The 12 Ties that Bind Long-Term Relationships

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4. Enjoying novel and challenging activities. Like definitely attracts like when it comes to personal interests and hobbies. Spending time together is important, as you’ll see below, but it’s how you spend your time that influences your relationship satisfaction even more. Aron’s self-expansion model, tested in empirical research, suggests that couples can improve their love for each other when they spend their time together exploring new and challenging activities. The O’Leary study identified this factor as especially relevant for men. If you’re going to go bungee jumping for the first time, your relationship will benefit when you and your partner face this challenge together. If you’re not up to bungee jumping, seek out mentally challenging ways to spice up your daily routines.

5. Spending time together. If you love someone, you want to spend timewith that person, and the more time you spend together, the more your love will grow. The time you spend should include some new and challenging activities, as shown in point #4. However, even spending time together in mundane household activities can enhance your love’s intensity. That basement remodeling you’ve been intending to get started can actually become a way for you and your partner to strengthen your emotional bonds. Cooking, gardening, grocery shopping, and even cleaning the house are other ways to bolster your love for each other. This was another factor that, in the O’Leary study, was more important for men. relationships,relationships,relationships

6. Expressing affection. Feeling love toward your partner is important, but so is expressing that love in physical ways. It’s not wise to play hard to get when your goal is to build the passion in your relationship. The affection you show doesn’t have to be elaborate or overly gushy. A touch on the shoulder or kiss on the cheek is enough to build your relationship’s intensity.

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