Love is the greatest drive out there. It’s a force that compels us to do everything for the person we love, that compels kings to become fools, and mends everything broken or breaks everything apart.
And when two people in love come together, they fight to make it last. However, things don’t always turn out the way we want them to. There are so many cases where, despite our best efforts, love doesn’t find a way and simply goes away.
In today’s trending society, it seems like the world of choice that is offered at our fingertips is not enough to start with when it comes to love. The more we think we can have, the less we end up with.
It’s true that we have so many options, but for those truly in love, there’s only one option – the person they love. And the question that has always troubled so many is how do some relationships manage to retain and nurture all that love and affection when others seem to fall apart?
Helen Fisher, an anthropologist and self-help author, has studied the phenomenon called love for a very long time, and in a brilliant TED talk, she explains how love affects our brains and the way we function.
After analyzing thousands of people in love, as well as couples who stayed in love after 25 years of being together, she understood that the dopamine rush we get from being in love can be sustained for a very long time if we give a little effort into it.
As she notes, even the sole thought of the person we love and the memories we have together makes our dopamine levels spike in our brains. And to maintain that love and strengthen the mutual love, she gives out 3 basic traits of the couples that succeeded in nurturing their love and live happily ever after.
The ability to show and feel empathy toward each other is one of the traits that make for the happiest relationship you’ll have. It’s obvious, really, that you should always be there for each other, especially when emotions are in play.
Most couples take their relationship status for granted and forget how important the person next to them is – until things start falling apart. To be constantly aware of your partner’s emotions and to express that awareness in a genuine and caring way is paramount in every relationship.
The ability to be in control of your emotions during stressful situations is another very important trait that these happy couples possessed. It’s true that in stressful situations we often tend to lose touch with our rational side, and this can lead to many unwanted conflicts and words and actions we later regret.
However, to be able to control your emotions and express them in a healthy way is what makes for the balance in these situations, and something which can only lead to a healthy resolution.
The ability to overlook certain flaws and focus on the good in your partner is also very important. Nobody is perfect – so why should we expect our partners to be? You know why you love that person, so why focus on why you should hate them?
It’s often a case where one or both of the partners become too critical of each other that they forget why they love each other. In this scenario, you don’t give love a way, there’s no space for improvement, and the conflicts that will arise are sure to shake the foundations upon which your relationship is built.
It’s true that every relationship has space for improvement and that every person is way behind what we like to call ‘perfection.’ But you should ask yourself whether the love you feel for the person deserves some of your patience and tolerance. You should ask yourself how much you empathize with your partner and how much you’re trying to understand instead of judge.
We live in a world full of choices but being in love means you’ve already found your choice. Who said that relationships are supposed to be easy? Relationships require a lot of effort and hard work to succeed, and both partners are needed for them to work.
So instead of focusing on the problems you’re aware of, start focusing on the possible solutions while reminding yourself of the things that are already as they should be. Don’t forget – it hurts more when you finally lose the person you’ve been criticizing instead of helping out and encouraging to grow.