If you really want your relationship to last, science says start doing these 5 things every day

In a world where relationships seem as disposable as last season’s fashion trends, it’s no wonder many of us are searching for the secret formula to make love last.

Well, here’s some good news: science has been on the case, unraveling the mysteries of lasting love and what it truly takes to maintain a strong, healthy relationship. And guess what? It’s not rocket science; it’s actually quite straightforward.

If you’re sitting there, wondering why your relationships aren’t lasting or how you can make your current one stronger, I’ve got some insights for you. These aren’t just opinions; they’re backed by science. And they’re simpler than you might think.

We’re going to dive into the five things that, according to research, you should start doing every day if you really want your relationship to stand the test of time. Trust me, it’s the little things that count, and you might be surprised at how easy it is to shift your love life towards lasting happiness.

1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Effective communication is much more than just a good chat; it involves both talking and listening in a way that your partner feels heard and understood.

But don’t just take my word for it. A study conducted by the Gottman Institute, a leading research center on relationship stability and divorce prediction, has provided concrete evidence to back this up.

The study emphasizes the importance of what they call “bids for connection.” These are attempts one partner makes to engage the other, seeking attention, affirmation, affection, or any other positive connection.

The research found that couples who “turn toward” these bids by responding positively to them 86% of the time remained together, while those who did not only responded positively 33% of the time ended up separating. This highlights the critical role of attentive communication and responsiveness in maintaining a strong, healthy relationship.

How can you apply this every day? Start with the basics: share your thoughts and feelings openly, and encourage your partner to do the same. When they speak, listen—not just for the sake of responding but to truly understand. Show interest in their day, their dreams, their worries, and their joys. It’s about creating a safe space where both of you feel valued and heard.

By prioritizing communication and responding positively to your partner’s bids for connection, you’re not just talking; you’re building a foundation of trust, respect, and intimacy that can weather any storm. And that, according to science, is a key ingredient in the secret sauce to a lasting, loving relationship.

2. Show Appreciation

Feeling appreciated isn’t just nice; it’s necessary. It turns out, the sense of being valued by your partner plays a massive role in the health and happiness of your relationship. This isn’t just a hunch; there’s solid research to back it up.

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that individuals who felt appreciated by their partners were more likely to appreciate their partners in return, creating a positive cycle of love and gratitude.

The researchers highlighted the importance of not taking each other for granted. According to the study, expressing gratitude to your partner leads to a mutually supportive and satisfying relationship. Participants who felt appreciated by their partners reported feeling more secure and less likely to break up.

How can you make appreciation a daily ritual in your relationship? Start small but be consistent. A simple “thank you” for the everyday things can make a big difference. Acknowledge the efforts your partner makes, whether it’s cooking dinner, running errands, or just being there when you need a shoulder to lean on. Celebrate their successes, no matter how minor they seem.

It’s not about grand gestures; it’s the daily acknowledgment of your partner’s value in your life that strengthens your bond. 

3. Prioritize Quality Time

It might seem obvious, but spending quality time together is foundational for any thriving relationship. Yet, it’s astonishing how often this simple truth is overlooked, especially in our hustle-bustle world where technology often takes precedence over real-time, face-to-face interaction.

But here’s where science steps in to remind us of its importance. A study found a strong correlation between the amount of quality time couples spend together and their level of relationship satisfaction.

This research emphasizes that it’s not just about being in the same room; it’s about engaging in meaningful activities that foster connection and intimacy. The study points out that couples who dedicate time to engaging in new and shared activities report feeling more satisfied and closer to their partners. This could be anything from trying out a new hobby together, cooking a meal together, or simply going for a walk without the distraction of phones or other devices.

The key takeaway here is that quality time should be intentional. It’s about making your partner a priority and finding moments to connect in a world that often pulls us in different directions.

By committing to undistracted and meaningful interactions every day, you’re not just maintaining your relationship; you’re enriching it.

This deliberate effort to spend quality time together, engaging in activities that both partners enjoy, strengthens the bond and fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for each other.

4. Keep the Physical Connection Alive

The power of touch in a romantic relationship cannot be overstated. It’s a fundamental human need that fosters connection, reassures, and communicates love and affection without words.

But don’t just take this as a matter of opinion; there’s compelling scientific evidence to back up the importance of maintaining physical intimacy in a relationship.

A landmark study found that physical affection (such as cuddling, holding hands, and kissing) is strongly correlated with relationship and partner satisfaction.

According to this research, couples who engage in frequent physical affection report higher levels of relationship satisfaction.

Furthermore, sexual intimacy plays a crucial role in maintaining a strong emotional bond between partners, with regular sexual activity linked to increased happiness and well-being in couples.

The physiology behind this is fascinating. Physical touch releases oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone,” which plays a crucial role in bonding and increases feelings of trust and security between partners.

This hormonal response is essential for fostering a deep, emotional connection and can significantly enhance the overall quality of the relationship.

Incorporating daily habits of physical affection can range from a reassuring hug when your partner comes home to holding hands during a walk or ensuring you have a goodnight kiss before bed. These moments of physical connection are vital for reinforcing your bond and reminding each other of your affection and commitment.

Make it a point to weave physical touch into the fabric of your daily interactions. It’s a simple, yet profoundly effective, way to communicate love and maintain a close, intimate connection with your partner. According to science, keeping the physical connection alive is not just beneficial; it’s essential for a lasting, happy relationship.

5. Practice Forgiveness

In the journey of a relationship, bumps in the road are inevitable. Misunderstandings, mistakes, and grievances, both big and small, can accumulate over time, potentially leading to resentment and disconnection.

However, the ability to forgive – to genuinely let go of anger and resentment towards your partner for their missteps – is not just noble; it’s necessary for the longevity and health of your relationship. And, as it turns out, there’s a solid body of scientific evidence to support this.

A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family delves into the crucial role of forgiveness in romantic relationships. It found that forgiveness is significantly linked to higher relationship satisfaction. Moreover, the ability to forgive one’s partner is associated with better conflict resolution and greater emotional intimacy. The research underscores that forgiveness is a key component of a strong, resilient relationship, enabling couples to move past conflicts and grow closer rather than becoming embittered or disconnected.

Forgiveness, in this context, means choosing to let go of holding a grudge and not allowing past hurts to dominate your present interactions. It involves communicating your feelings and working through the issue together, learning from the experience, and making a conscious decision to move forward. This doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning the behavior, but rather, not letting it define your relationship.

Practicing forgiveness requires empathy, patience, and often, a bit of humility. It’s about recognizing that we are all flawed and that mistakes are part of being human. By fostering an environment where forgiveness is possible, you not only heal the wounds of the past but also lay down a foundation of compassion and understanding that strengthens your bond.

So, make forgiveness a daily practice within your relationship. Acknowledge your hurts, communicate openly, and choose to forgive. This habit, as science shows, is not just good for your emotional well-being; it’s a cornerstone of a lasting, loving partnership.

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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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