If couples were paying any attention during the last few decades, they should be able to recite the one critical ingredient for a healthy relationship — communication. But the latest study shows that other skills may be almost as important for keeping couples happy.
While expressing your needs and feelings in a positive way to your significant other is a good foundation for resolving conflicts and building a healthy relationship, these skills may not be as strong a predictor of couples’ happiness as experts once thought.
And learning more about your partner, says the study’s lead author Robert Epstein, a professor of psychology at the University of the South Pacific, could be relatively easy if people (men especially, since they scored worse in this area) took the trouble to find out, remember and put to use such relatively simple information as the names of their partner’s relatives and the dates of birthdays and anniversaries. Even more important, Epstein says, is knowing such critical things as whether your partner wants children. While his study did not separate trivial from such profound knowledge, he says that the two are strongly linked.
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