Mark Manson, one of the most popular bloggers of the time, conducted tremendous research by crowdsourcing experience, advice and life stories of hundreds of thousands of his followers.
The author aimed to shed light on the following subject: How to foster steady and healthy relationships and keep them over the years?
His devoted readers, who experience this mystical “happily-ever-after” for more than 10 years, were sharing their own laws of harmonious relationships that still work in their lives. Mark’s audience is comprised of smart, educated and progressive people from all walks of life. Mark also collected his readers’ confessions about negative moments and mistakes and analyzed them to introduce an ultimate guide to building fulfilling relationships.
The blogger says that people’s stories were full of regularities that give substantial ground for drawing important conclusions. Here we’ll summarize the essence of his 12 principal keys to a happy life with a partner:
- Enter a relationship or marry ONLY because YOU want it. Not because you feel social pressure, ashamed of being single, don’t live up to someone’s expectations. Strong and genuine relationships must be built on chemistry, mutual interest and admiration.
- Don’t breed romantic illusions. Break the rose-tinted glasses that love must only be romantic and get you to a dizzying height. A series of highs is a toxic relationship of addiction. When you think love lasts as long as there is elation and overwhelming happiness. A constant commitment to a person is not always going to make you happy, it presupposes plenty of inconvenient and untimely actions for the sake of your partner, and accepting them with their drawbacks, fears, weaknesses and unattractive conditions.
- Respect is a major component in the love formula. When passion, sex drive and novelty start to faint, respect serves as a backbone for getting through decades with your partner. Foster respect for yourself and your beloved other – their identity, interests, hobbies, time, space.
- Communication in a couple must be open and honest. This way you build trust and intimacy necessary for a healthy relationship. If something bothers you – don’t keep silence, it only disguises cracks, instead of fixing them.
- Constant sacrifices are detrimental to a relationship in the long run. Don’t lose your identity or try to change or improve your partner. Otherwise, along with it, you’ll lose the spark that attracted you to each other.
- Personal boundaries, of course. Our own territory is a must to feel our own identity and be different from our partner. In fact, we are attracted by and grow on discrepancies.
- Brace for changes in both of you. In the course of life you can make critical and sometimes unexpected choices, such as changing the religion, or undergo soul-destroying situations (death of close people). It all impacts who you are, what you think and how you behave. Be ready for an unexpected twist to stay with your partner for the rest of life.
- Dealing well with conflict. Ability to fight, hash all stuff out without stonewalling – is a prerequisite of a healthy bond. In no case is it about insulting your partner or showing contempt. If you get inundated with poisonous emotions – take time to cool off and come back to solve the conflict in a constructive way.
- Ability to forgive. No matter who was right, when the argument is over – it must be over. And keep in mind that most things are not worth arguing about at all.
- The devil is in details. Little things matter for a couple like going out somewhere, having a walk, saying “I love you” with some regularity, – invent small rituals that will cement your life as a couple, not roommates.
- It’s a game with the rules you must commonly set. Figure out together what you are each good at, what you love or hate, how much time you can dedicate to different duties. This arrangement will help simplify the logistics of your relationship.
- Be ready for a roller-coaster ride. Feelings, states, situations change over your life – and you must know how to manage them with your partner.
You can read the extensive research in Mark’s blog following the link: https://markmanson.net/relationship-advice