Ask Dr. Joy: Enduring the test of time

By WEEK Producer

February 13, 2013 Updated Feb 13, 2013 at 9:32 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- Long term relationships have been studied by researchers for many years. Tonight we will look at some current statistics about enduring relationships and what makes them strong.

How do we know the difference between relationships and their healthiness?

*Relationships that are companion-like, which are more like those of roommates, are without passion or intensity.
*Passionate love is obsessive and has the feeling of uncertainty and anxiety
*Romantic love has intensity and engagement minus the harmful components that create fear.

What have studies shown us about relationships?

*Romantic love has the longest longevity for long-term relationships.
*Companion love has satisfaction for long-term and short-term relationships.
*Relationships where a person feels safe and ones that facilitate feelings of romance tend to be lasting.
*Some people see companionship relationships as the progression of successful relationships, but a romantic edge can be maintained in any long enduring relationship.

What else do we know about long-lasting relationships?
*Communication: Taking time each day to share and make communication a priority is essential in any enduring relationship. Communication needs to be a two-way interchange with the sharing of each ideas, thoughts, and feelings
*Humor: The most enduring relationships are known to have a common thread of humor and laughter in every day activities and tasks. Enduring relationships are those in which humor can be used to assist with difficult situations and to lighten up times of difficulty and stress.
*Acceptance: A relationship that is based on accepting the other person as they are, without focusing on changing or manipulation of the person to become or be someone they are not.
*Time & attention: Everything meaningful takes time and attention and your relationship must have that component to be enduring. That means making time for alone time, fun, doing together activities and for dreaming and creating a future together.
*Understanding and compassion: Relationships that are enduring are filled with compassion, empathy and understanding. If you want a relationship to be enduring, there must be a large portion of understanding, forgiveness, and opening your heart to the other person.

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