A recent remarkable study finds what makes a relationship successful

A recent study shows that your choice of partner is not the most important key to a successful relationship.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a new groundbreaking study which aimed to find what makes a relationship successful. The study discovered that it is not your choice of partner but the dynamics of your relationship.

Source: Pexels

Samantha Joel and her colleagues used over 11,000 couples for the study; they also drew information from 43 different data sets and tracked their relationships for around a year. The study looked at numerous variables as it analysed both individual characteristics and relationship-related characteristics. The individual characteristics consisted of age, income, gender and personality traits, whereas relationship-related characteristics included affection and support, among others.

Initially, the study revealed that the relationship-related characteristics account for about 45% of the success and satisfaction in a relationship. Additionally, it showed that the individual characteristics accounted for only 21%. At the end of the study, these percentages decreased as they dropped to 18% and 12% respectively. Even though the percentages dropped, the hierarchy was maintained, thereby illustrating that the partnership is more important than the partner.

The following characteristics are ranked as being most successful in predicting the quality of a relationship (as reported by CNN):

Top 5 relationship-related characteristics:

  1. Perceived partner commitment
  2. Appreciation
  3. Sexual satisfaction
  4. Perceived partner satisfaction
  5. Conflict

Top 5 individual characteristics:

  1. Life satisfaction
  2. Negative affect
  3. Depression
  4. Attachment avoidance
  5. Attachment anxiety

In other words, a relationship’s success does not depend solely on the individual; in fact, it depends less on the individual than it does on the dynamics between the two partners. The person is not nearly as important as the way they make you feel in the partnership and vice versa. Do they make you feel secure? Do they make you feel appreciated? Do they make you feel satisfied in your relationship? These are the things that matter.

Source: Pexels

“The dynamic that you build with someone — the shared norms, the in-jokes, the shared experiences — is so much more than the separate individuals who make up that relationship”  

Samantha Joel 

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