01/7Reading 1,100 studies on ‘relationship maintenance’
What do you do when you need advice for your love life? The easiest way is to look for solutions on the Internet but unfortunately, the digital world has too many words of wisdom on love to offer. However, a professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the US had analysed 1,100 studies on ‘relationship maintenance’ and came up with 17 strategies that couples and individuals follow to make their relationship better.
02/7The man who analysed 50 years worth of research
Brian Ogolsky, a professor of human development and family studies, analysed researches on ‘relationship maintenance’ since 1950, which amounted to more than 50 years of research on relationships. According to Ogolsky, he wanted to dedicate his career to learn about the positive sides of relationships rather than concentrating on the negative aspects, which most researches do. After his extensive study, he came up with 17 strategies based on how people stop their relationship from falling apart and how they nurture it.
03/7What individuals do to avoid a break-up
He deducted three strategies based on what individuals do to avoid a break-up. Most people avoid looking for an alternative option, they idealize their partner and try to focus on the positive behaviour of the partner to stop their relationship from falling apart.
04/7What couples do to stay away from a break-up
How couples tackle the problems in their relationship can be quite different from their individual approach. The five approaches couples take up to avoid a break-up are managing a conflict together, forgiving each other’s mistakes, working in the best interest of the relationship rather than their self-interest, helping each other and working together to reduce stress, be it personal or professional.
05/7An individual’s approach to improve a relationship
If the right approach to improve a partnership is taken up at the right time, then couples need not worry about their relationship hitting the wall. Again, Ogolsky came up with four strategies on how an individual tries to improve a relationship. According to him, they think like a team and figure out what’s best for the relationship rather than what’s good for them. As an individual, they concentrate on greater acts of generosity and kindness towards their partner, are grateful whenever their partner does something nice and pray for their partner. These individualistic approaches can go a long way to make a relationship stronger.
06/7What couples do to improve a relationship
There is an extensive list of five strategies that couples pick up to improve on the quality of their relationship. Open communication plays a key role and most couples do that to make their relationship a success. Other strategies, as observed by Ogolsky, are the use of humour in their day to day life, doing interesting things together, responding and listening to each other and talk about how their relationship is faring.
07/7These are not prescriptive strategies
However, these are not prescriptive strategies and the researcher has arrived at these conclusions only after analysing more than 1,000 studies. What may work for some couple may not work for others since these are some of the common strategies adopted by couples and individuals to make their relationship a success.