Dr. Karl Pillemer, author and internationally renowned gerontologist, did extensive research on the success of long-married people. (According to Wikipedia gerontology is “the study of the social, psychological, cognitive and biological aspects of aging.”)
Then he published a book, 30 Lessons for Loving, based on the most detailed survey of married people ever conducted.
According to Psychology Today, doing small positive things for ones partner is a super effective way of staying happy in a relationship. The three small things identified were surprises, chores and compliments.
We’ve rounded up a list of the easiest things you can do to make you a better partner:
1) Make a list of the stuff you know your partner wants. When birthdays or anniversaries happen, get them that special thing. Not only will it be what they desire, but they will know you paid attention and remembered.
2) Say thank you a lot. A common problem that most long-term relationships have is when people start taking each other for granted. Combat this by showing that you’re grateful for what the other person does, by thanking them often – for the big and the small stuff.
3) Give them your full attention. According to recent research done by Durex, people’s s*x lives are negatively affected by screen time, and in particular cellphones. In fact, Durex found that up to 40% of people is less likely to initiate s*x if their partner uses their phone in bed. So get off social media, switch off your work email, and give your partner the attention they deserve.
4) Take over a chore they really hate. People have irrational dislikes and fears for certain tasks. If you know he or she hates doing their taxes for example, and you don’t mind so much, do it for them.
5) Small gestures of caring and kindness go a long way. Lie on their side of the bed while they’re brushing teeth and move over when they come back so that their side is nice and toasty. Pop a towel in the dryer while they’re in the shower so they have that nice warm towel feel. These gestures may be small, but it will mean the world to them.
6) If it’s no skin off your back, let the small stuff go.Yes, he might be wrong about which actor played Batman in the 80s, but if it’s not important to you, let it go. It’s not necessary to bicker about everything. And it’s not as rewarding as you think it is to be right.
7) Give them the benefit of the doubt. When they say something that could sound hurtful in a certain light, or if they forgot to do something they said they would, don’t immediately go into worst case scenario mode. Give them the benefit of the doubt that it wasn’t intentional.
8) Change something if it’s not important to you. We’re not talking major things or personality traits, but if you know they really hate it when you slurp your tea, or leave towels on the floor, stop. I’m not saying you should change who you are. Just small annoying things about yourself that don’t define you.
9) Don’t overuse the word sorry. Rather stop doing things you need to apologise for, and save that “sorry” for when you’ve screwed up and really feel sorry.
More on relationships:
*This headline was changed to correct an error that one of our commenters kindly pointed out