We all know those perfect couples, the ones that always seem to go through life smiling even when they’re presented with conflict.
It’s hard not to envy these relationships, and at the very least we can’t help but to wonder what the key is to their marital success.
Although there is no one big secret to make things work romantically, there are a number of factors that can help lead to relationship happiness.
Psychologists have studied relationships and marriages for years, and much of this research can help shed light on what makes the biggest difference in keeping couples happy.
When it comes to marital satisfaction, you may want to consider these seven secrets of happy couples, according to science.
1. They Are Agreeable
There’s something to be said about being easy going. One 13-year study from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that the trait of agreeableness is a predictor of a longer-lasting, more successful marriage.
2. They Master Communication
We all know that communication is key to a happy relationship, and that includes the language you use. One study from Texas Tech University found that subjects who use similar language are more likely to find a match when speed dating. In another study, they found that this continues on into longer term relationships as well.
3. They Avoid Social Media
Facebook and Instagram are fun, but they don’t do much for a marriage. A study from Boston University found a correlation between social media use, spousal troubles and divorce rate. They found that non–social network users reported being 11.4 percent happier with their marriage than heavy social media users.
Photo by Tammy McGary
4. They Watch Movies Together
Turns out those couples who stay home and watch a movie together might be doing something right. According to research from the University Of Rochester, couples who watch movies together are more likely to stay together. The study found that when partners watched a film and discussed the characters’ relationships, divorce rates went down by 50 percent.
5. They Give Their Partner Attention
It’s easy to ignore the aimless babble of your spouse, but even if your significant other is telling you about what Kim Kardashian just posted on Instagram, it’s still important to give them attention. Psychologist John Gottman found that after six years, couples are more likely to stay together when their partner pays attention to random interactions.
6. They Marry Their Best Friend
A best friend is someone who is always in your life and who you can’t wait to spend time with. Sounds like the perfect match for a spouse. The research agrees: One study found that the well-being effects of marriage are about twice as large for those whose spouse is also their best friend.
7. They Trust Their Gut
It’s easy to second-guess our emotions, but listening to your instinct can have its benefits. Research from Florida State University found that when married couples followed their gut instincts, it played a large role in predicting marital happiness. Sometimes your gut knows better than your conscious feelings when something feels really right or wrong.