Want to know the secret to a happy relationship? Get in line and perk up your ears because the experts of all things happy claim have the answer.
The Happify app has created a nifty infographic, "The Science Behind A Happy Relationship," that aims to demystify once and for all this crazy little thing called true love.
As someone who feels like I've lucked out in the soulmate department, I was curious to see whether Happify could tell me something I didn't already know, didn't agree with, or even whether something as complex and wonderful as lasting love could be deconstructed like a science project.
By sifting through and compiling a surveys and stats from real couples, Happify more or less nailed it.
The foundation of a solid relationship is positivity. Most of the time interactions between couples should be positive, with a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative. Stands to reason if most interactions are negative, your instincts will drive you not to run the hell away from that person.
Happy couples talk A LOT, as in five hours more than their less satisfied counterparts. See, it's not all about sex, although regular - as in 2-3 times per week - sex is important. But I would add that more or less is fine, provided both partners are singing from the same (bed) sheet.
Novelty is important, too, especially post-kids because it's easy for a routine to turn into a rut. Sharing experiences as basic as an evening walk matter. For the longest time after my son was born, it seemed my husband and I weren't creating new memories so much as drawing on old ones. And the nostalgia bank can only go so far before it bankrupts.
Let's face it, suggestions like cooking together, going to concerts or visiting new restaurants are more attainable than going on trips together. I would totally agree the preschooler years probably cover the all-time low in terms of relationship satisfaction. After all, this is when you have the least amount of time together as a couple and you're over the initial baby high. At least, it was thus in our home.
But probably the biggest takeaway here is the idea of helping your partner become their "ideal" self. Encourage them by giving compliments, showing appreciation and doing something nice for them (in this case, size doesn't mater). Whether I'm winning or losing in life at a given moment, hubs is always there in the stands, shaking his metaphorical pom-poms and cheering me on to become a better person. I'd like to think I do the same for him.