Here's the surprising sign researchers found that shows a couple will get divorced
If only there was a way to know from the beginning whether our relationship with someone would last forever or not. Imagine how much time we'd save - how much heartbreak we'd save. Unfortunately, no such thing exists, meaning many of us are doomed to date terrible people for a significant portion of our adult lives.
However, there are some aspects of a relationship that can be used as a fairly reliable predictor of the success of a relationship.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology tracked 168 couples for a whopping 13 years in order to investigate which signals (if any) are indicative of divorce, and which predict a long-lasting marriage. And, over the course of their research, the authors of the study discovered that there was one quite reliable sign that a couple would eventually end up parting ways - but it's probably not what you think.
Far from being at each other's throats or constantly disagreeing over matters, the couples most likely to separate were actually more affectionate than those who stuck it out for a longer period.
"As newlyweds, the couples who divorced after seven or more years were almost giddily affectionate, displaying about one-third more affection than did spouses who were later happily married," the authors explained.
But how is this even possible?
In an interview with The Independent, dating and relationship psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree said that, "if you think about it, it makes sense." She continued:
“Some people get caught up in the infatuation of a relationship, hence the term ‘love is blind,’ and it is known that infatuation is not a long-lasting state. Once that disappears, one has to look at what is left between the two people, and if there is no bond other than passion, then the relationship is likely to fall apart.
"There is also the danger of falling in love with an aspect of someone, knowing that it’s not long-lasting or sustainable but hoping that things will change. For example, a couple gets together in a partying environment, but when kids come along, one person does not intend to give up the party lifestyle."
Basically: the kind of attraction that is more intense than average is often an indicator of infatuation, rather than a deep, lasting connection that will still be present after the honeymoon period has subsided.
"Over-the-top emotions (and their physical expression) are hard to sustain. This type of behaviour is most commonly found in the honeymoon period, which is a short-lived phase from three to nine months," concurred Susan Winter, a relationship expert.
"Life and life’s challenges can get real very quickly," she explained. "That’s when you’ll see each partner’s true personality emerge. The person you thought you married has vanished and discontentment occurs."
This doesn't mean that you should hold back from showing affection, nor should you necessarily be wary if your partner shows a great deal of affection either. And, indeed, there are several other indicators that suggest a relationship won't work out, too - namely a lack of effort and appreciation for one another.
All it means is that relationships founded on infatuation rather than a deep, romantic connection are less likely to hold up in the long run. Unfortunately, that's not very easy to see when you're in the early stages of getting to know someone - so we're just as stuck as we always have been.