Though the advent of dating applications has made the search for “the one” easier, not every relationship works. Finding the “the one” has become difficult.
Scientists have spent years trying to figure out the best qualities a potential suitor needs to bring into a relationship to make it a happy and long-lasting relationship.
For those fortunate enough to find themselves in a long term relationship and are thinking of settling down, it might be worth taking a look at the qualities listed below.
If your partner has these nine qualities, you should not let them go.
Having and being a supportive partner is essential for a lasting relationship, especially during life-changing moments like the loss of a family member or a career change.
But, what are the qualities of a supportive partner?
Some defining qualities are that they encourage your dreams, validate your feelings, and make you feel secure. Supportive partners are honest, open, and independent. There is no co-dependency between you, but rather inter-dependency. Also, in the relationship, you feel that your emotional and mental needs are met.
How does a supportive partner affect a relationship in the long-run?
A team of researchers from Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University set out to find answers. They conducted a study where 163 married heterosexual couples were randomly assigned roles: decision-maker and support-provider. Decision-makers were asked to choose between completing a simple puzzle or competing for a prize worth about $200 by giving a speech.
Each couple was sent to a room to deliberate. While deliberating, researchers recorded their interaction. Afterward, the decision-makers filled out a questionnaire stating how they made their choice.
Couples with encouraging spouses took on the more difficult yet rewarding challenge. During deliberation, they expressed enthusiasm regarding the opportunity, talked about the benefits of the competition, and reassured their spouse when necessary.
In the long-run, these couples showed an increase in personal growth and happiness.
Engages in your personal growth
The results from the study mentioned above highlighted another determinant for a successful relationship– self-expansion.
The study conducted by CMU researchers explained how support in a relationship contributes to self-expansion.
So, what is self-expansion? How does it create a lasting relationship?
Self-expansion is the desire to enhance an individual’s potential efficacy.
It is easy for a relationship to fall into a routine. However, the relationship becomes more exciting when you both dive into the unknown.
There is ample research linking self-expansion and relationship wellness. Having a partner that supports and encourages new experiences, allows you both to expand your capabilities, grow as individuals, and develop new perspectives. Experiencing new things together makes you feel happier with your partner and more committed to them. Even if you do not have time to engage in new hobbies or activities with them, simply witnessing their self-expansion can boost your level of happiness too.
Is Emotionally Intelligent
The term emotional intelligence was coined by two researchers, Peter Salavoy and John Mayer (not the singer), and popularized in 1996 by Dan Goleman. Recently, the term has risen to popularity, but what is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to use, understand, and manage your emotions. Defining traits of emotionally intelligent people are great social skills, a willingness to discuss their emotions with others, acknowledgment and regulation of their own emotions, and an understanding of how others feel (empathy).
Emotionally intelligent suitors are efficient communicators– better at expressing their emotions and understanding yours too. They can effectively defuse conflicts and overcome challenges.
Licensed mental health counselor Kerri-Anne Brown mentioned in an article for Elite Daily, that emotional intelligence in a relationship allows couples to effectively express and manage any difficult emotions that they may confront.
Emotional intelligence helps you and your partner forge a strong bond and lasting relationship.
In his self-help book “Why Can’t You Read My Mind? Overcoming the 9 Toxic Thought Patterns That Get in the Way of a Loving Relationship,” Dr. Bernstein states that understanding between couples is vital to a relationship.
Understanding often gets misconstrued for “getting” someone. However, it is more than that. It is being able to relate and empathize with what someone is going through– relating less to the story or event and relating more with the storyteller. A partner who truly understands, at a cognitive level, what you are saying and expressing connects with you at a human level.
Kindness is an attractive quality that is vital for lasting relationship.
In 1975, psychologists John Gottman and Roger Leveson from the University of Washington conducted a study where they gathered data from newlywed couples for six years. The couples were divided into two groups: those who showed high signs of physiological attraction and those who showed low signs of physiological attraction. The findings of the study were interesting. Despite showing low signs of physiological attraction, these couples felt calm and comfortable around each other which eventually transformed into feelings of warmth and affection.
