The secret of a great relationship, revealed

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (HEARTLAND WEEKEND) - It is an age-old question, why do some relationships work and others do not?

Dr. Gary Lewandowski of Monmouth University has studied relationships profusely. The answer, he found, lies in asking the right question.

Whether you have a good relationship really is the million-dollar relationship question, and honestly, it’s hard to know. You only have so much relationship experience. Maybe you have your parent’s relationship to go by.  Maybe you have a few friends. But you know, the benefit that relationship science has, which is we see lots of relationships. So, there’s lots of different things that can help people kind of know if they have a good relationship,” says Lewandowski.

“The absolute simplest, easiest test is what I call the best friend test.  Is your partner your best friend?” he says.

“We’ve done a poll for the Monmouth University Polling Institute, and we asked people, is your partner, your best friend?  And over 80% of couples actually say their romantic partner is their best friend. Having your partner as your best friend means that there’s someone you enjoy spending time with. It’s somebody who you authentically like. You respect them. It’s someone who you know they’re caring for you. You’ll do anything for them. You’ll make sacrifices for them,” says Lewandowski.

“There was a study of what people were considered expert couples; they had been together for at least 15 years and considered their marriage to be extremely satisfying. They were asked, What’s the secret?”

Lewandowski says respondents claimed the number one secret to having that kind of relationship was that their partner is their best friend.

In addition to his research at Monmouth University, Lewandowski is the author of Stronger Than You Think, Ten Blind Spots That Undermine Your Relationship.

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