What makes a relationship work and last for a long time? With the recent Brangelina divorce news, people wonder what is the real secret to a successful and lasting marriage? Take these love tips from elderly couples.
Karl Pillemer, a gerontologist and professor of human development at Cornell University, and his team set out to interview 700 Americans aged 63 to 108, and have been married for 43 years, on the average.
The team looked into the mechanics of how these couples choose their lifetime partner and how to keep the love alive through the years.
The results were compiled and published in a book, “30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships, and Marriage.”
Here are some lessons from the interviews:
Lesson 1: Look for a partner who shares your dream, passion and goals in life.
Hollywood movies often portray opposite people getting attracted and falling madly in love. But these elderly couples say that reality is far from it. For a marriage to last, partners should embrace a common goal and philosophy in life. It helps them face challenges ahead.
Lesson 2: Listen to what friends and families say.
They did not suggest you obey them. But pay attention and weigh in their observations and opinions. Don’t take their observations too personal. Take time to listen.
Lesson 3: Communication is key.
Look for a partner you feel comfortably talking to. Remember, during your marriage your topics could range from mundane things like buying milk and eggs to serious issues and family obligations. Find someone you can be comfortable with and communicate easily.
Lesson 4: Try new things together.
Keep the excitement alive. Learn a new language. If the kids are grown up, take a trip together. Explore new places. Try a new sport, if applicable. Look for things outside of your comfort zone. This will help aging couples to keep discovering new things about each other.
Lesson 5: Laugh often.
They say that laughter is the best medicine, and it works wonders for marriage too. Life is too short to burden yourself or your partner with all of life’s troubles. No marriage is perfect. Learning to laugh once in awhile will lighten up each other’s mood. Make sure your life partner has a good sense of humor like yours.
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