Every relationship has its ups and downs, but
how you rate its chances of success during the peaks and troughs could be a
valuable indicator of whether you’re headed for happily ever after, or happily never after.
A study published in the Journal of Marriage
and Family presented scientists’ analysis of the relationship graphs plotted by
400 couples. Each half of the couple was asked to assess their happiness in the
relationship at various junctures, for example meeting family and friends, when
spending time together, when spending time apart and following arguments. When
the researchers plotted those scores on a graph, they found that some
relationships were on a constant uphill trajectory, while others were on a
downward slope. Many showed hills and dips, while others followed a more
dramatic course, with extreme peaks and extreme lows.
They divided the results into four types of
Just under one-fifth (19%) of couples can be described as social-involved, defined by the levels of interaction they share with their social groups. Though these couples have fewer fluctuations in their commitment levels than ‘dramatic’ and ‘conflict-ridden’ couples, downturns may occur when spending time with friends and family who aren’t completely supportive of the relationship.
There’s every chance that you recognise elements of your relationship in more than one category, rather than being completely defined by just the one, so don’t despair! The point of the exercise, say scientists, is that if you’re currently wondering where your relationship is headed, thinking back over how satisfied you’ve been in the past and how much this satisfaction level fluctuates, could be key to unlocking its chances of ending in rings on fingers.
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