The concept of “couple relationship” is easy to learn, but not in all cases it is not easy to apply.
In theory, it is an emotional and relational bond based on mutual commitment and the establishment of future projects together; however, these plans don’t always come to fruition. This explains, for example, that in Western countries between one third and one half of marriages end in divorce and most relationships generally end in divorce.
There are many variables that help you understand what makes some relationships work long term and others don’t.. Here we’ll see which are the most important, focusing on the characteristics of relationships that tend to last indefinitely.
Main characteristics of lasting couples
These are the psychological and communicative elements that are usually present in stable couples that last longer.
1. There is uninterrupted coexistence
In general, relationships in which you have already “learned” to live with each other for several months in a row, and to share much of the time of day, thrive much more than those in which both people coincide, either because they have different work schedules or because they are in a long-distance relationship.
This is due to several reasons, including the possibility of having moments of close intimate contact (sexual or not), the fluidity of the communication and the fact of having a “synchronized” lifestyle which makes it easy. In addition, in these “healthy” relationships, we can benefit from the presence of the other through frequent moments dedicated to being together. These stimulating and pleasurable experiences are a source of encouragement to maintain the relationship..
2. They are not based on the fear of loneliness
Relationships that have been started because at least one of the people involved is afraid of being “alone” are unlikely to work in the long term. This is due to the fact the reason this person continues to be on the other side is because of an individualistic way of thinking, From which it is very difficult to create a real commitment.
3. There are no obvious power asymmetries
When one of the members of the couple has all the decision-making power in the vast majority of areas of life that affect this relationship, it is likely that this loving bond will not last long. The reason is that such situations can arise many issues that are very damaging to the relationship: Emergence of discussions out of frustration, emergence of roles of codependence and mastery of the other, communication problems, etc.
4. There is an interest in satisfying the other in the sexual relationship
Not all couples have to have a very intense sex life (it’s perfectly normal not to have a high libido), but for them to work, yes there has to be a constant flow of communication and interest to know what the other person wants, And what he likes, without taking anything for granted and without creating taboo subjects. Of course, this must be done by both parties at the same time, in order to strike a balance between the interests of both.
5. Establishment of limits in each person’s spaces
While it might sound paradoxical, relationships that don’t fully absorb both people work much better than those that do. In the long run, a wedding or a court must offer each individual their own spaces and times to devote themselves., And even the possibility of having your own secrets: not all information should be shared, especially if its content does not affect the other person.
6. Clear common milestones
Another aspect that occurs in lasting relationships is having well-defined and shared long-term goals. It means going beyond abstract ideas like “being happy together” and go to the specific about the kind of life you want to have for years to come. This avoids disappointments, misunderstandings and unpleasant surprises.
Are you looking for psychological support services for couples?
If you are interested in starting a couples therapy process, please contact us. Fr Psychoconsultation we work by offering the tools to learn to communicate, to manage emotions and to manage conflicts in a constructive way within the framework of a romantic relationship, as well in the sessions where the two members of the couple are present, as in the sessions of individualized psychotherapy. In addition, we work in person in our Barcelona center but also online via video call.
- Acker, M .; Davis, M. (1992). Intimacy, Passion and Commitment in Romantic Relationships between Adults: A Test of the Triangular Theory of Love. Journal of Social and Personal Relations, 9 (1): pages 21 to 50.
- Beck, JG; Bozman, AW; Qualtrough, T. (1991). The experience of sexual desire: psychological correlations in an academic sample. The Journal of Sex Research, 28 (3): pp. 443-456.
- Biscotti, O. (2006). Couples therapy: a systemic view. 1a. ed. Buenos Aires: Lumen.
- Christensen A., Atkins DC, Baucom B., Yi J. (2010). Marital status and satisfaction five years after a randomized clinical trial comparing traditional behavioral couples therapy to integration. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78 (2): p. 225 – 235.
- Fisher, H. (2004). Why we love: the nature and chemistry of romantic love. New York: Henry Holt.