Healthy Living

Openness, Positivity Among Five Relationship Strategies That Successful Couples Use

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Following five basic strategies can help couples maintain their relationship, according to a latest study review from University of Illinois.

"Relationships are like cars in that you have do certain things to keep them running, especially when your goal is to strengthen and preserve your bond with your partner," said Brian Ogolsky, a professor of human and community development at the University of Illinois, in a statement.

The study review included 35 studies and more than 12,000 individual reports. Study analysis showed that openness positivity, assurances, shared tasks, and a shared social network can help couples preserve and improve their relationship.

Talking about your feelings as well as asking how your partner is feeling can let couples open up to each other while being a "fun" person can add positivity to the relationship, researchers said.

"It's also important to assure your partner that you're in the relationship for the long haul, to divide household chores and responsibilities equally, and to make an effort to include your partner's friends and family in some of your activities," Ogolsky added.

The studies showed that people can sense the efforts that are being put in by their partner to maintain the relationship and in turn make an effort themselves. Also, a person using any of the five strategies is also likely to use other strategies to improve the relationship.

"Persons who use any of these maintenance strategies will not only be more satisfied with and committed to their relationship, they are also likely to continue to love and, yes, even like each other throughout its duration," he said.

However, at times people don't see the efforts made by their partner in maintaining the relationship and this adds to the tension. Researchers say that sometimes, despite best intentions, people aren't able to translate their thoughts into action. For example, you might want to get flowers or gifts for your partner and surprise them with a diner at a fancy restaurant but, get busy with work and your efforts to plan a good evening fall apart.

"You may feel as if you've put considerable effort into your relationship, but your partner didn't see it so it does you no good," researchers said.

"Even a small attempt at maintenance, such as asking how your partner's day was, sending a humorous text to make him laugh, or picking up the phone and calling your mother- or father-in-law, can have a positive impact on your relationship and make you happier," Ogolsky added.

The study is published in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

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