Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The secrets of lasting love

In celebration of St Valentines day, here at First Psychology Scotland we are looking at how to cultivate a love that endures. Love is often portrayed as a complicated concept but it is, in fact, very simple. It is a decision we make to give to another person, rather than just how we feel. Here are some of the ways we can give to maintain our love.

Maintain positive illusions According to Marcel Zentner at the University of Geneva, “men and women who continue to maintain their partner is attractive, funny, kind, and ideal for them in just about every way remain content with each other”. As relationships endure it is easy to criticise your partners behaviour rather than valuing them and their unique qualities, particularly during difficult times when strain is put on the relationship.

Learn forgiveness We are often more forgiving of those we hardly know, why is this? In order for love to grow and last, we must learn to be more forgiving of those we love.

Boost your oxytocin Making love, doing something out of the ordinary such as going to an amusement park, or experiencing new things such as dining at a restaurant you’ve never been to before can provide a natural high which, in turn, can boost our oxytocin levels. These natural highs, according to Dr Scott Halzman, “can produce excitatory neurochemicals that your brain interprets as excitement about your partner, not the activity” and therefore has a bonding effect.

Laugh together lots It's no secret women like men who make them laugh and men like women who laugh at their jokes. Indeed, research has even shown that women rate funny guys as more intelligent than unfunny guys. Since beauty fades with time, the ability to laugh often and together is an important part of lasting love. 

First Psychology Scotland has counselling and psychology centres in the following locations:

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