Every girl dreams of the day she'll meet her prince charming, get married, and then live happily ever after. But New York Times personal health columnist Jane E. Brody says that this type of mentality in fact kills relationships. Instead the Times article suggests that infatuation and passion in a relationship are short lived and that many people forget that love consists of more than that.

The article refers to a study done by Michigan State University which discovered that the happiness period in marriages only last about 2 years until the couples revert to their former happiness levels. But a new book titled The Myth of Happiness by Dr. Sonya Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, suggests a number of ways couples can keep their love fresh and alive.  

The concept of love is one that seems to get more and more complicated with modern times. It's no wonder that the divorce rate is high and most people don't know how to sustain long term relationships anymore. Somehow marriage is still something many aspire towards, but the question is, can they survive it?

Read more ¿Qué más?: Are "awful looking women" to blame for failed marriages?

According to Dr. Lyubormisky, the reason couples lose that loving feeling is because of the psychological term "Hedonic adaptation." Humans, in other words, become used to short-lived positive circumstances and once that good feeling is gone, they look for a way out instead of attempting to fix it. But the doctor says that this does not have to be the case if you follow a few simple tips!

Her first piece of advice is to develop a friendship with your partner. Couples should be able to talk and listen to each other every day, in addition to expressing affection. Reminding each other what you love about the other builds a strong, healthy relationship. Expressing affection can help show your appreciation towards your significant other--hence they'll never feel taken for granted.

The second part is avoiding mundane routines and adding some variety. Whether it's taking on new activities, new friends, or going on fun vacations, the key is to avoid "adaptation." As Lyubormisky says, people grow complacent in relationships which causes them to assume that it's just part of being human and eventually become bored.

Her third and interesting suggestion is non-sexual touching. Sex is an important factor in a marriage, but non-sexual affection, like hugging and holding hands, for example, should be done daily. This method of physical touch, not only allows you to be closer, but it brings warmth and tenderness to your relationship.

Most importantly, a healthy relationship needs positive energy. A recent study revealed that a good relationship needs 3 times as much positive emotions as negative ones. Happily married couples on average tend to show five positive verbal and emotional expressions toward one another for every negative expression. On the other hand, unhappy marriages show much lower results when it comes to how many show of positive emotion and energy vs. how much negativity there is in their relationship.

So these are the secrets, according to this doctor, for how you can make your relationship last forever. And it all seems valid; after all, it's all about the little things you both do to make your union better everyday.   

Image via Thinkstock

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About the author

Giselle Castro is the Editorial Assistant at Mamás Latinas. She loves anything involving film, fitness, nutrition, social media and catching up on the latest entertainment news.

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