Science and Relationships
When it comes to relationships, how many of us can honestly say we know what we’re doing? Most of us are simply going with the flow. There’s no textbook you’re given when you enter a relationship. Instead, we watch soap operas and observe the relationships around us, putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Though this helps us greatly, there are other ways to see what makes a relationship work.
This is where science comes into play. The beauty of science is it applies to everything, including relationships. Now, more studies are coming out with information to help individuals and couples improve their relationships on multiple levels.
Though you wouldn’t think science has a lot to do with love, it does. If you’re interested in finding out the scientific ways to create a stronger healthy relationship, well, here they are.
1. Reduce stress
Now, I’m not going to tell you to “get rid” of stress. It’s impossible. You’ll never be 100% stress-free. Even if you live in the middle of nowhere, away from civilization, you’ll still experience stressful situations. So, let’s all accept that stress is a part of life.
But, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to reduce the amount of stress in your life. In a study from the University of Texas, it shows that cortisol, the stress hormone, is linked to a decrease of desire, sexual arousal, and satisfaction. Whether it’s practicing self-care or cuddling with your partner after work, these little things will help reduce stress and improve your relationship.
2. Keep the connection strong
This is one of the most important components of a healthy and strong relationship. If you want to have a vibrant and long-lasting relationship, there needs to be a strong emotional connection. Many of us withdraw ourselves when we’re stressed or sad. However, what happens is it creates an emotional disconnect between you and your partner.
Do you always want to talk about your feelings? Of course, not. Sometimes you just want to take a bath and go to bed. But strong relationships are ones which are based on communication.
3. Start kissing
You’ll probably love this one! But it’s true. Kissing releases dopamine and this little hormone can help with a multitude of things. Not only does dopamine reinforce positive feelings of attachment, but it also boosts your immune system, and introduces your smell and taste to your partner.
Not to mention it also reduces stress and makes you feel good. So, if you want a stronger romantic relationship, you’re going to have to kiss more. It’s that plain and simple.
4. Give them the eye
Not in a creepy way. I’m talking about genuine eye contact. Everyone always seems to ignore the importance of eye contact, but we all seem to use it when it comes to non-verbal communication. You probably already used eye contact to communicate a message to your partner today. See?
It’s something we do daily. In Psychology Today, it was found that eye contact while listening sends our partners a signal of connection, support, and care. The next time your partner is talking to you, put your phone down and look at them. This one small move holds great power.
5. Listen to both your head and heart
Everyone always posts inspirational quotes about “following your heart,” but when it comes to love, I wouldn’t take that so seriously. When it comes to love, you need to use both your heart and brain. It’s easy to let your emotions get the best of you. If you’re jealous or angry, it’s easy to let your heart get in the way.
But this is when you need to use your brain. You can avoid unnecessary fights just by taking a moment to think. Our lives aren’t chick-flicks. Some of our actions can create a destructive path to a breakup. By developing self-control, you’ll be able to reduce conflict and allow forgiveness.
6. Put the phone away
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but using your smartphone in bed is doing more than making you addicted to Instagram or Facebook. It’s also weakening your relationship. Firstly, our phone emits blue light which affects our sleep cycle. This could be the reason why you’re tired throughout the day. And when you’re tired, you can’t give your partner the attention need.
Secondly, your smartphone isn’t connected to your partner. You’re spending time focusing on other people’s lives rather than your own. Intimacy is crucial in a relationship. Even if you just cuddle or talk in bed with the lights off, these small things matter.
The quality of your relationship can influence your entire life. It’s not just about being happier; it’s also about improving the quality of your life with your partner by your side. Now, I’m not saying working on your relationship will be easy. It’s going to be a lot of work. But, the effort will definitely pay off in the long term.
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