The age-old question of what makes relationships and marriages last is definitely something that many psychologists are still trying to answer. Some say the key is communication. Others say it’s emotional connection and sex.
But, one study of about 1,000 couples showed that the recipe for a happy and lasting relationship is something else and far more basic than we think.
The study was conducted by John Helliwell, the co-author of the UN World Happiness Report. He found evidence that the crucial factor for a long-lasting and happy relationship is whether you see your partner as your closest friend.
Moreover, the study found that couples who lived together and were best friends were just as happy as married couples who were also best friends.
In other words, your marital status doesn’t make any difference to the quality of your relationship with your partner.
And this is a revelation because many people still (falsely) consider marriage to be the final stage of any relationship and that if you and your partner really love each other and want to be happy together the only way that you can achieve total happiness and bliss is by getting married.
However, more and more people today are no longer seeing marriage as the main indicator of their happiness in the relationship. They are beginning to consider other things like a true friendship between them and their partner.
The research has also found that those people who were in long-lasting and happy relationships (married or not) referred to their partner as their best-friend first, before referring to them as their lover.
And it makes sense because many great friendships evolved into stable romantic relationships. That’s because partners who were best-friends first share a great level of mutual trust, respect, and joy that can rarely be found among couples that don’t have friendship as a base.
In addition, couples who said that their partner is their best-friend were proved to be happier in their relationships than those couples who said that they didn’t feel like they are friends with their partner.
Because the main traits of any solid friendship are trust, understanding and mutual effort. Friends understand the importance of reciprocating in their friendship. And this is the key to happiness in relationships as well as in marriages.
Lovers who are also best friends will overcome any difficulties that life may bestow on them. They will be there for one another in good and in bad times.
When you and your romantic partner are best-friends you know you can trust them completely. You know they would never take advantage of you and they will always, always respect you.