Keeping The Flame Alive:Top 10 relationship Killers?
Do fairytale romances always have happy endings? And can love at first sight endure the long haul?
By Matthew Hutson, published on January 01, 2008 - last reviewed on February 05, 2009
Are lovers at first sight truly meant to be? That depends on how much they're willing to work to maintain passion once the smoke clears from Cupid's initial offensive.
A study of 137 couples found no difference in commitment, intimacy, or relationship quality between those who fell in love at first sight and those who were friends first. The friends-first partners had more similar personalities, and similarity creates more long-term harmony—opposites sometimes attract but less frequently adhere. But the Romeos and Juliets had an edge: more passion—even after an average relationship length of 25 years.
Researcher Pieternel Dijkstra of the University of Groningen notes that the subject pool was not necessarily representative: "I suspect that a lot of people who fell in love at first sight may already have divorced." She says initial infatuation is driven largely by lust—a beast rumored to be ephemeral. But that's not a death sentence for instant paramours committed to fueling the flames. Just look at the success stories who were in the study. There was one compatibility hurdle that even these dedicated romantics could not overcome, though: Passion couldn't compensate for differences in conscientiousness, a total drag on relationship quality.
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Top 10 Relationship Killers
The saddest thing I hear on the therapy couch is someone telling me that they've killed their relationship through what they have or haven't done.
In fact, certain actions are relationship killers. Here are some areas where action-or inaction-will make all the difference.
1. Money. It is the number one cause of divorce. If a partner has been unscrupulous, getting the trust back can be a challenge. You can start over, but you have to be willing to make up for what was lost and make sure the business side of your relationship is tuned-up.