The 3 Most Important Traits of a Healthy Relationship, According to Science

What are the secrets to a healthy relationship? While there are undoubtedly many, we finally know a few that are directly involved in whether or not a partnership fails or thrives.

According to Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, there are three basic characteristics to every lasting relationship. Each one triggers the release of dopamine — a feel-good neurotransmitter — in the brain.

Fisher explains the three characteristics in her TED talk below:

In the talk, Fisher explains that romantic love gives off the same dopamine hits as other things in life. This release causes us to feel euphoric, giddy and excited. It is very common to receive hits of dopamine when spending time with a loved one. Over time, that “hits” of dopamine increase. Because dopamine plays a part in strengthening bonds, this is important.

The three characteristics found in healthy, long-term partnerships follow:

  1. The couple’s ability to feel empathy for one another
  2. The introduction of positive illusions. This means having the ability to overlook traits you find “unattractive” about the other to see the good in them.
  3. Each person’s ability to control their own emotions during times of great stress

For the research, couples received brain scans as they thought about their significant others. Incredibly, just thinking about their partner elicited strong brain activity in those who said they didn’t just “love” their partner, but were “in love” with them. 

As HackSpirit points out, it’s easy to fall in love. It’s the staying in love that proves challenging to many. Having grown accustomed to instant gratification, few put in the effort required to ensure a relationship lasts. Rather, they are willing to settle for sub-par partnership which usually ends in ruin.

This doesn’t have to be the norm. 

Putting in the time to mature emotionally will benefit you, as a person, as well as your partnership. You can get started by doing the following:

  1. Meditating in the morning

    By spending at least 15-20 minutes in silence and contemplation in the morning, you give your body and mind to “reset” and get grounded. In a “clear” space, it is easier to remain calm and understand other people’s points of view.

  2. Practice active listening 

    Plan a date night with your significant other and make the main activity “talking.” Catch up, crack jokes, drink a bottle of wine while you discuss your deepest heart’s desires, dreams, and fears. Relationships are always strengthened through communication.

  3. Learn new something every day

    People grow in one of two ways: they are either squeezed and forced to grow, or they act preemptively and ascertain knowledge in preparation for the inevitability of having to evolve. Choose the latter for a healthy partnership.

    Don’t wait until your marriage is hanging on by a thread. Read more on your favorite topics and utilize the information obtained to be a better friend and lover to your partner. If they see you putting in the effort, most likely they will, too.

Credit: Pixabay

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Source: Hack Spirit

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