Sexual attraction is one of those things that we all want to feel with our partners. There is nothing like that electrical current that draws two people together like magnets. But when it comes to the overall success and failure of long-term relationships, how important is that attraction when compared to deep friendship between partners?
Friendship is an investment of time spent learning to communicate and assessing your compatibility. We don't typically choose to have friends we have nothing in common with. Instead, our friends are chosen based on respect, the fun we have when we're together and whether their values are similar to our own. When we look at just those three criteria, aren't they the essence of what makes any long-term romantic relationship successful?
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If you were to speak with a friend about the person you'd like to spend your life with, would you be apt to list qualities like "great-looking," "makes good money," "sexy" and "mysterious?" Or are you looking more for things like honesty, fun and similar interests? Researchers from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships conducted a study on the longevity of couples as it relates to the key principles of friendship. One of the most important findings the researchers found is that lovers who put the most effort into building a strong friendship with their partner were less likely to break up. When important traits are valued, relationships tend to last.
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Couples who start out as friends and whose love deepens enjoy a romantic love versus a passionate love. Romantic love has all the components of passionate love (intensity and sexual attraction) without the obsession that is present in short-term affairs. Relationships that begin solely on a physical level will usually fizzle out over time. Getting to know someone will either assure that you are a good match, or it will send you clear signs that you may be destined only for a sexual, short-term fling. Keep reading ...
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