So, you’re pretty sure you’ve found that right person for you. You know, the one who listens attentively while you vent about your dreadful day at work or makes a special playlist for your workout. But how can you tell for sure? As compiled from Women’s Health and Prevention magazines, here are some scientific answers to look for.
You both have the ‘half-glass full’ approach
Okay, this one might not come as much of a revelation but research proves that a positive outlook and a few genuinely exchanged smiles a day can go a long way in keeping your bond steady. Researchers from the University of Chicago found that when just one partner possesses a high level of positivity, there’s less conflict in the relationship. “Positive emotions are fundamental to any relationship because they counteract the negative emotions that shut us down,” says Jane Greer, a New York-based relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship. “This translates into feeling more secure with your partner and trusting more.” Another study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that couples who celebrated their partners’ achievements as if they were their own, experienced greater satisfaction than those who reacted negatively or with indifference.
Your spending habits differ
You’re certainly not alone if you think that majority of the arguments you have as a couple are sparked by personal (or combined) finances. In fact, a Money magazine poll found that 70% of couples argue about finances the most — more than household chores, kids, snoring, and so on. But if the two of you have stark differences in the way in which you prefer to spend — for instance, if one of you are a spendthrift and the other is the “saver” sort, you just might be perfect for each other. The proof is in a study by the Universities of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Northwestern University. Researchers surveyed over 1,000 married couples, and found that most individuals tend to choose their spending opposite, when it comes to selecting a lifelong partner.
You keep texting to a meaningful minimum
Let’s be honest — between emojis and those ‘k’ texts, our feelings and emotions are pretty clearly captured minus alphabetical symbols these days. But tread lightly when communicating with your significant other via telecommunication, say researchers from Brigham Young University. After surveying 276 men and women, they found that heavy texting was to blame for both genders feeling dissatisfied with their relationships. “Texting is precarious for a lot of people in relationships because it’s hard to flesh out our genuine expressions,” says Greer. “When one person is less interactive, the expectation is not matched by the reality for the other and this can lead to disappointment and a feeling of disconnection.” Similarly, the study found that the men who texted more often reported lower relationship quality than those who didn’t text their partners as frequently, while the women who texted more often reported higher relationship quality. Moral of the story: hold the phone — literally!
You battle it out
This might sound bizarre but keep reading! While you might get down and out about the latest quarrel you had with your partner, research indicates that it may be the all-important adhesive that winds up keeping your relationship together. Researchers from Florida State University found that expressing anger when disagreements arise may actually be necessary in resolving problems in the relationship. “If you learn to argue in a healthy way early on, then you’re more comfortable expressing your emotions to your partner and working through your different points of view,” says Greer. “This creates a good working framework for handling arguments in a positive way, instead of them resurfacing constantly, causing more strain in the relationship.” So don’t chicken out, put your feelings out there and fight — respectfully, of course!
You laugh at the same jokes
If you and your partner both know how to appreciate a tricky comedy routine, love anything with Salman Khan in it or equally detest either of those, you’re a match made in heaven, says science. A study published in the Western Journal of Communication found that 75% of happy couples laugh together at least once a day. Even more thought-provoking is another study, reported in the same journal, which found that 92% of married men and women credited humour as a factor that made a significant contribution to their married life. “Laughing at and appreciating the same comedy is the emotional oil to grease the wheels of a relationship, to keep it moving forward,” shares Greer. “It gives each of you the resilience you need to laugh off the petty and irrelevant things that naturally build up in life and offers more chances to bond intimately on a regular basis.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2016.
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