If you think a bust-up is a sign your relationship is heading down hill, fear not. A good argument can in fact show your relationship is in peak health.
It’s how often you argue, and what happens once the dust has settled that are more important indicators of lasting love.
Max Blumberg a psychologist and researcher at London’s Goldsmiths University explains: ‘If there’s no conflict it could be a sign that the relationship is really dull – or that one of you might be walking all over the other.’
So how can you tell if your relationship is a keeper? Here, Blumberg reveals the secret signs of happiness.
1. You have six good experiences together for every bad one
‘You should have at least six good experience in a relationship to every bad one,’ says Blumberg, who carried out research on the mathematics of a happy relationships for his pHD.
‘If there’s much less than that, it’s not a good sign,’ Blumberg explains.
‘It’s necessary to have an argument in a relationship – but the key is the ratio. And it’s also important that the conflicts are being resolved properly.’
According to Blumberg, good conflict resolution comes from being able to air you differences in an ‘unemotional way’.
‘You need to wait at least three or four hours before your chemicals re-balance and that wild feeling subsides so you can discuss the matter calmly.
‘So the common wisdom not to go sleep on your problems is not necessarily true.’
2. You do more than kiss and makeup when it’s over
‘Having make up sex is a good thing – and from a female perspective it’s critical,’ says Blumberg, but adds that the physical makeup should always come after the verbal one.
‘If a woman stops having sex in a relationship, it shows disengagement, which is the worst state to be in.
Even conflict, is preferable.’
He adds: ‘If you are fighting at least you are interested enough in each other to argue.’
3. You are happy doing nothing together
Over the centuries philosophers and psychologists have tried to classify different types of love.
‘Pragma is one way to define relationships that are built on practicality,’ says Blumberg, who explains that pragmatic relationships are both rational and realistic.
‘According to research it’s this type of relationships that most happy couples fit into.’
So how do you tell of your relationship has the pragma way? ‘One strong defining feature is that you can be quiet together – and do absolutely nothing,’ says Blumberg.
‘It’s about finding someone you can muck along with. It’s a very practical type of relationship – but studies show they work.’
4. You talk about yourselves
‘If you can’t talk about the relationship, it’s not good sign,’ says Blumberg. ‘It often means there are issues bubbling under the surface.’
Blumberg advises a relationship heart-to-heart at least every couple of months, unless it’s a new relationship.
‘You need to be about six months down the line,’ he advises.
You don’t have to label it as a serious talk but start the conversation by saying something positive about the relationship.
‘It could be a simple matter of saying: “I really enjoy our relationship, how do you feel about it?” or “Is there anything you think we can do to improve our relationship? I want you to be as happy as I am.”‘
‘If there isn’t any engagement in relationship talk then after a while you might start to feel pretty lonely,’ he says.
5. Your friends approve (mostly)
Yes, ideally you will trust your gut, but if your gut is confusing you, your friends and family are a good second bet
‘If you find it hard to trust your own gut then you need to listen to your friends, your mum or other members of your family,’ says Blumberg.
‘Don’t listen to one friend, who might have an issue, but try to get a general sense from a few.’
What if you end up staying with him despite their views? ‘It doesn’t matter,’ says Blumberg, ‘They don’t have to be best friends – as long as you don’t hold it against them!’
‘If the relationship goes horribly wrong, who will you be falling back on? Those are the people to ask,’ he says.
Watch out for a non-committal ‘as long as you are happy’.
‘That’s not an ideal response and probably means they don’t like him,’ Max says. It might be time to move on.
Source: Daily Mail