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The No. 1 Thing That Makes a Relationship Successful, New Study Shows

This is the top indicator of a relationship that's built to last, according to recent research.

Not all relationships last forever. Some flourish while others wilt—it's simply a fact of life. But it's not just a matter of luck that makes some relationships more successful than others. Recently, scientists set out to explain why some partnerships thrive and some fail through an extensive study of 11,000 couples. According to their findings, the number one thing that makes a relationship successful is perceived partner commitment.

The meta-analysis, published in July in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used 43 earlier studies, aiming to "quantify the extent to which relationship quality is predictable and identify which constructs reliably predict relationship quality." Based on the results, it was clear that people who believed adamantly that their partner was committed were the most likely to have a thriving relationship.

In the case of the research, which was led by Western University, commitment was defined as one partner feeling confident that the other was committed to making the relationship work forever. And it beat out trust, passion, support, affection, and sexual frequency as the most essential predictor of a strong relationship.

But it's not only commitment that matters. Beyond that, these are the top four strongest predictors of a successful relationship, according to the study. And for more factors to consider, check out This Is the No. 1 Turn-Off for Men, According to a Therapist.


Couple eating on floor together

Appreciating what your partner adds to your life was the second most significant predictor of a strong relationship.

Sexual satisfaction

Couple about to kiss

How satisfied you are in bed is a significant predictor of how healthy a relationship is. An unsatisfying sex life is often a symptom of another issue within the relationship. If you're looking to boost your sex life, check out Starting Your Day This Way Will Improve Your Sex Life, Research Says.

Perceived partner satisfaction

senior asian couple

Knowing and understanding that your relationship makes your partner very happy can predict the success you two will have together. And to see when relationships tend to go sour, check out This Is the Exact Point Most Relationships Go Wrong, Experts Say.


Couple not talking fighting

The frequency of arguments with your partner is another significant way to predict whether your relationship will thrive—with the more being the less merrier, in this case. And for more useful content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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