It’s time to share the secret to staying head-over-heels in love. 

Researchers at the University of Illinois analyzed 35 studies on lasting relationships. And here are their findings - which you can use to boost your bond with your partner:

  • First: Have an open communication policy. Researchers refer to it as “conversational self-disclosure.” So, when you’re in a new relationship, that means sharing personal information about yourself and being supportive when your partner shares about themselves. That builds immediate trust. And if you’ve been together for years, talk about how the relationship has changed — for better or worse, and create strategies to address issues before they spiral out of control. 

  • Another relationship finding: When you do address problems, be positive. Researchers say that couples in lasting relationships approach negative issues with a positive tone. That way their partner doesn’t feel attacked, and they’re much more likely to stop the upsetting behavior. For example, instead of blasting your partner for leaving dishes in the sink for the thousandth time. Put a sticky note by the sink that says, ‘Help! We can’t wash ourselves!’  

  • And the final way to make your relationship last? Talk about the future. If you just started dating – that can mean making plans for next week or next month. If you’re more serious, it can be dreaming about moving in together. And even if you’re married, talking about future vacations, or hoping for another child, can help you bond. Because when we envision a future together, we feel more secure. And it reassures our partner that we’re in it for the long haul.