Everyone wants to fall in love, and most do. But what happens once you've met 'The One'? Well, that's where the real 'work' of relationship-building begins. Contrary to popular belief, lasting relationships don't just 'happen'. They require work, and give-and-take by both sides. Now this may not sound overly romantic, but there's good news too. Establishing a deep and lasting connection with someone special leads to inner happiness that can be compared to the feeling of cocaine or the expectation of winning a lot of money. Now that you know WHY relationships are good for you, here's 5 ways you can achieve one too:
  1. Be compassionate:  in spite of what you've heard, successful couples do argue.  In fact, couples who don't argue have a 35% higher chance of divorcing within the first 4 years of marriage. The difference between successful and unsuccessful couples is that, when they do argue, they maintain compassion towards each other and show they care.
  2. Be realistic:  the truth is that fairy tale relationships are usually just that - fairy tales. Having realistic expectations of your partner is an important element of successful relationships. Part of this is accepting that things change for both of you. Instead of fearing this, embrace it: over 30% of the traits you first found attractive in your partner are no longer important after 6 months.
  3. Be best friends:  in studies of people happily married more than three decades, the quality of friendship between the partners was the single most frequently cited factor in the relationships' success.
  4. Opposites do NOT attract:  in comparing couples who remained together more than five years with couples who split up, researchers found that the couples who stayed together were 64 percent more likely to be able to identify multiple shared interests.
  5. Avoid complacency:  satisfaction in a relationship is eight times more reliant on recent feelings and the ability to perceive improvements than it is based on the history of the relationship.