Can you tell that a relationship is healthy just by observing the people in it for a short period of time? While you may think that you can, no one really knows everything that goes on in a relationship behind closed doors. However, scientific research about love, sex, and relationships has taught us that several behaviors can indicate when a couple has a stable relationship and when they may be headed for trouble. You may interested to see some relationship advice in this article.
Good relationships aren’t instant. If you need relationship advice for couples, the best thing to keep in mind is that your relationship will take compromise, understanding, commitment, and hard work to be successful. Here are some statistics for relationships, as well as helpful suggestions that will help you strengthen your bond with your significant other.
What You Should Know About Romance and Love
You’ve likely received lots of relationship advice over the years from family members and trusted friends. And they’ve likely told you that falling in love is the easy part of a relationship. However, staying in love is often a challenge. It takes maturity and trust to continue feeling the same passion for your partner that you did when you first met.
Knowing your love style is also essential for a healthy relationship. What exactly do you mean when you tell your partner “I love you?” California State University sociologist Terry Hatkoff created a “scale” for love that points out six forms of love that we experience in a close relationship:
- Romantic love, which is based on sexual attraction and passion
- Best friends, which indicates a deep affection and care for another
- Logical love, which speaks to our practical feels based on the shared morals and values we share with another
- Playful love, which involves flirtation and the “thrill of the chase”
- Possessive love, which indicates obsession or jealousy
- Unselfish love, which involves sacrifice and kindness
According to research the love we experience in the relationships that are most meaningful to us is usually a combination of a few of these variations of love. Usually, two people in a relationship have differing views on what love is. Dr. Hatkoff shares the scenario of a man and woman enjoying dinner as an example of how people define love differently. The waiter is flirting with the woman, her husband doesn’t notice and starts talking about changing the oil in her vehicle. The wife gets upset because her husband doesn’t seem jealous that someone else is flirting with her. The husband, on the other hand, feels that his extra effort is going unnoticed.
How does this relate to love? Among the strong relationship tips you should keep in mind for you and your partner, remember that what you deem as “love” may not be the same for your partner. In the above situation, the husband’s love style is practical while the wife was looking for a jealous or possessive response.
It’s important to understand what makes your partner feel that they are loved so you can properly handle disagreements and keep the romance in your relationship. Taking a love style quiz like the one Dr. Hatkoff offers will help you determine what love means to you; your partner can also take the quiz so you can get a better understanding of their needs.
Bringing the Romance Back
Some of the best relationship advice to remember as you try to build a lasting love is to keep the romance alive. Romantic love is often referred to as a “natural addiction” because your brain’s reward center is activated when you’re in love. This is the same part of the brain associated with gambling, alcohol dependence, and drug addiction. However, these brain pathways are also responsible for our energy and concentration levels, as well as our craving and learning styles. This is why we feel a surge of energy and motivation when we’re in love.
However, we all know that no matter how much we love someone, the romantic feelings will fade slightly over time. At this point, you’ll hopefully transition into a mature and content love that will carry your relationship through the different seasons of your life.
Relationship researcher and psychology professor Arthur Aron says that doing something new and different is the key to keeping relationships exciting. Aron shares that new experiences will activate the reward system in the brain and flood it with norepinephrine and dopamine — the same chemicals that are activated in the early stages of romantic love. Doing things like going camping or white water rafting can help you feel the excitement you felt for your partner when the two of you began your relationship. This can assist you in maintaining marital bliss for years to come.
How Passionate Are You?
University of Hawaii psychology professor Elaine Hatfield suggests that the love we experience in the early stages of a relationship is not the same type of love we feel once we’ve been with our partners for years. Early love is passionate and involves feelings of longing for our significant other. As we grow in our relationship, our love takes on a more companionate form. We start to develop a deep affection for our spouse, and our feelings of commitment and friendship are strengthened.
Dr. Hatfield, along with Illinois State University psychology and sociology professor Susan Sprecher, developed the Passionate Love Scale as a way for couples to determine their relationship’s passion level. Once you take the quiz, the answers could motivate you to be more open with your partner about what ignites your passion.
