Monday, January 10, 2011

Well isn't that meaningful...

The million dollar question strikes again. What makes a relationship work? 
"The things that make a marriage last have more to do with communication skills, mental health, social support, stress-those are things that allow it to last or not. But those things don't necessarily make it meaningful or enjoyable or sustaining to the individual," says Arthur Aron, a psychology professor who directs the Interpersonal Relationships Laboratory at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

First off, there's an Interpersonal Relationships Laboratory?! How do I get there and where can I fill out an application for employment?

There must be both meaning and enjoyment by each individual that is experienced within the relationship for sustainment. A common word of advice is to put the other person before yourself. I can't remember where I first heard the idea, but it was often reiterated that if you love and look out for the other person whole-heartedly, they will do the same for you and then you will always look out for them, and they you. This quickly falls apart. Society is too selfish for this to fully come to fruition. I quickly learned that I must look out for myself, and if I am able to do that then I am both easier to love and more accepting of the love I receive. (I don't desperately need someone to "look out" for me.)

The article, originally published in the New York Times last week, can be found here. It's quick, interesting and I recommend you read it, if you want. Let me know what you think!

5 comments:

dishinaboutnutrition said...

Very interesting! Looking forward to reading the whole article!

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

Great post!!! I consider myself to be very selfish and that is definitely not a good trait to have especially in a marriage. I need to work on it for sure!!!

amy anne said...

But do you think that's part of it? When you're selfish you are able to focus on what you want/need/enjoy and then don't rely on a relationship to fulfill you. So you need to be at least somewhat selfish in that sense.

a life of color said...

Great point amy! I have never thought of being "selfish" in a relationship that way.

Claire Kiefer said...

I read the same article! Oh and I noticed snail mail on your to-do list; you should check out my friend Summer's blog post from the other day:
http://www.bisforbrownie.com/2011/01/lets-all-become-snailers.html

or the darling Megan at Time after Tea has a penpal mail list here:
http://www.penpalmailinglist.blogspot.com/

:)