learning! the science behind a happy relationship

I am big into the behavioural sciences, and everything that goes along with them.  Including relationship research.  No, I don't think we can boil down complex human relationships to a few statistics, but there are also a lot of valuable insights to be gained from this kind of research.  Also, you would be surprised at how efficiently complex human relationships can sometimes be boiled down to statistics.  Science!

The folks at Happify created an awesome infographic summing up what research has found so far about the characteristics of happy relationships that last a long time.  Some of them fall into the "Duh!" category, but they can also pretty easily slip off the radar in the everyday humdrum of life.  Since being in a happy marriage has massive positive life effects, it's worth reminding ourselves where the effort should be going.  (Or, if you're me, imagining where the effort could be going AND considering how this information applies to non-romantic relationships that you want to have last a very long time.)

Click the image, or HERE for the full infographic, hosted via Lifehacker.

My favourite take-homes:

-The happiest couples made a point of sharing positivity with each other - compliments, gifts, meals, sexy times, and daily triumphs.
-They also respond with interest and enthusiasm to each others' news, asking questions, congratulating, and all that good stuff.
-They also share experiences together - from new and exciting things to regular stuff like daily walks.
-Having kids tends to reduce couples' marital satisfaction - but it goes up again after the kid grows up.  I'm guessing this is because of all the stress and sleep deprivation and the fact that you have less time and energy to focus on doing all the happy, relationship-building stuff.

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