According to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois, dating couples fall into four distinct categories as they make their way toward long-term commitment. The study, which tracked the relationship behaviors and attitudes of unmarried couples in their mid-20s, identified four different kinds of couples: dramatic couples, conflict-ridden couples, socially involved couples and partner-focused couples. Can you guess which of the four kinds of duos is the most likely to commit?
The first group of lovebirds were identified as dramatic couples—pairs who tended to swing back and forth “wildly” in terms of their level of commitment. They were the most likely of all four relationship types to break up in the end. The reason for their strife? Negativity.
“They tend to make decisions based on negative events that are occurring in the relationship or on discouraging things that they’re thinking about the relationship,” said assistant professor of human development and family studies Brian Ogolsky, “and those things are likely to chip away at their commitment.”
If you find yourself stuck in dramatic dating patterns, a good takeaway would be to focus on the positives of your relationships. Obviously, true red flags, deal breakers and incompatibility are major issues—but in good relationships, it’s important not to sweat the small stuff.
Though the title is a bit misleading, conflict-ridden couples aren’t actually any more likely to break up than the average pair. Their conflict stems from passion, and they tend to experience periods of intense highs, followed by deep lows. Their passion for each other is likely to keep them together, despite the inner conflict they may be experiencing.
Passionate lovers with conflict in their relationships have hurdles to overcome, but the science shows that there’s plenty of hope. All the good, loving things that bring them together can sustain them if they are able to put their conflict to rest (most of the time, anyway).
Socially involved couples
You probably know of a relationship like this, if you aren’t in one yourself. These folks are social butterflies, and probably met through their shared circle of friends. They’re always throwing parties, grabbing drinks with other couples, organizing events and going on dates—and they tend to be pretty happy with each other!
“Ideally long-term relationships should be predicated on friendship-based love,” Ogolsky said. “And having mutual friends makes people in these couples feel closer and more committed.”
If you’re in a partnership like this, keep letting the good times roll. Just don’t forget to set aside some time to hang out with your sweetie one-on-one.
Finally, partner-focused couples are among the most likely of pairs to stay together; their success rates are similar to those of socially involved duos. These people are relationship-focused, and tend to do everything together. Their level of commitment is obvious to everyone around them, because they are always taking care of each other. Because these individuals are so commitment-minded, finding another person like themselves can feel like meeting their other half.
If you’re in one of these kinds of relationships, good for you! Keep doing what you’re doing. Remember, though, that spending time alone and living your own life are also important. Two people can only truly come together when they’re both secure apart.
Source: Care2.com By: Maggie McCracken