Psychologists Discover How to Accurately Predict If Your Marriage Will Last, and the No. 1 Relationship Hack

Couples don’t often realize how important this little thing is.

Love is undoubtedly the most important aspect of any relationship but it is not enough by itself. Partners need to invest time and effort in their relationship to be trusted and loving for life. Renowned psychologist couple, Drs. John and Julie Schwartz Gottman (who have been married for 35 years), recently shared the most important thing that can make any relationship successful.

They researched 40,000 couples over the last 50 years, and after studying couples just for 15 minutes each in one lab study, they were able to predict with 94% accuracy if the relationship would last or not. The Drs. Gottman also found a simple and effective hack to make a relationship last long.

The No. 1 Relationship Hack: ‘Turning Toward’

Couples often don’t realize how important this seemingly small gesture really is.

When partners turn toward or respond to each other, it is called a ‘bid of connection’. These bids can range from small things like calling each other’s names to bigger and deeper things, like needs that have to be met.

The happiest couples are those who drop what they are doing and respond to the bids to engage with each other.

The Drs. Gottman found that there are three possible ways to respond to an invitation to connect:

  • By turning toward: Using a positive or affirmative response, acknowledging the other person, and engaging with their attempt to connect.
  • By turning away: No response to or acknowledgment from a partner, like continuing to work on the computer.
  • By turning against: Responding irritably to shut down a partner’s attempt at connection.

‘Turning in’ builds affection and develops a sense of teamwork that empowers the foundations of a relationship.

How to Practice ‘Turning In’

Of course, it is impossible to always turn toward your partner. If your relationship seems to be going through a rough patch, here are some of the most effective ways to get back on track:

  1. Do a 10-min check-in to assure your partner that you are there for them whenever they need you.
  2. To pick up the pennies is as simple as excitedly picking up a coin or a rupee note you find on the street. Every potential moment of connection or engagement, even if it seems small or fleeting, must be picked up and treasured. Your coins will turn into a fortune over time! Little invitations to connect are a smile, eye contact, a sigh, a salam, asking to look at something, a call from the other room, asking for a favor, carrying something heavy, a sad face, etc.
  3. Don’t give up easily. It is not always possible to match your emotional availability to your partner’s but you can continue trying to engage in a bid even if either of you is unavailable at a particular time, or if your partner is unresponsive to your bid or responds negatively to it.

Strong relationships do not just happen and have to be built with love, passion, understanding, tolerance, acceptance, and appreciation. These practices can help you to improve your relationship, even if you have been married for decades.

What do you think of ‘turning in’? Try it out and share your thoughts below.