How can we make love last? How can we develop more healthy relationships with our loved ones? There is no magic wand we can wave to achieve that, but there are some things we can do.
When it comes to love matters, we want to make sure that the wonderful thing we have with our partner never perishes. It looks like relationships break down faster than ever before. We tend to lose interest quickly, and we are sadly more prone to cheat and be dishonest in general.
The costs are great for all parties involved. But according to research in the field of emotions, there are 3 essential qualities that happy couples have in common.
In an amazing TED Talk video, anthropologist Helen Fisher reveals something about the science of love that we should all know.
We know by now that when we fall in love, the dopamine center in our brain activates; in other words, we are flooded with dopamine, or the “happy hormone”. The only thing to do if we want to make our relationships last is to keep the levels of dopamine high. Or just keep each other high on dopamine at all times. Easier said than done.
Dopamine is the reason why we feel so giddy, ecstatic and tremendously happy. Exactly as if we were high on drugs.
Fisher identifies 3 basic things that we need to keep in mind if we want everlasting love. Here they are:
1. The ability to show and feel empathy for each other
This stands at the basis of a long-lasting and fruitful relationship of any kind. Empathy could also mean respect, compassion, honesty. It’s about not putting your partner down but always try to improve what you have.
2. The ability to be in control of your emotions during fights
Stressful situations like arguments can take out the worst in us; they can trigger all that nasty emotional baggage from childhood. The more we are in control over our impulses, the smoother our fights will go. And the sooner you’ll make amends with the one you love.
3. The ability to overlook certain flaws in the other person
In other words, it’s also essential to first acknowledge that no matter how much you love your partner, they have flaws. Then you learn to accept some of them, particularly those that you can’t change. Focusing on the more positive traits, especially during an argument, could work wonders for your relationship. This doesn’t mean you have to accept things that you’re not comfortable with.
Needless to say, relationships are not easy. To sum it up, what we need above all else in order to make it work is emotional intelligence. The more you know and are able to control your emotions, the better you will navigate any kind of relationship. And the happier you and your partner will be. But of course, it takes two to tango.