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Five Keys to Keep Your Valentine's Heart
Date:2/14/2013

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- If you're hoping that a bouquet of flowers or a heart-shaped box of chocolates might give your relationship a boost this Valentine's Day, you might be disappointed.

A new study suggests that a good relationship depends on daily maintenance: building trust and a common bond between the two of you.

There are a handful of relatively simple things people can do to make a love relationship more mutually satisfying. Researchers distilled years of relationship studies to identify five strategies that help predict positive relationships: openness, positivity, assurances, shared tasks and a common social network.

These approaches should be part of every partner's toolkit for relationship enhancement, said study author Brian Ogolsky, an assistant professor in the human and community development department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "The data certainly suggest that people [in successful relationships] do these things in relatively high frequency."

The study also shows that both partners typically want to feel that the other person is making an effort to help ensure the relationship's success. "The thing about maintenance is that you don't always notice when it's happening, but you do notice when it's not being done," Ogolsky said.

The following define the five consistent factors of a good relationship:

  • Openness: talking about feelings and encouraging your partner to do the same
  • Positivity: acting upbeat and cheerful in your daily interactions with each other
  • Assurance: doing things that show you'll be there for the other person and are committed to the relationship
  • Shared tasks: dividing household chores and responsibilities fairly
  • Shared social network: including your partner's family and friends in your activities from time to time
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