Gottman furthered his 1975 study by conducting another one in 1990. While observing couples at a bed and breakfast, he noticed that couples engage in bidding. The bid may be something as simple as a request to look at something, yet often the bids are requests for emotional connection. The other partner has the choice to turn towards or turn away from the bid. Gottman noted that partners who turned toward the bid had long-lasting relationships.
In conclusion, a relationship’s success or failure hinges on your partner’s disposition. Do they bring kindness or generosity to the relationship?
In my previous article, 8 toxic behaviors in a relationship, I briefly mentioned how disrespect is detrimental to a relationship. It also an undesirable quality in a future partner.
Having and being a respectful partner will help you both achieve personal growth in the relationship.
So, how does a respectful relationship look like?
A respectful partner not only calmly speaks to you, but they speak to you from a place of love and understanding. Even in the difficult moments. An example of this is when your partner listens to your needs or concerns and validates them through actions. They take into consideration your definition of what respect is and strive to include your perspective. It is not about equality, but about equity.
Knows how to Compromise
Every successful relationship involves sacrifices. However, it is important to define what compromises mean.
Compromising does not mean that one person wins and the other loses. Both partners need to be heard and understood to reach a happy medium, especially when confronting a particularly difficult problem. You and your partner both deserve to be heard, and a healthy compromise helps you and your partner become the most authentic versions of yourselves. It promotes each other’s personal growth and leads to overall happiness in the relationship.
Accepts your flaws
We all seek someone to witness us, to see and accept who we are. That is why we form relationships. A partner who accepts your flaws is definitely someone you want to have by your side.
However, there is a distinction between accepting someone and tolerating them. A partner who accepts you accepts your flaws and differences without judgment or annoyance. They are open and emotionally honest and see the positives of your less than perfect traits.
In relationships where the partners accept each other, there is less resentment and more peace. You both experience more personal growth and high levels of self-esteem.
Shares your Core Values
Lastly, you and your partner should share the same values. It is okay if you do not agree on the minor things such as your favorite shows or what to order for takeout, but it is important to have shared values.
Figuring out where your partner stands on topics like marriage, family, religion, morals, and financial wealth can be important in determining the strength and durability of your relationship. A lasting relationship only works if both parties are in agreement. If you and your partner do not agree and are unwilling to compromise on most of these topics, future conflicts may arise.
The advancement of dating applications and social media has not facilitated our search for “the one.” Relationships still require time and effort, especially if you want to make it a long-lasting one. However, if your partner has any of the qualities listed above, you are in luck! Nurture and cherish that relationship and let it flourish on its own.
Feel free to share other qualities in the comments below!
Bernstein, J. (2010, November 06). Understanding Is More Important Than Love. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/liking-the-child-you-love/201011/understanding-is-more-important-love
Brooke C. Feeney, Meredith Van Vleet, Brittany K. Jakubiak, Jennifer M. Tomlinson. Predicting the Pursuit and Support of Challenging Life Opportunities. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2017; 43 (8): 1171 DOI: 10.1177/0146167217708575
Hall, E. D. (2018, June 28). Building Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/conscious-communication/201806/building-emotional-intelligence-better-relationships
Houston, E. (2020, April 26). The Importance of Emotional Intelligence (Including EI Quotes). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://positivepsychology.com/importance-of-emotional-intelligence/
Mattingly, Brent & Lewandowski Jr, Gary. (2014). Broadening Horizons: Self-Expansion in Relational and Non-Relational Contexts. Social and Personality Psychology Compass. 8. 30-40. 10.1111/spc3.12080.
Parker, H. (2019, April 13). Self-Expansion in Romantic Relationships. Retrieved July 30, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-future-self/201904/self-expansion-in-romantic-relationships