Having a Healthy Sex Life
As a general rule, the more sex a couple has, the happier they are in their relationship. And contrary to popular belief, committed couples actually have more sex than other people. Your single friends may entertain you with wild tales of their sexual experiences, but remember that single people also have long dry spells as well. According to a March 2017 report, 15% of men and 27% of women admitted that they hadn’t had sex in the last year. Around 9% of men and 18% of women stated that they hadn’t had sex in the past five years. The main reasons for this were being older in age and being unmarried. So, keep in mind that whether you and your partner are having sex once a week, once a month, or even a few times a year, there are still people who are not having as many intimate encounters as you.
Most people are private about their sex lives, but research does reveal a lot about people’s habits when it comes to sex. Data comes from several sources, such as the General Social Survey, which gathers details on behavior in the US, as well as the International Social Survey Programme, which collects data from various countries. Additional Kinsey Institute studies are also taken into account.
Recent statistics indicate that sexual frequency among millennials is declining. People in this age group are less likely to have constant partners than people in previous generations. Based on this research, here are some interesting things we’ve found out about sex:
- On average, an adult has sex 54 times each year
- The average intimate encounter is about half an hour
- Only about 5% of people have sex a minimum of three times a week
- Individuals in their 20s have sex more than 80 times in a year
- People in their 40s have sex around 60 times per year
- Once a person reaches the age of 65, they will only have sex around 20 times a year
- After someone reaches the age of 25, the frequency of their sexual encounters is reduced by 3.2%.
These percentages indicate that people born in the 1930s had sex most often while people born in the 1990s (millennials) had sex least often. Around 20% of the people surveyed, most of whom were widowed, have been celibate for no less than a year. On average, the typical married individual has sex around 51 times annually. However, couples consider themselves happy and connected have sex around 74 times in a year. Married people who are under the age of 30 have sex around 112 times in a year. Single people in this same age group have sex around 69 times per year. Married people in their 40s have sex around 69 times per year; single people in this age bracket have sex 50 times per year.
It is also important to note that physically active people have more sex, and individuals who drink alcohol tend to have 20% more sex than people who don’t drink. Surprisingly, extra education is connected to around a week’s worth of less sex every year.
Keeping Your Love Life Exciting
One of the best methods for ensuring your sex life is consistently fulfilling for you and your partner is to have sex as often as possible in the early stages of your relationship. A study from the University of Georgia indicates that over 90,000 women in 19 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas revealed that the longer a couple is married, the less often they are physically intimate. However, the decline in the couple’s sex life is connected to how much sex they had in the beginning of their relationship.
Why do people have less sex in marriage? This is due to several factors. Sometimes one of both parties are dealing with health issues, raising children, or are experiencing some type of unhappiness in the relationship. However, age is one of the biggest factors that makes a married couple’s sex life decline. One study indicated that sexual intimacy declines 3.2% per year after the age of 25. Fortunately, married couples make up for quantity with quality when it comes to sex. A National Health and Social Life Survey found reveals that married couples have more satisfying sex lives than their single counterparts.
Some couples have a thriving sex life throughout their marriage while other couples don’t. Social scientists are researching sexless marriages to find cues that indicate what interferes with a couple’s intimacy levels.
Around 15% of married couples have not had sex with each other in the last six months to a year. It is important to note that some of these marriages started out with very little sex. Other couples say that the birth of children or an extramarital affair led to the decline of their sex life. People in marriages with little to no intimacy are generally not as happy and more likely to have seriously considered divorce than those who have sex regularly.
If your marriage has little to no intimacy, one of the first things you may want to do is visit a doctor. Low sex drive could be the result of a health issue, such as erectile dysfunction, menopause, low testosterone, or depression. A low libido can also be the side effect of certain medications or medical treatment.
Some couples in sexless marriages can experience happiness; however, in general, the more sex a couple is having, the happier they are. It is easier said than done to revive a marriage where sex has been out of the equation for years. However, it is possible. If you don’t want to continue a sexless marriage but still want to stay married to your partner, visit a doctor or therapist to determine next steps.
