3 Key Elements to Successful Relationships

My big family--this is only half of them!

My big family–this is only half of them!

While spending time with my extended family this past weekend, the question people asked me the most is, “Is there a woman in your life?”

I gave the same stock answer I’ve been giving for a while: No, I haven’t made dating a priority since I started Stonemaier Games.

However, after seeing the huge family my grandmother amassed over the years, I couldn’t help but think a little about what I’m missing out on. So when I spotted an article in my unwritten blog notes called “8 Surprising (And Scientifically Proven) Things That Lead To A Lasting Marriage,” I thought it might be a good time to write about it.

I’ll list the 3 items from the list that intrigued me the most:

  1. Having a cheaper wedding. I pumped my fist when I read this. I’ve always thought that spending tens of thousands of dollars on a one-day event (instead of something that could contribute to the life you’re trying to build together, like a house) wasn’t for me. According to the article, “Among female respondents [in a research study], those with a wedding bill higher than $20,000 divorced at 3.5 times the rate of those with a $5,000-$10,000 wedding bill.” That will be my argument when my future wife asks for a $20,001 wedding.
  2. Responding to your spouse’s random, distracting comments. A long time ago I read that the two most important elements (quantitatively) to a successful marriage are (a) going to marriage counseling before you get married and (b) acknowledging your significant other when they react to something. So it was neat to see an offshoot of that in this article.
  3. Putting your partner on a pedestal. Here’s how the article highlighted this: “The study asked 222 couples to rank their partner and themselves on a variety of characteristics several times over the course of three years. Those who over-inflated their partners’ characteristics were more likely to stay blissful in their union.” This one stood out to me because it’s something I’ve really struggled with. I often put the woman I’m dating on a pedestal during the starry-eyed, puppy love portion of the relationship, but then when we get past a few months, that glow fades. Part of this is probably because I wasn’t with the right women, but I think a certain part of it is being willing to put someone on a pedestal, a concept that’s pretty foreign to me.

If you’re married, do the items on the list ring true to you? If you’re single or just dating, which of the items on the list stand out to you.