These are the two traits couples need for love, according to science

And the answer isn't what you think

traits couples need
(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

And the answer isn't what you think

It's the age old question: What is the secret to making your relationship last?

Initially, we thought the secret to a happy relationship was a bit depressing, but we have some new answers that are much more positive thanks to this interesting study. Researchers have revealed the two traits that a couple really needs for a long-lasting, loving relationship – and the answer may surprise you.

According to the recent study, which looked into the maintenance of a happy relationship, kindness and generosity were top of the list when it comes to making love last, ahead of trust and desire. What's more, if your partner has this trait, you're less likely to orgasm.

In the study, psychologists compared newly-weds and long-term couples, and found that long-lasting relationships were as a result of friendship and generosity. Surprisingly, this kept the romance alive more than trust or lust did.

In the first stage of the study, participants were hooked up to electrodes and were asked questions about their relationship, such as the story of how they met their partner, happy memories, or the harder times they had been through as a couple. As they spoke, indicators including their heart rate, blood flow and sweat production were measured and recorded.

Six years later, the researchers followed up with the couples to see if they were still together or not. They then separated the couples into two groups, the 'masters' and the 'disasters'. 'Masters' were still together and very happy, whereas the 'disasters' had either separated or were in 'chronically unhappy' marriages.

What's more, psychologist Ty Tashiro found that only 30% of the couples remained to be in healthy and happy marriages – a pretty sobering result.

According to Tashiro, the couples who had gone the distance had a shared understanding of happy memories, were more considerate in their responses to questions and had body language that showed real signs of friendship.

The moral of the story here? Friendship and kindness within your relationship is really important.

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.