, it can be difficult to focus on anything except the issues that arise. As Daniel Kahneman explains in his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” our natural tendency is to focus only on what is immediately in front of us and to ignore what is absent in the present. When issues are all that is apparent, it can feel like that’s all there is to your romantic partnership.
In actual fact, we possess such a high tendency to focus on the negative aspects of things that we might even create problems that do not exist. According to the findings of a study that was recently published in the journal Science, if our romantic partnership is free of significant problems, we are more likely to magnify the significance of something that was previously thought of as a minor problem.
When we allow ourselves to become preoccupied with irrelevant concerns, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to recognize and appreciate the positive aspects of our lives. Not only does this imply that our perception of the relationship is lopsided, but it also indicates that we are passing up an opportunity to do something meaningful. Although focusing on finding solutions to issues is one method for improving a long-term relationship, it is equally crucial to reflect on the good elements of your connection with your partner as well as the good qualities that your partner possesses.
The Essential Components of Satisfying Interpersonal Connections
If you want to change your perspective, you should begin by focusing more of your attention on the aspects of your relationship that are reliable, consistent, and comfortable. It’s simple to overlook the fact that these factors contribute to maintaining the status quo, but doing so would be a mistake.
The following is a list of the ten most important pillars of healthy relationships, which, according to research, are necessary for a satisfying and long-lasting bond. It’s likely that many of these are prevalent in your current relationship; you simply need to take a step back and pay attention to them.
You Are Free to Be Who You Are
You and your partner acknowledge one another for who you already are, and neither of you makes an effort to alter the other in any way. There is no need to worry about being judged by your partner if you just be honest about who you are and act like yourself around them. This is useful because studies have shown that spouses who recognize each other in their relationships tend to report higher levels of happiness in their partnerships.
You Are Best Friends, Not Only Partners
Your romantic partner is likely to be one of your closest friends, and you are likely to be one of theirs. This is excellent news because previous research has indicated that romantic partners who place a greater emphasis on their companionship seem to be more dedicated to one another and derive greater pleasure from their sexual encounters. Emotional support, intimacy, affection, and the maintenance of a strong bond are prioritized in romantic relationships that place a high value on friendship. In addition to this, they concentrate on satisfying needs associated with providing care, feeling secure, and having companionship.
You Have a Sense of Comfortability and Proximity
It’s not always simple to become close to someone else. However, the two of you have worked through this challenge within the context of your relationship and are now in a position where you are open to sharing emotions, reliant on each other, and being emotionally close. You’ve gained confidence in your partner, which, despite the fact that being vulnerable at times can be difficult, brings the two of you closer together. You don’t put up emotional walls and you no longer worry about your partner leaving, both of which contribute to a sense of security in the relationship.
You Share More Similarities Than You Do Differences
New research suggests that having key areas of similarity with your partner can contribute to making your connection more satisfying and that the two of you share a lot in common already. Beyond those few points of contrast, you have quite a few things in common with one another. There is no denying that the differences stand out. For instance, your partner may love marvel movies while you adore rom-com. Despite the fact that this appears to be a significant contrast, the two of you are homebodies who enjoy preparing meals together and then crashing on the sofa to watch television shows. During these shows, you discuss the life decisions of other characters, make light of uncomfortable dialogue, and speculate about the next twist in the story. In the end, you share a great deal more in common than you do anything else that sets you apart.
You and Your Partner Are a Team
Words matter. When you speak, do you frequently use words like “we,” “us,” and “our?” Do you respond to the question, “What is your favorite show to binge-watch?” with “We have started watching Schitt’s Creek”? This deep sense of cognitive connectedness, or collective identity, in your relationship is demonstrated by the frequent use of the pronoun “we.” According to some research, married couples who are intimately connected in this way tend to report higher levels of happiness and commitment.
They Help You Become a Better Person Overall
Your relationship with your partner enables you to hone and perfect who you already are. Your partner does not take charge or instruct you on how to change; rather, they provide support for the choices you make regarding your personal development. You make it a point to explore new places and do interesting things together, both of which contribute to a sense of personal growth. Researchers who study couples’ interactions have found that if one partner experiences personal development, the other partner will experience development in their relationship as well.
You Hold an Equal Amount of Power
Even though each partner may have specific areas of expertise (for instance, one may take care of the lawn, while the other may be in charge of the interior decorating), partners frequently divide decision-making responsibilities, as well as power and influence within the relationship. Relationships are more robust, more satisfying, and more likely to endure when both partners have an opportunity to express their opinions. It should come as no surprise that partners report higher levels of happiness when they believe that the labor distribution in their relationship is equitable.
You Are Happy in Your Skin
What qualities do people look for in a life partner? Someone dependable, warm, warmhearted, reasonable, dependable, and smart is the ideal candidate. This requirement is surprisingly straightforward. In spite of the fact that these characteristics aren’t particularly flashy and might not spring to mind right away when you’re thinking about what you want in a partner, they serve as the basis for a relationship that can withstand stress. According to some research, partners tend to feel more content in their relationships when each of them possesses personalities that are agreeable and emotionally stable.
You Are Able to Rely on One Another
Because we must be able to count on one another, we have to create a sense of confidence in one another. Not only do we feel comfortable telling our partner the password to our phone or giving them access to our bank account, but we also are confident that they will look out for our best interests at all times and will be available to us whenever we require their assistance. According to the findings of the research, this appears to be a virtuous cycle: trust inspires greater commitment, which inspires even more trust.
You Don’t Have Grave Problems
There are issues to deal with, and then there are PROBLEMS to deal with. There are times when it is simple to forgive all of the issues and major warning signs that we do not currently want to deal with. Relationships can quickly come to an end when “dark side” issues such as disrespect, cheating, jealousy, and emotional or physical abuse are present. There are times when the absence of darkness can bring about the appearance of light.
Take some time to think about how each of these principles can be applied to your particular partnership. You might want to give yourself some kind of rating at this point to affirm that your relationship is in good shape. Which of these 10 cornerstones do you currently have in your control? How many do you lack?
However, that is not the main point at all. There is a good chance that each of these 10 characteristics can be found in your partnership. The important thing is to pay closer attention to these fundamental aspects of the business and, where appropriate, to cultivate them. A lot of the time, all it takes to fortify these pillars is to focus on and appreciate the aspects of your relationship that are successful. When you understand what to look for, there is a lot to be found there.
We can only hope that you’ve also picked up on some strengths that aren’t included on this list. That’s fantastic news, as this list is not by any means intended to be exhaustive. The fact that you’ve started to recognize more aspects of what works rather than fixating on what’s broken is the most important takeaway from this.
You should never attempt to defend staying in an unhealthy relationship by pointing to the few good things about it. Only people who already have healthy relationships and are working to improve them can benefit from concentrating on the positive aspects of those relationships. Kindness, love, and companionship are the cornerstones of a healthy relationship between two people who are on equal footing.
The takeaway from this is that you shouldn’t pretend like your relationship is fine even if it has problems. Instead, it is a lot simpler to address those issues when you acknowledge how well your relationship is already doing. This is because it allows you to see how much room there is for improvement. Relationships are already challenging enough without adding more strain to the mix. It’s easy to fall victim to the fallacy that your relationship is in jeopardy if all you do is point out what’s wrong with it when you’re the one doing the pointing out. If, however, you stop taking the positive aspects of your relationship for granted and begin to give your partner and the relationship more credit, you might find that it is more resilient than you had previously believed.