Memory Ability Can Show Your Marriage Potential (Says Science)

drawing of couple reading each other's minds

Have a distorted recollection of your relationship? Science says that's a red flag.

Do you tell the story of how you met completely differently? Can you not recall the first few months of your relationship? Does one partner completely forget about a major moment in your relationship? Did you forget about that big fight you had?

According to study out of the University of Illinois, couples with distorted recollections of their relationship are less likely to marry. "People like to feel that they're making progress as a couple. If they're not--if, in fact, the relationship is in trouble--they may have distorted recollections that help them feel like they're moving forward because they need a psychological justification to stay in the relationship," said Brian G. Ogolsky, a U of I professor of human development and family studies.

“When a couple is considering making a lifelong commitment, they have a lot at stake. It's important that they have accurate recollections of how their relationship evolved," Ogolsky said.

How does one develop distorted recollections? Our memories can be affected by suggestion. We suggest and want to believe that our relationship is doing well, and therefor misremember how things really are so that we avoid constant disappointment. In short, you’re lying to yourself.

How can you be more realistic about your relationship?

1. Keep A Journal/Write Things Down. 

Get a journal and write the good and the bad of your relationship on a weekly basis. Overtime you can reference your journal to see if there’s more bad than good. If there are a lot more positive times, it’s a great keepsake to have of all the memories you’ve shared. If there are more bad memories, the writing is on the wall, or at least in the journal.

2. Pay Attention To Your Recollections. 

Are you telling yourself that everything is ok, but you’re not feeling happy in your relationship? Do you remember things being bad before, but they are better now? This may be a sign that you’re looking for growth where there isn’t any, and are in denial of your relationship. 

3. Have Honest Conversations With Your Partner.

Remember that communication is the best way to strengthen your relationship. Talk to your partner where your relationship is going? Do you have similar recollections of your relationship? Is this relationship working for you? Do you want to progress and be more serious? Be honest with yourself and each other about your needs and wants.

The study suggested that dating couples that have moved toward marriage over the course of their relationship remember accurately what was going on at each stage of their deepening commitment. If you can’t remember accurately, you’re relationship may not be headed towards marriage.

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