Will you be there for me when things go well?

How do strong couples make it through lengthy relationships and all the headaches of coupledom? Scientists who study relationships have been trying to understand how long-lasting couples handle crises like the silent treatment, shouting matches, difference of opinions on childcare or the impact of work-related stress. However, the link between how partners react to small triumphs and the strength of their couple has long been neglected. A recently published study suggests the way a person responds to the successes of a partner is a crucial factor in the reinforcement or disintegration of the couple’s bond.

How do strong couples make it through lengthy relationships and all the headaches of coupledom? Scientists who study relationships have been trying to understand how long-lasting couples handle crises like the silent treatment, shouting matches, difference of opinions on childcare or the impact of work-related stress. However, the link between how partners react to small triumphs and the strength of their couple has long been neglected. A recently published study suggests the way a person responds to the successes of a partner is a crucial factor in the reinforcement or disintegration of the couple’s bond.

Researchers from the University of California gathered 79 couples who first filled out a questionnaire about how satisfied each partner felt in their relationship. The couples then discussed positive and negative events that had recently happened to them in front of a camera. Researchers noted the reaction of the partner in response to the accomplishments of his or her loved one: little squeals of joy, passive acquiescence, shared excitement and pride, or cold indifference.

Two months later, the researchers followed-up with the couples. Among them, those who had rejoiced in their partner’s successes had a greater chance of being together and nurturing a strong relationship than those who were indifferent or negative toward their significant other’s victories.

In most relationships, positive events far outnumber defeats. In fact, why not concentrate on doing more positive and thoughtful gestures every day instead of trying to prevent situations from escalating? So take the first step and ask your honey to share their happy news with you tonight!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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