Science says lasting relationships come down to 2 basic traits...
Business Insider recently published an article based on the findings of Psychologist John Gottman's 40-year study of relationships and marriage. Interestingly, this topic of study wasn't widely examined until the 1970s when the rate of divorce suddenly spiked to unprecedented levels. Gottman was one of the early researchers in the field -- culminating over four decades of research, experimentation and analysis. And if you asked him, Gottman would tell you that healthy relationships boil down to two essential traits:
Before you jump to the conclusion that these traits are easy to practice at all times -- read the full article. Absolutely everyone can learn and improve on these two fronts.
We're discussing these fundamental virtues of love this week because Matchmaker Sierra felt the article was compelling and brought it to the attention of the whole company. Naturally, our matchmakers and team members responded with pertinent insights...
Tawkify Matchmaker, Melody, on the subject:
I agree. These two traits are also markers for whether each partner will be mindful of filling the other's love tank.
The idea of the 'love tank' is from The 5 Love Languages By Gary Chapman. It essentially proposes we all have a main way in which we feel loved (gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch). If our partner isn't showing their love to us in that language, our love tank gets depleted. We might 'know' they love us, but we don't FEEL it. Making sure to speak your partner's love language to express your love is huge, and I think the traits mentioned in this article are required in order to even be willing to learn their language in the first place (unless it's already your primary way of expressing your love, in which case it means you're even more naturally compatible).
In my relationships, I always look at us as a team because we have common goals, even if it looks in the moment as if we're 'attacking' each other because we're in a disagreement. Ultimately, we both want to love and be loved, and we want each other to be happy. If we depart from a foundation of knowing neither of us would want to intentionally hurt the other, then we can have a conversation and clear up any miscommunications from a place of mutual love and support.
Diana, author of the Heartalytics series, The Love Gate, offers additional insight:
The love language topic reminds me of the so-called "platinum rule:" treat others how THEY WANT to be treated (as opposed to the golden rule, treat others as you would want to be treated). Talk to your partner in their love language, so they can understand your "bids," or you could be missing each other!
I also really believe not "scanning for partner's mistakes" (as the author said) comes out of a willingness to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Giving your partner what they need is one thing, and an important one, but this also translates into fights. If an issue comes up, assuming it is a miscommunication by a trusted party rather than an attack by someone who wants to hurt you is the difference between a productive discussion, and a fight. Just working off the assumption that your partner has your back instills patience and a sense of safety, too.
“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,” says Shakespeare’s Juliet. “My love as deep; the more I give to thee, / The more I have, for both are infinite.” That’s how kindness works too: there’s a great deal of evidence showing the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.
Tawkify Matchmaker, Angie, felt the above passage communicated an enduring sentiment - the power of kindness. In her words, "Nothing rings truer than -- Be kind and amazing things will happen."
Whether you're in a relationship or not, we challenge you to introduce kindness and generosity into all of your interactions. Should you aspire to be a healthful participant in your relationships, these traits are essential. If these qualities do not come naturally to you, do not be discouraged - just practice! As Aristotle advises, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
Art from the Nekrasov Tale of Chemistry.