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The Secret to a Lasting Relationship

By Smitten, Glamour Magazine

Photo courtesy of imdb.comGena Kaufman, Glamour magazine

It’s a proven fact that in any delicious dish, the secret to what makes it taste so yummy is basically always butter (this fact was proven in my mouth). For relationships, the secret ingredient is not so clear, but one psychologist has a wise and pretty reasonable answer that’s a lot healthier for your heart.

Over at Psychology Today, Ph.D. Thomas Plante is lamenting the fact that people are boneheaded about their choices in partners. For some reason, the word “boneheaded” is making me giggle like a sixth-grade boy, but I get what he’s saying: People are obsessed with chemistry, attraction and love at first sight (thanks, romantic comedies!), when what they should really be seeking is compatibility. Similar interests, world views, parenting styles, and goals in life can be the true keys to a lasting relationship.

For the most part, I think this is a solid, common sense truth (although I’m sure he backed it up with more than common sense, based on his Ph.D. and all). Passion and attraction are good, but in a long-term relationship, there inevitably are going to be times when those things fade, at least temporarily, and what you’re left with is a life partnership. My sister swears that a huge part of why she and her husband are so happy together is because they have incredibly similar tastes in food, so they’re always on the same page when it comes to meals. I mean, you eat at least three times a day so if you’re planning on spending the next 50 or so years with someone, that’s a lot of potential meals together. She has a point.

On the other hand, my best friend and I have shared interests (magazines, amusement parks, movies geared towards teenagers) and life goals (make friends with people who own boats), but we won’t be exchanging promise rings any time soon. There’s gotta be a little romance and good sex in the equation. So, all we really need is maybe like, some compatibility and some passion and attraction, right? Yeah! But OK, if those things were so easy to get, wouldn’t we already have them?*

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