What are you doing to keep your relationship alive? A University of Illinois study highlights the importance of five relationship maintenance strategies that couples can use to preserve or improve the quality of an intimate relationship.
Research shows that openness, positivity, assurances, shared tasks, and a shared social network are strategies that couples can use to make their relationship better.
To “open up” your relationship, the researchers encouraged not only talking about your feelings but getting your partner to talk about what she is feeling as well. Positivity entailed being a “fun” person and acting upbeat and cheerful as you interact with each other.
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.
A person who practices one of these five strategies is likely to practice the others as well. And a partner who notices that one of the strategies is being used is apt to be tuned in to their partner’s efforts in the other four areas.
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.
Although these strategies work, challenges may arise when couples don’t see or value each other’s efforts in the same way. These approaches had the most influence on the quality of the relationship when persons believed their partner was also performing relationship maintenance.
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.