Researchers Found The Sure Shot Way Of Telling If A Relationship Will Last. It’s Got To Do With How You’re With Each Other
While growing up, I used to think an ideal relationship is when you feel that inconvenient, aching love that makes everyone else around you wanna throw up. When it is so passionate, all you can think of is them and nothing else seems to matter any more. But as I grew up, I began to value my peace and productivity more. Also, not to forget, I realised that rush of adrenaline is not love. For me, love is when being with someone feels like you’ve come home, when you don’t have to think twice about where you stand in his life and when you miss them but you know this isn’t the end of it all. There’s no rush to spend all your waking hours with them, even though you really love them because it brings a sense of balance in your life; you need to work to afford ‘em dates and vacations. A healthy relationship brings you peace, along with passion.
Well, it doesn’t mean that you date someone with whom your passion is like a sinking ship. I dated someone, just for the peace they offered and realised that honestly, I can’t compromise on any of these! But trust me, when you find both in one person, it will be all so worth it. And that my friend, is the secret to building a long-lasting relationship, confirms a longitudinal study.
John Gottman started researching relationships in 1986 with the inception of what he calls ‘Love Lab’. He had several couples participating during which he hooked them to electrodes, as they sat next to their partners. They were asked a set of questions and he then went on to secretly label them “masters” or “disasters”. Well, that’s harsh but turns out, his analytical observation was almost right. Six years later, he found out that couples he labelled “masters” were happily together and those he labelled “disasters” had either broken up or were quite unhappy.
So what was this observation that could help him predict which path a couple would go down? It all comes down to physiology. Couples who showed lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, when they sat next to their partners were more likely to stay together. These people were relaxed around each other – you know the peace I was talking about? “Their cortisol levels when interacting were low, which translated into feelings of connectedness, comfort and trust; the foundation of their relationship. The study found that even when these couples were arguing, they showed warm and affectionate behaviour,” reports Forbes.
The couples that were labelled disasters showed high cortisol levels and an elevated heart rate. They were constantly in a fight-or-flight mode around each other, even when they looked calm and composed. It could be that they felt attacked and were constantly alert for when they had to get back at their partner or come up with a fitting response to attack them back.
I was briefly interacting with a guy who would constantly make me feel uneasy. Each time I met him, I would feel like the ghost from Shutter was having a sundowner on my shoulders with some of her friends from the spiritual underbelly – and judging my dating choices while at it. Here’s another episode of Sex and The Pity. Being in a fight-or-flight mode at all times was draining my energy and instead of enjoying the luxurious dates he took me on (he loved to show off!), I would really go to a dive bar with someone who offered me peace. Of course, I took no time to cut him off.
Romantic relationships can’t be built upon a land of all passion and no peace. They don’t last that way. In fact, it just shows how much you trust the other person. It shows how they truly make you feel. You can consciously ignore the red flags, your brain may not be able to analyse what a person does to you and you may be blinded by all the love bombing. But your heart knows how they make you feel, and so does your body. So the next time, someone gets your heart racing, remember they are probably not for you. It’s the person who thrills you but makes you feel like you’ve returned home after a month-long trip to the US where they don’t have jet sprays in the washrooms. Yep, that’s how happy and relaxed you should feel around them.