The 5 pillars of a good long-term relationship

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Give your relationship a boost by doing maintenance on these five areas…

1950s dinner party couple
Long-term relationships aren't always easy, but by working on little things like sharing the washing up and making an effort with his mates, you can help strengthen yours.

Researchers at the University of Illinois nosed around in the relationships of kind volunteers to decipher what factors are the most important in promoting healthy love lives.

They found that openness, positivity, assurances, shared tasks and a shared social network were the cornerstones of happy couples.

Talking things out, being fun and upbeat and dividing duties were all things that helped to keep relationship strong.

'It's also important to assure your partner that you're in the relationship for the long haul, to divide household chores and responsibilities equally, and to make an effort to include your partner's friends and family in some of your activities,' explained professor Brian Ogolsky.

The study found that not only making an effort, but recognising the efforts made by your partner is just as important.

The clever university types also warned that good intentions are all well and good, but it's all about actions.

'Say you've arrived home from work and your intention all day has been to buy some flowers for your partner and surprise her with dinner. Then you get wrapped up in a business phone call and your good intentions fall by the wayside. You may feel as if you've put considerable effort into your relationship, but your partner didn't see it so it does you no good,' added Ogolsky.

What do you think is the key to a good relationship?

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