Contrary to what fairy tales may tell you, relationships take work.
So we collected some of the best social-science findings about what makes them last:
1) If you wait until you’re 23 to commit, you’re less likely to get divorced
A 2014 University of Pennsylvania study found that Americans who cohabitate or get married at age 18 have a 60 per cent divorce rate, whereas people who waited until the more mature age of 23 have a divorce rate of about 30 per cent
2) The ‘ic’ phases lasts about a year
The honeymoon phases with its “high levels of passionate love” and “intense feelings of attraction and ecstasy, as well as an idealisation of one’s partner”, doesn’t last forever, according to Monmouth University psychologist Gary W. Lewandowski Jr.
3) Eventually you realise that you’re not one person
Once you start living together, you realise that you have different priorities and tolerances – like, for instance, what does or doesn’t constitute a mess.
4) If you get excited for your partner’s good news, you’ll have a better relationship
In multiple studies, couples that actively celebrated good news (rather than actively or passively dismissed it) have a higher rate of relationship wellbeing
5) The happiest marriages are between best friends
A 2014 National Bureau of Economic research study concluded that friendship could help explain the causal relationship between marriage and life satisfaction
6) The closer a couple is in age, the less likely they are to get divorced
An Emory University study found that couples with a five-year age difference were 18 per cent more likely to divorce, and ones with a 10-year difference were 39 per cent more likely
7) Resentment builds quickly in couples that don’t tackle chores together
Over 60 per cent of Americans say that taking care of chores plays a crucial role in having a successful marriage. You’ll save a lot of collective time if each person specialises in the chores they’re best at.