London - What makes a healthy relationship differ from couple to couple? It turns out there are two key ways to safeguard your bond.
Robert Epstein of the University of the South Pacific Fiji conducted a study to find out what they were.
The 2013 report found that there were actually seven key skills required to create a strong and happy relationship: communication, life skills, self-management, knowledge of your partner, sex, stress-management and conflict resolution.
But, after repeating it last year, Epstein discovered that out of these seven, two mattered the most.
The study concluded that the secret to a healthy relationship lay in mastering communication, and increasing your knowledge of your partner.
This might sound obvious but, after quizzing more than 2000 adults, the study revealed that those who scored high in these two skills were the most satisfied with their partner.
It also found that by mastering these two specifically, the rest of the skills improved as a result.
So, what should you be doing?
When it comes to communication, you should try to avoid phrases like “you always” or, “you never”, because these can be hurtful.
Instead, voice your concerns mindfully by using statements like “I feel disrespected when”.
This way, your partner won’t become defensive and feel completely to blame.
Similarly, knowing the person you’re in a relationship with goes beyond the obvious. It’s not always about remembering things like their favourite film, but instead a knowledge of what makes them feel loved.
This is why communicating is so important because, once you understand the other person’s love language you can make them feel more content in your relationship.
Whether it’s verbally saying, “I love you”, or giving them your undivided attention, an awareness of what your partner needs to feel loved is key.