Keeping your Valentine’s heart

5 common traits of successful relationships

Candy, flowers, an evening out at a nice restaurant? Those are part of Valentine’s Day for millions of people. But will they result in long-lasting relationships? Not necessarily, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Researchers there analyzed 35 studies that included more than 12,000 people. Five behaviors or traits from successful relationships came up again and again. They are:

  • Openness
  • Being positive
  • Assurance that you’re there for them
  • Sharing tasks
  • Interacting with each other’s families on a regular basis

Overall, the study suggested good relationships depend on daily maintenance: building trust and a common bond between two people. Brian Ogolsky, one of the researchers said, “the data certainly suggest that people (in successful relationships) do these things in relatively high frequency.” A relationship expert at another university added that it’s not the items we buy for one another that show our affection the most. Lara Kammrath said, “instead, being verbally affectionate, sharing your thoughts, giving your time—these turn out to be more valued than gifts.”

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