Brisbane Psychologist Peter Doyle shares some of the secrets, of couples with a successful long term relationship …
I have enjoyed the privilege of working with many hundreds of couples across the years in my professional psychology practice.
I have always respectfully understood that each individual client is the “expert” in how they are thinking and feeling within their own relationship, recognising that there are many and varied pathways to a healthy, loving relationship with your beloved.
Interestingly, there are however three key building blocks common to most successful long term relationships, which can be consistently identified in the happiest of couples.
3 Building Blocks
- Passion – this is the area of your relationship that is roughly equivalent to sexual attraction. It is important to invest time and attention in maintaining the magical spice of this connection; allowing the passion to fizzle and drift into mundane routine, and mechanical obligation, is a warning bell to be heeded.
- Intimacy – This is the area of your relationship where you experience feelings of warmth, closeness, sharing, liking and feeling a glow in your heart that resonates strongly with each other.
- Commitment – This is the level of resolve to maintain the relationship, even in moments of crisis. The roller coaster of life events will come and go over the long run. What is your level of mental discipline and integrity to not run away when the going is tough for a prolonged period of time? How do you cope with change and the curve balls that life will throw at you?
So for example, if a couple is strong on Commitment and Intimacy, but the Passion has dimmed, then it is likely they are experiencing “companionate love”. If one of the couple desires more than this, relationship stressors will emerge and discussion together is required to negotiate solutions without any blame, judgement or hidden agendas.
Ideally, most couples in successful long term relationships tell us that they are striving to learn how to maintain “Consummate Love”, where, not withstanding the demands of mortgages, dual careers, and parenting; all three building blocks (Passion, Intimacy, and Commitment) are nurtured and valued by both partners!
Every Relationship Benefits from a Tune Up now and then!
None of us are perfect in all aspects of the relationship dance together, and there can be times when it is more difficult than others – so it is wise to choose to invest in some professional guidance from time to time, around improving your focus on these three core relationship building blocks.
I wish you the very best on the journey of continually building upon a magnificent, inspiring, and deeply fulfilling relationship with whomever you choose to share the deepest of love.
Author: Peter Doyle, B Psych (Hons), MAPS, MCCOUNP, MCOP.
Peter is endorsed both as a Counselling Psychologist and Organisational Psychologist and has over 25 years’ experience in clinical, counselling and workplace settings, helping clients with a diverse range of personal, lifestyle and psychological wellbeing issues.
Peter is currently not practicing at M1 Psychology, find his details on his website: Guidelight Psychology.