What kind of couple are you and how likely is to live happily ever after? Researchers from the University of Illinois tried to answer these questions by identifying four different approaches couples usually take when it comes to dating and getting committed. Let’s take a look at the results.
The partners in this couple are particularly dependent on each other and involved with each other. Moreover, they use everything that’s taking place in their relationship to further their commitment to the next level. They love making each other happy, whether this means her gifting him with an erotic massage session in Bucharest or him surprising her with a romantic dinner. Partner-focused people seem to have the highest conscientiousness levels, which translates to being extremely thoughtful and careful about their relationship choices and approaches.
This group operates in a constant tension between conflict that ends up pushing partners apart and passionate, strong attraction that pulls them back together. While this may sound entertaining to some, it’s not the kind of relationship that can be sustainable in the long-term. Think about having several decades of mind-bending passion – you’d definitely go crazy. Luckily, there are situations when partners change from one type to another over time.
Socially involved couple
These couples share a social network which they rely on to make commitment-related decisions. Having mutual friends makes the partners feel more attached and closer. As a matter of fact, scientists say that long-term relationships are usually predicted on friendship-based love.
With their commitment wildly swinging, these couples deal with constant ups and downs. Most often than not, partners’ decisions are based on negative events that occur in the relationship as well as on discouraging things that they think about the relationship – actually, those exact thinks are very likely to chip away at their commitment.
The participants of the study were tracked for nine months; researchers wanted to find out how committed each individual was to marry their loved one and why. Each person was asked to elaborate on the reasoning of their commitment, whether the level went up or down.
Dramatic couples were twice as likely to call it quits compared to the other types – maybe that’s because of the continuous ups and downs. Partner-focused daters, on the other hand, had the highest chance of sticking together and living happily ever after – this is probably due to the fact that while they do share a social network, they don’t rely on it to advance their own relationship with one another.
The conflict-ridden and the socially involved types lay somewhere in the middle. Conflict-ridden couples tend to have lower relationship satisfaction every time they argue, but that doesn’t lead to a break-up. Socially-involved ones report overall high levels of stability and relationship satisfaction.
With these categorizations on hand, couples can easily approach their relationship more mindfully. The take-away message is that there are numerous ways of making commitment-focused decisions that get the two of you forward, while other decisions will, unfortunately, push you backward. Hence, couples can think about these patterns when they make decisions about their relationship’s future.