Forging, nurturing and sustaining an intimate relationship is and always has been hard work. We've tried all our adult lives to understand them and even though we're probably only scratching the surface in getting a true grasp of the elusive concept of a deep and loving romantic bond between two people, every bit of information counts.
Well, the blessed social scientists who've made it their business to make our love lives easier to navigate, have brought us the quick and simple mantra for making our love beat the test of time. And they can sum it up in two words - kindness and generosity.
The researchers at The Gottman Institute have conclusively proven that maintaining a healthy, long-term romantic relationship involves creating a dynamic characterised by sensitive treatment of conflicts, that may otherwise drive a couple apart.
From what John Gottman and his colleagues have observed, kindness and generosity - the two key elements of positive human interaction - are crucial to conflict resolution.
However, it was outside the context of turbulence in the relationship that these two traits proved to be even more effective.
The people at Gottman observed 130 newlyweds going about their lives and saw that happier couples made 'bids' for each other's attention throughout the day and showed interest in their partner when their own attention was requested.
"They are scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully."
- John Gottman said as he described successful couples
What's more, his findings also suggest that when one partner witnesses kindness on a regular basis, they are more likely to practice it themselves, eventually making affection a tradition in the relationship.
Going by the observations made during the course of his research, Gottman can effectively predict whether a couple will break up with up to 94 percent accuracy.
Kindness and generosity, right? Sounds simple enough. Alright, ya' love birds everywhere! Let's give this a shot, shall we?