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Top 7 Strategies for a Successful, Committed Relationship October 27, 2010

Posted by franciecooper in life coaching, life lessons, Uncategorized.
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All month we’ve been exploring the importance of commitment to self. So this week, let’s switch it up a little and look at what it takes to be successfully committed to another, specifically a spouse, life partner or significant other.

There’s a great, relatively new book, for better – the science of a good marriage, by Tara Parker-Pope, that summarizes the current research on the positive steps we can take to keep a relationship healthy. In this well-researched work, Parker-Pope points out, “Researchers have identified several small, positive changes on which couples can focus that have the potential to reap big rewards in overall satisfaction with your marriage… Good marriages require daily maintenance and positive feedback to help couples stay connected.”

Parker-Pope distills the findings of several studies to come up with seven strategies to stay happy and bolster the strength of a relationship:

  1. Celebrate Good News – “Research shows that couples who regularly celebrate the good times have higher level of commitment, intimacy, trust and relationship satisfaction.” Bust out the champagne!
  2. Know the Mathematics of Marriage – “In stable marriages, there are at least five times more positive interactions than negative ones… Sometimes the positive are spoken, “You look nice today, honey.” Sometimes they’re gestures – pats on the hand or back, a hug, a tousle of the hair, a kiss for no reason.”
  3. Keep Your Standards High – According to a study by University of North Carolina psychologist Donald H. Baucom, couples who expect a lot from their relationships tend to get exactly what they ask for.
  4. Pay Attention to Family and Friends – “The happiest couples are those who have interests and support beyond the twosome.”
  5. Don’t Expect Your Spouse to Make You Happy – “Marriage triggers an initial boost in happiness, but after about two years, people, on average, settle back to the same level of happiness they had prior to marriage.”
  6. Just Do It – “Over time, regular sex can improve your mood, make you more patient, damp down anger, and leads to a better, more hapcontented relationship.”
  7. Reignite Romance – “Protect your marriage by regularly trying new things and sharing new experiences with your spouse.”

So how ‘bout it friends? How many of these do you apply on a regular basis? My suggestion this week is that you take an honest look at which of these tips you’re using and which you’re not, then make a plan on how you can integrate them into your life with your beloved. Better yet, email this to him or her with a note that says, “Hi, honey. I love you and would love to talk about these! Want to go on a date tonight?”

– Francie Cooper

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