You should also talk to your partner so the two of you can share your desires. Start doing fun things together to remind you why you fell in love to begin with. It is also important to be more affectionate with your partner to rekindle your connection and increase the chances of physical intimacy. It may also help to have sex even when you’re not motivated to do so. The chemicals in your brain will respond to sexual activity and may encourage you to be more physically intimate with your spouse or to initiate intimate encounters with your partner.
Can You Tell If Your Partner Will Cheat?
Around 10% of married individuals — 12% of men and 7% of women — admit to having extramarital affairs. These percentages are fairly low, but hide the fact that the lifetime cheating rate for committed partners is much higher. In people over the age of 60, around one in every four men and one in every seven women have admitted to cheating in marital relationships.
Several animal and human studies indicate that infidelity could be genetic. Science suggests that there is a genetic component to being unfaithful, but we don’t have to give in to our genetics.
Clear communication with your partner to discuss the needs and wants you both have, as well as an effort to fulfill those needs, can help reduce the chances of cheating. While you can control your actions, you can’t guarantee that your partner will stay faithful even if you’re giving the relationship your best effort.
Finally, it is vital to know that you and your partner will disagree at times. This is the case in all relationships. The key is to fight fairly instead of trying to avoid conflict. Learn how to offer constructive criticism that will help you both grow. Avoid blaming your partner instead of expressing your feelings about a situation. And always lead with love. Make it clear to your significant other that your goal is to work through the conflict so the two of you can get back to a place of peace.
The four different categories of relationships are: family relationships, romantic relationships, acquaintance-ships, and friendships. There are also nuanced relationships such as the interactions you have at work or the bonds you form with people you’re in community organizations with. Each of these relationships require a different part of your heart and mind and will prompt you to utilize a different part of who you are to make the relationships work.
Communication, trust, boundaries, support, and respect are the main five tenets of all healthy relationships. The relationship tips that you hear over the years can help you strengthen these vital aspects of relationships. It is essential for you to communicate with the people you’re in relationships with and to make sure that you can trust the person you love while ensuring they can trust you. It is also crucial to create boundaries. This is fairly new relationship advice since people are starting to maintain more autonomy in their relationships to avoid being taken advantage of. People also need support in relationships so they’ll know that they have someone to rely on in hard times and someone cheering them on in good times. Respect is also essential for any healthy relationship because people have to respect one another’s differences and mindsets in order to work together to accomplish goals and live in harmony.
The quality of relationships depends on the people in the relationships and the objectives all involved parties want to accomplish. There should be mutual respect and affection in a relationship depending on the type of interaction you have with the person you’re in a relationship with and what is deemed appropriate in the relationship. No one should feel abandoned, disrespected, or taken advantage of in a relationship. While this may occur from time to time since no one is perfect, if these things are prevalent in a relationship and don’t change after the issues have been addressed, it is time to end the relationship.
Everyone looks for good relationship advice at one point or another, and most people often want to know what it feels like to be in a good relationship. While the definition of “good relationship” is different for everyone, a healthy relationship is one where you feel valued or cherished. You should always feel that you can be honest with your partner or friend, even when you have to talk about difficult issues. A good relationship should also make you a better person. Whether you learn how to adopt more positive habits, learn to be more open-minded, or do away with toxic behaviors because of the relationship, the interaction should be beneficial for you. It is also important that you seek to make a positive impact on the people you’re in relationships with as well.
A toxic relationship is one in which emotional, mental, or physical abuse has occurred in the relationship on a constant basis. You’ll likely see and hear online relationship advice about toxic relationships and how to handle them. Some people have toxic bonds with people due to narcissism, codependence, anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues. If a relationship takes away your sense of self and causes you to do things that are harmful to yourself and others, or if you start to experience mental illness as a result of a relationship with someone, the relationship is considered toxic. It may be necessary to go to therapy or get counseling if you’re in a toxic relationship to learn the tools necessary to leave the situation safely and heal the wounds caused by the relationship.