The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
Have you ever wondered what psychologists think about love and relationships? What really makes us fall in love from a psychological standpoint? What makes that love last? Can you really know you’re with “the one” while you’re in college?
Here are five tips that are psychologist-approved to create lasting love. If you want to know what works, look to the people who have done it!
1. Pick Your Battles
You may have heard the phrase “pick your battles” before. It’s a simple phrase that simply means deciding when something is truly important for you to bring up to your partner or is simply something that can be solved on your own or with time.
Although communication is important, some couples find themselves in a pattern of arguing simply for the sake of being right. I once heard a very wise phrase from one of my therapists which was “do you want to be right, or do you want to be married?”
Although there are times when your voice should be heard, there are times when it’s better to simply make up, drink some hot chocolate together, and cuddle up and enjoy a movie. It’s much better for your nervous system than fighting, I promise!
2. Agree on Core Values
Even if you feel that you can set your differences aside for someone, having differing core values can seriously harm a relationship in the long run, especially when it involves human rights or politics.
If one of your core values is respecting the LGBTQ community and your partner actively bullies LGBT people online and donates to conversion therapy, sticking around and trying to explain why what they’re doing hurts people isn’t going to do anything for you.
Couples who agree on their basic core values are happier together, stay together longer, and understand each other. There’s nothing wrong with having similar thoughts about something. If you both care strongly about climate change, you can volunteer together and bond even more!
If one of you is always feeling cynical and unheard, you’re likely going to form resentment, even if you don’t mean to.
3. Don’t Settle and Always Set Boundaries
Always set boundaries in your relationship, and don’t settle for someone who doesn’t listen to them. Setting boundaries means:
- Establishing a limit regarding yourself or your belongings
- Holding the other person to that limit
- Leaving the situation or breaking up if that limit is broken (depending on the severity)
For example, if you have a boundary that your partner doesn’t yell at you in front of your child and they continue to do so, it is a good idea to end the relationship. Disrespect of boundaries tends to escalate.
Leaving someone early on who doesn’t respect you is better than having to break your heart over it in a few years when it does get worse.
Happy couples respect each other and listen to each other when someone sets a hard limit. These limits are important.
Disclaimer: Boundaries don’t include rules made to control other people’s behavior in their own life. If you don’t like how someone acts in their own life, it’s up to them to change. You can’t change or fix someone else for them. All you can do is leave if you’re unhappy.
4. Utilize the Other Person’s Love Language
Have you ever researched your love language? There are five of them! Partners who know each other’s love languages and perform them for each other are frequently happier and feel closer than those who don’t.
It’s great if you and your partner have the same love language, but even if you don’t, it’s possible to feel loved and make your partner feel loved. It just takes a little research and understanding of what they like!
5. Understand Attachment Styles
Finally, it’s important to understand that the attachment style you develop as a child does impact your relationships as adults. There are several attachment styles. If you have a secure attachment style, you’ll likely feel secure and safe in your relationships.
However, there are many attachments that result from an unhappy or abusive upbringing, which can help you learn more about what you’ve been through and how it impacts the way that you love. No attachment style is wrong, and all can be worked on with time.
If you’d like to learn more about psychologist advice, you can check out this site from BetterHelp today. They’ve also got a large database of information on getting support for couples and relationship advice.