According to a recent CIS study, around 70% of the Spanish population is in a relationship. But how many of these relationships are really happy, lasting couples? That's precisely the question posed by Harvard Medical School-trained psychologist Cortney S. Warren.
Every relationship has its difficult moments, but what really counts is how the two partners interact. According to this psychologist, there are a series of phrases that can help us make our relationships much happier: “I've found that the happiest couples don't avoid conflict, but face it by talking to each other with appreciation and respect.”
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The specialist psychologist acknowledges that “it's tempting to focus too much on the things you don't like about your partner and point them out at every opportunity, but it's important to point out the good in their actions,” she notes. Cortney S. Warren says that happy couples express gratitude for each other's efforts, and that this is a great way to make both partners feel valued. Just as we like to be appreciated for our efforts, your partner will also be happy to know that you appreciate his. So don't forget to thank him or her for giving you a hand with your work or their daily routine, and even for the little things in everyday life.
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It's important to say things, but it's just as important to listen to the other person. In fact, Warren warns that “many misunderstandings between partners can be avoided through active listening”. So it's important for both parties to talk, express their wishes and take the other person's needs into account. Sometimes you'll have to give in, put your pride aside or simply empathize with the other person.
Helping me understand better
Each person is the result of the way he or she lived his or her childhood and was raised, as well as the values instilled in him or her during his or her early years and life experiences. But when the overall outcome of these experiences doesn't coincide with the other person's, it can lead to conflict or misunderstanding. “If your partner reacts to a situation in a way you don't understand, telling him/her that you want to get to know him/her better is essential to resolving the conflict and creating deeper bonds,” recommends the expert. Phrases like “I don't know why this bothers you so much. Help me to understand your point of view” or “I want to work together on this issue and I need to understand you better to do so” can be helpful.
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The healthiest couples don't just love each other, they also appreciate each other. The expert points out that loving someone “is a feeling of intense affection; to love is to see the person as he or she is and recognize the attributes you appreciate in him or her”.
When things don't go well or as planned, healthy couples know that both partners play an important role in the situation. Therefore, it's essential to take responsibility for our role in these conflicts and apologize to repair these cracks in the relationship.
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Can you forgive me? Forgiveness is a difficult thing, and even more so when it comes to partners, as Warren warns. But according to the psychologist, “several studies have shown that couples who practice forgiveness toward each other are more likely to have longer, more satisfying relationships.”
Let's have some fun!
Cortney S. Warren also explains that a long-term relationship isn't just about living or sleeping together, or arguing about everyday problems. You need to be able to step out of the daily routine from time to time and spend time together as you did in the beginning-that's the way to keep the spark alive. Something as simple as planning a weekend getaway, a dinner for two, a walk in the fresh air, a simple intimate meeting at home to talk about how you feel…. All this will help to create an increasingly solid and lasting couple. It's not just about making plans together, it's also about finding the time to have fun, to eliminate the moments of tension that can build up within the couple. According to the experts, the happiest couples are those who manage to break the tension with a simple joke, a fun project or a getaway they both enjoy.
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Any lasting, successful relationship must always be based on trust. Choosing to share your life with someone is a choice, so you have to show every day that you want to be with that person, overcome difficulties together and trust each other. According to Cortney S. Warren, phrases like “Even when times are tough, I still choose to be with you” or “I'm here and I want to make it work” should represent each of you in the relationship.
I love you
Especially in long-term relationships, some people often take it for granted that their partner knows how much they love them, but in reality, it never hurts to say it and remind the other person of it. Expressing in words how you feel, or how the other person makes you feel, is another good way of keeping the flame alive in the relationship.
- Monotony: how does it affect your relationship, and what can you do to get out of it?
- Toxic relationships: how to recognize them and free yourself
- Helping me understand better
- How to find a partner according to love style and personality: here are the keys from an expert
- I'm sorry
- Who should pay on the first date? We've found the answer to the eternal question
- Let's have some fun!
- Why singles are happier than couples, according to science
- I love you