We are more than well acquainted with the fairy tale ending
of “happily ever after”. But when we crash back to harsh reality with things
that burst the romance bubbles such as divorces and extra marital affairs, it
makes one wonder if happily ever after is simply an urban legend much like the
mythical creatures of the past. Is there any hope left for the hopeless
Anthropologist Helen Fisher, of Rutgers University in New
Jersey, United States seems to think that there is, “We now have physiological
evidence that romantic love can last. It now appears from this study that
romantic love exist not only to initiate pair-bonding but to maintain and
enhance long term relationships.”
The 2008 study led by Professor Fisher found that couples
married for more than 20 years showed similar brain activity to lovers in the
those of a new relationship, when shown pictures of their partners. The study
used MRI scans to compare the brain activity of 17 married people aged between
40 and 65 who had been married for at least 2 decades, with those of a group of
younger people who had been in relationships for less than 6 months.
Now that we have established that some couples do live
happily ever after, we look into the SECRETS that go into making that possible.
To have a complete fairytale ending is stuff for the storybooks because in real
life, even best relationships meet some bumps along the way. It’s not realistic
to expect a relationship that is without disagreements. Below are some great advices and tips from relationships experts in making HAPPILY EVER AFTER a
Respect and Support Each Other
Couples and relationships experts agree that couples who
stay in long-term relationships have a healthy respect for each other. Respecting
your partner means being open and honest with them and being considerate of
their needs, wants and feelings. It also means accepting their individuality.
Remember, being a couple doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything, so have
a positive attitude towards the phrase, “We agree to disagree”. Respecting each
other means not wanting to change your partner into someone you want them to
be. Supporting each other’s growth is also an important ingredient in a matured
relationship. As you grow into the different phrases of your life together,
it’s essential to be there to support each other’s new dreams and aspirations.
Have fun and make time for love
This might seem like a trivial tip to a happy relationship,
but this is the easiest and most effective method to stay in love. If you ask a
couple whose relationship had fallen apart to give their reason; 1 of the
reasons cited most often is, “We just stopped having fun together.” That’s
right, do not underestimate little treats like sweet notes pasted on a
windscreen or fun activities like a simple picnic or walking hand-in-hand on
the beach! Go on a trip or have a silly day out because positive feelings breed
more positive ones. Making time to have fun is actually making a deposit into
your love account. This will help you weather the storms or downtime in your
Is it you?
Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist with the New York
Presbyterian Hospital says that sometimes the issue might not lie on the
relationship at all, “Marital dissatisfaction often has its roots in personal
unhappiness, which can be related to work, level of success, health or weight.
Often, these personal shortcomings are blamed on the marriage. In fact, many
couples that at one time chose to remain in unhappy marriages end up 5 years
later - even though nothing in the marriage itself has changed.” So, if you
can’t pin point the exact factor in your relationship that is making you
miserable, then it’s time for you to take a step back to reflect if you are
simply deflecting your dissatisfaction with other parts of your life into your
Leaving is not an option
Couples that make it are those that commit to it. There
should be a strong bond and trust here that the both of you are in it for the
long haul – for better or for worse.
When leaving is not an option, couples will learn to work
round their issues and learn to trust each other more. Take leaving out of that
equation and you could feel your love for each other grow. Having said that, t
his is not to be taken to the other extreme – you are not supposed to take your
partner for granted knowing the fact that they will never leave you! Instead,
take it as a promise that you will love each each other and make things work.
The difference between long-term loves with new love is that
long term love, the obsession, the mania and anxiety has been replaced with
calm. Study also shown that people in long term relationships showed higher
levels of activity in a part of the brain associated with calmness, suggesting
that their passions had become more serene over the years.
That sounds like a happily ever after! Let’s try it.