Here are two pieces of relationship intelligence.

  • The first one is for long-distance relationships. They can be both good and bad. Here’s the good: Researchers at Ohio State University surveyed a group of couples who were dating long-distance and a group of couples who lived close to each other. What did they find? The couples who lived far away had more positive thoughts about each other and were more satisfied with their communication, compared to the couples who could see each other daily. Why? Because long-distance couples have fewer trivial arguments – and the time they do spend together is higher-quality – because when you don’t see each other very often, so each hour together is more precious. However, here’s the not-so-good: Researchers also found that long-distance couples who moved near each other were more than twice as likely to break up than those who stayed apart. Why? When long-distance couples move close, all the little everyday annoyances come out of the woodwork. For example, when you lived apart from your sweetheart, you had no idea they always left their dirty dishes in the sink. Or that they’re never on time for anything. So the lesson is, long-distance love can survive, but you’ll need to accept the reality that your partner and your relationship has flaws if you end up living near each other.
  • Use the 80% rule. That comes from Dr. David Wexler, author of When Good Men Behave Badly. He says when it comes to long-term happiness in love, if you can look at your partner and say to yourself “I’ve got at least 80% of everything I want in a mate,” consider yourself blessed. Then, focus your attention on the 80% of what you LIKE about your partner, and not the 20% that’s missing. Remember: No ONE person can fulfill 100% of your needs – not even the love of your life – so don’t expect them to. If you focus on the good, you’ll be much happier in love – and in life.