We want to be together. That is a prerequisite for human beings. But how? This changes over time due to changing social circumstances and needs. Flexibility, personal space and personal development are important values in the current era. They partly replace old values such as financial security, status and stability. At work you can see this very clearly. And what about relationships? A century ago, partners were still chosen because of a good job or a caring nature. Now we are looking more for a good balance between connectedness and personal space. This is a common theme in relationship therapy. A sense of love is paramount and we also want our own career and leisure activities. On the other hand, the connection in your relationship can of course be put at risk again if you are only concerned with your own career, friends, hobbies and children. Then a lonely feeling arises in your relationship. Weekly time together, without others, without children, is an important point. For example, plan a “screenless evening” once a week, without TV, mobile phone and laptop, but with good music and good conversation. Talk about beautiful shared memories and about future plans. Agreements in interests and opinions are also a good predictor of relationship happiness.
The feeling of wanting to grow old together remains a good basis. However, the reality is different, in which more than 40% of couples request a divorce. This does not include any breaches of relationship of cohabiting couples, nor the couples who, unhappily in their relationship, still stay together. Several consecutive, happy and long-term relationships seem to fit more with the current era, also known as “serial monogamy”. Yes, because we do want to be faithful within the relationship, which is often an implicit agreement. Finding out what is important to you in life and in a relationship and applying those values is a big step towards a happy life and a happy relationship. If you would like to read more about conscious choices in your relationship, then the book “Make sure when in doubt” by me, psychologist Marly Senden from Maastricht, is written for you.
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