Creating emotionally committed relationships is similar to baking the most delicious muffins.
This weekend, I attempted to bake gluten-free muffins.
It got me thinking… if lasting love had specific ingredients, what would need to be mixed together?
What would make it delicious year after year?
- 100% Emotionally Invested: Caryl Rusbult is a social psychologist who studied commitment in marriages over a 30-year period. This is not a “one foot in, one foot out” type of investment. This is an all-in investment, and it is required by both partners.
- Responsiveness: Dr. Gottman’s research highlights that successful couples turn towards each other’s bids for connection 86% of the time. Couples who separate only do so 33% of the time. In order to last, tune into what your partner is saying or doing. Additional research highlighted that it wasn’t how often a couple fought, but how little affection and emotional responsiveness they offered one another that caused a relationship to deteriorate. Responsiveness is the cornerstone of trust and connection
- Cherish Each Other: Partners who are 100% emotionally invested and responsive have positive views of each other. Whether they are together or separate, they think of their lover’s positive attributes and express what they admire to one another.
- Put the Relationship First: This means putting your partner’s needs on par with your own. This doesn’t mean neglecting your needs in favor of your partners. Doing this requires a willingness to kindly express your needs to your partner in a way they can understand because you know those needs are core to your own happiness.
- Nurture Love and Respect: Happy couples nurture gratitude for the partner they have. They honor each other and display respect, even during conflict.
- Best Friends Forever: If the above ingredients are available, it’s easy to see why committed lovers feel that there is no better partner in the world than the one that they have. A strong friendship makes it easy to weather relationship storms. Couples who have cultivated a deeply connected friendship are affectionate and even laugh together during conflict.
- Seek to Gain a Greater Understanding during Conflict: Before happy couples come to an agreement on how to resolve their issues, they first focus on understanding each partner’s perspective. They focus on reconnecting emotionally before trying to resolve their issues.
- Interdependent: Each partner is connected and dependent on the other for closeness and comfort, but independent enough to pursue self-interest and share their perspectives openly, gently, and honestly. Even if the issue causes tension or a conflict in the relationship.
- Calm, Stable, and Safe: A secure romantic relationship is as smooth as a calm body of water. An insecure relationship feels as unstable as a roller coaster.
By the way, to answer your most important question: No, my muffins were not good. I burnt them. 🙁
I guess following directions is pretty important in making something delicious!
I’m taking off my “Kiss The Baker” apron and am going to eat my burnt muffins…
“Not a Muffin Baker” Benson
Before you start on the recipe for Lasting Love, go through the Lasting Love Checklist with your partner to see what ingredients you need!