Whilst “love at first sight” may be a popular sentiment in Hollywood, new research shows that friendship, rather than spark, is the key to a long-lasting relationship.
According to a survey published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, people who are friends with their significant other have a higher chance of their relationships lasting over those who try and fulfill their own needs via relationships.
“It may be the case that valuing (friendship) fortifies the romantic relationship against negative outcomes and serves as a buffer against dissolution," said the researchers.
To reach the conclusion, researchers asked 190 students who had been in a relationship for an average of 18 months or more to fill out surveys “designed to measure the amount of investment they put into their relationship, different aspects of the relationship and what they hoped for in the future.”
Participants were then contacted four months after the start of the study to ascertain if they were still in a relationship.
Of the 27% who had split with their partner, most had low scores against their friendship investment. On the flipside, those who remained with their significant other had ranked friendship as highly important in their relationship.
So what does it all mean? Basically that while fireworks may fly in the beginning, it’s whether or not you form a solid friendship that will indicate your long-term status. If you need more convincing, the researchers also found that those who rated friendship as the most important aspect of their relationship were also more likely to enjoy romantic commitment and sexual satisfaction.