7 couples from around the world share what it takes to develop a strong and healthy relationship

7 couples from around the world share what it takes to develop a strong and healthy relationship

Falling in love is quick but learning to maintain a strong and healthy relationship is a lifelong rewarding pursuit. I asked seven couples from around the world to share what they have learnt about love and relationships.

7 coloured photos of couples in panorama
Couples (L to R): Sarah Williams and Elliot McGrath, Monika Deliova and Michael Bovshow, Eric Kluge and Jan Figura, Jonathan Couch and Brooke Couch, Katerina Stavreva and Yinon Horwitz, Kristen Brillantes and JP Reyes. | Graphic designer: heartechnology

tweet-graphic-transTweet: According to a study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, people can fall in love in as quickly as a fifth of a second.

That’s almost as quick as it takes to blink. Research suggests that people start to develop traits and qualities for romantic intimacy in early childhood which has implications on how people approach relationships in adulthood.

Justin-Bieber-Quavo-song-intentions
Lyrics from ‘Intentions‘ by Justin Bieber feat. Quavo. | via @jaredtalavera

“I love you” has a unique meaning for each person in the relationship.

Terry Hartkoff, sociology professor at California State University, Northridge, created a love scale that identifies how you define love. You can try the love scale quiz here.

Romantic: Sexual attraction and passion
Best friends: Deep affection and tenderness
Logical: Practical shared values and goals
Playful: Flirtatious interaction
Possessive: Obsessive jealousy
Unselfish: Putting the needs of your significant other before your own without wanting anything in return.

When you know how your partner defines love, you can then better navigate any conflict that may arise. Intentions and values thus sustain a relationship long-term.

It is important for partners to be each other’s cheerleader when the going gets tough. However, research shows that how you respond to your partner’s good news is more important for relationship quality.

In 2006, psychology researcher Shelly Gable and her colleagues from the University of California, Santa Barbara asked young adult couples to discuss positive events from their lives. There were four ways in which they reacted to each other’s good news:

1) Passive destructive
2) Active destructive
3) Passive constructive
4) Active constructive

As an example, one partner might say, “I got accepted to play a lead role in a major Hollywood film!”

Her partner could respond in a passive destructive way by saying, “I just won a gym membership for a year.” If he responded in a passive constructive way, he would show some acknowledgement of the good news by saying, “That’s cool.” An active destructive response would disregard how much the achievement means to the other person. A response might be, “Are you sure about that? You already seemed so happy with your current career.” Lastly, there is active constructive response. Her partner would listen to her wholeheartedly and give a meaningful reposne. An example might be, “Woah! Congratulations!!! When do you start filming? Let’s go out and celebrate tonight!”

Active constructive is the best type of responding for a strong and healthy relationship.

This year for Valentine’s Day seven couples share what it takes to maintain a healthy and strong relationship.

Continue reading “7 couples from around the world share what it takes to develop a strong and healthy relationship”

Cystic fibrosis warrior Lauren Luteran brilliantly shares how time and health reveal what matters most in life

Cystic fibrosis warrior Lauren Luteran brilliantly shares how time and health reveal what matters most in life

Lauren Luteran was five months old when her parents noticed that she was not developing normally. Doctors diagnosed her with cystic fibrosis (CF). At 19-years old she is determined to not let her diagnosis get in the way of what she wants to achieve in life. Continue reading “Cystic fibrosis warrior Lauren Luteran brilliantly shares how time and health reveal what matters most in life”

8 couples from around the world share what they have learnt about love and relationships

8 couples from around the world share what they have learnt about love and relationships

There was one year in primary school in which the teacher introduced us to Valentine’s Day. Everyone was given a secret Valentine in the week leading up. Each day everyone had to write a letter or give a small gift to their special person via their gift box. Continue reading “8 couples from around the world share what they have learnt about love and relationships”

How Movember co-founder Adam Garone finds genuine fulfilment by being of service to others

How Movember co-founder Adam Garone finds genuine fulfilment by being of service to others

Some of us have outrageous conversations with our family and friends. And this conversation between Movember co-founders Adam Garone, his brother Travis and their mates Luke Slattery and Justin Coghlan is no different. In 2003 they had the brilliant idea of bringing back the iconic moustache as a fashion trend from past decades. It would go on to become the face of men’s health—literally! Could you imagine if it was any different? Continue reading “How Movember co-founder Adam Garone finds genuine fulfilment by being of service to others”

Create happiness and success in your life by being where your feet are with Alan Stein Jr

Create happiness and success in your life by being where your feet are with Alan Stein Jr

For almost 20 years Alan Stein Jr was a professional basketball performance coach for the NBA. He has now built a career helping corporate leaders improve their business performance with the same strategies he uses with elite athletes. Continue reading “Create happiness and success in your life by being where your feet are with Alan Stein Jr”

Why human connection and caregiving are powerful resources in promoting exceptional healthcare, according to David Duong, MD

Why human connection and caregiving are powerful resources in promoting exceptional healthcare, according to David Duong, MD

David Duong, a Harvard-trained physician, was five-years-old when him and his family migrated from Vietnam to the US in the early ‘90s. His experience of growing up in a migrant family is reflected as compassion for his patients in Boston and Vietnam.  Continue reading “Why human connection and caregiving are powerful resources in promoting exceptional healthcare, according to David Duong, MD”

How to create a golden life with your health, mindset and relationships with Jesse Golden

How to create a golden life with your health, mindset and relationships with Jesse Golden

Actress, model, dancer, yogi, author entrepreneur and mother—yep, that’s Jesse Golden for you! However, after being diagnosed at the age of 29 with Rheumatoid Arthritis, a condition which the body’s immune system causes pain and swelling in joints, she had to make changes to her nutrition and physical activity to improve her quality of life. Now she’s helping others do the same. Continue reading “How to create a golden life with your health, mindset and relationships with Jesse Golden”

Torri: A Helper Who Needs Our Help – 12 Days of Letter Writing

Torri: A Helper Who Needs Our Help – 12 Days of Letter Writing

Mr. Rogers once said the best way to deal with tragic situations is to “look for the helpers”. He added, “You will always find people who are helping.” Torri is one of those helpers in the truest sense. But now, it’s Torri who needs to be helped. Continue reading “Torri: A Helper Who Needs Our Help – 12 Days of Letter Writing”

How Dr. Lucy Marcil is Changing Lives Through Medical Care and Tax Preparation

How Dr. Lucy Marcil is Changing Lives Through Medical Care and Tax Preparation

As a little girl, pediatrician Lucy Marcil knew she wanted to be a doctor. The human body fascinated her, having studied its shapes and discrepancies with her archeologist mother. But she was a sensitive child, she says, and her deep concern for others is what led her down an unconventional career path. Continue reading “How Dr. Lucy Marcil is Changing Lives Through Medical Care and Tax Preparation”