What makes a happy relationship and what does a partnership absolutely need to last? Experts warn against these myths
Relationship researcher John Gottmann is also called the “Einstein of love”. He has written (or co-written) over 40 books and, thanks to many studies, made the subject of “relationship” part of his science. His analyzes and data unmask one or the other love misbelief.
These are the most common love myths:
1. Everything should be balanced in a partnership
If I do this or that, then my partner has to do that too, so that the circumstances are fair and the bottom line is that everyone gets the same. This quid-pro-quo attitude makes the relationship a business and the two partners emotional accountants. Gottman says:
The best marriages are those that invest in the partner’s interests rather than their own.
2. Loud arguments are only used in bad relationships
Do you sometimes question your partnership because your tatters keep flying and you look enviously at the “We never argue” faction? Don’t worry, the volume level in an argument says nothing about happiness in a relationship. As long as the positive to negative ratio is 5: 1, everything is fine. Because happy couples need five positive interactions to make up for one negative. Gottman says:
Conflict avoiders have very peaceful lives, but on the other hand, they can end up leading parallel lives in which they are very distant.
3. You absolutely have to talk things out
In a relationship, you have to seek conversation and stay in constant communication. Silence kills love. But sometimes one shouldn’t compulsively argue things out. This is how a mosquito can become an elephant and it was not worth the problem. Gottman says:
69 percent of marital problems are not solved, but dealt with.
4. Opposites attract
Do your strengths compensate for your partner’s weaknesses and vice versa? That sounds pretty perfect, but science shows that unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You can be contradictory on small topics (on vacation you prefer to lie on the beach and read a book while he spends the whole time in the water), but you have to be on the same wavelength on the core issues. If you think that you should talk openly about negative feelings like sadness (maybe with family and friends?), But your partner thinks that it is better to keep such emotions to yourself, then it becomes difficult in a relationship. Gottman says:
The biggest incompatibility we’ve found that really predicts divorce is the way people express feelings.