The 5 most important components to a healthy relationship (according to decades of research)

As humans, we want to know what brings two people together, and what keeps them together for the long haul.

In today’s society, relationships fall apart before they even get started sometimes, and it’s hard to imagine that anyone could make it work in this day in age.

But decades of research and insight has provided us with a great deal of information about what needs to happen between two people in order to make a relationship work.

Here are the 5 most important factors for a healthy relationship, according to research.

1) Being Kind, Loyal and Understanding Goes a Long Way

While we all have a checklist of qualities we would like to find in a partner, the three things that are most important are kindness, loyalty, and understanding, according to previous psychology research.

When someone is kind, they take the time to consider other people. When someone is loyal, the relationship isn’t based on mistrust. When a partner is understanding, reason sets in and allows for open and honest conversations that can change the course of a relationship for the better.

Without these qualities, it doesn’t matter how good looking someone is; eventually, you’ll get tired of them being an asshole.

2) Opposites Might Not Attract

Research has found that people are more likely to stay in relationships with partners they have things in common with. This goes beyond a mortgage and a house full of kids.

Relationships are started on similar interests; after all, you likely found your partner in a place you both like to frequent, or perhaps at work, or through a mutual friend.

So it makes sense that long term relationships need to not only be started on mutual interest, but remain that way over time.

Opposites seem to only attract in the movies, but then, do they even really make sense? If you can’t take your partner with you to a friend’s house, it might be time to reconsider the relationship.

You want to share your life with someone you can share everything with, whether you do or not, the choice to share makes the relationship last.

3) Being Present and Accounted For

Being a good partner and working to make a relationship last means you need to be in touch with what’s happening around you.

Being conscientious, or present, in your relationship goes a long way to creating a lasting relationship, according to research. Being practical, and putting priorities on aspects of your life makes it easier to see a future with you.

Both men and women like to be with partners who take care of themselves, their homes, and do the things they said they were going to do. If you act like a bump on a log, you’ll be a lonely bump pretty soon.

Some people might be annoyed by the need for order, but studies have shown that people who show up and are ready to work at more than just the relationship make the best mates.

4) Get Your Act Together

It’s hard to be in a relationship on a regular basis; now imagine being in a relationship with someone who can’t get their act together. When one person has to carry the burden of two people, it can take its toll really fast, according to psychological research.

It’s important that people talk about sharing responsibilities and understand that relationships have two people in them. When one partner lets the other partner do all the work, or isn’t giving their 100% to the relationship, it can fall apart quickly.

What’s more, bitterness and resentment can set in when one partner feels like they are the only thing holding the relationship together.

So if you are unemployed and wearing jogging pants on the couch everyday, you might want to get your act together to increase your chances of finding lasting love and a long-term relationship.

5) Accepting that Relationships Require Work

People get sidelined by their relationships all the time. It’s like an affair or divorce comes out of the blue, but the truth is that those things happen when the relationship isn’t going as well as one person had hoped.

If you ever want to see success in your relationships, you need to recognize and acknowledge that relationships take work. That means that both people need to be open and honest about their feelings and actions, and they have to talk about how hard it is to be in a relationship. It’s all very meta.

Sometimes just acknowledging that relationships are hard can be the common ground you need to open up a dialogue to other issues you and your partner are experiencing. It can mean the difference between making it through the tough times, and calling it quits.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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