Science of Happy Relationships

Added my own comments after the pic.

What do you think about this? I’ve put my thoughts below, if you want to read them.

I think we’ve had far more good than bad. And I think that if we were an official couple, the ratio would be amazing. Having someone else between us has caused a lot of conflict. Most of our conflict. And we’ve been forced to do long distance. Yet we still have plenty of laughter and good times. I have long had a really positive feel about us and have enjoyed continuing to love you and have you in my life. I think that would only be true if there was a lot more good than bad between us.

Quality of Friendship:
Ours is very high. We’re best friends. Always have been. As I’ve said before, I think that’s a very important part of a long term relationship. The sharing, caring, being comfortable, enjyoing each other, the desire to interact and share life. I don’t know how good you and Jon are, but you and I never stopped being best friends.

We talk a lot, despite being long distance. We enjoy talking. I’ve tried to make up for not seeing you as much with letters, and we text a lot. I think that’s a really positive sign that we communicate well. I love talking to you. I wish I could hear all about your day every night over dinner. I wish we had more time to talk and share than we do now. I think one of the best periods of our relationship  was when we talked every single day before work. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we were happy then. Because we had so much interaction, sharing, displays of affection, communication about us, and were so involved in each other’s lives. It made us stronger. The less you’ve been available to talk over the years, the weaker we’ve gotten. If we were offically dating, we’d probably talk a lot more and be even happier than we were in the past.

Positive Interactions
I think I do that pretty well. I give a lot of compliments, poems, love letters, gifts, massages, dinners. I try to make you happy in so many ways. I like romancing you. I love making you happy. How about you? Do you feel that you do enough of the “little things”? I think this is a really important way that we show each other our love, constantly reaffirming how important the other person is to us. Love is making the other person’s happiness and wellbing equal to or more important that our own. Doing all these little things to make each other happy proves our feelings to each other.

We’ve got not problem there, right? But being long distance sucks. I think the fact that you’re living with Jon means you get a bigger boost of feelings towards him because you’re physically with him more. But if you and I were together, we’d be even more active. And that would boost our happiness even more than sexy video sessions. I think the bedroom (or taxi, park, etc) is one of our strengths. This is a passion we truly share. We both have the same sex drive, are both really open and adventurous, both love this area. I think it’s phenomenally exciting to be able to share this with my best friend and the woman I love. You’re the only person I’ve ever shared such a connection to; I don’t want to lose that, ever.

Respond to Triumphs
I think we do this pretty well. I think it’s one of our strengths, the way we are happy and supportive for each other, right? I wish I could be the corporate type so that my support meant more to you, but I when it comes to your support, it doesn’t matter to me that you’re not a teacher or writer or into the same sports or whatever. It’s the fact that you’re the most important person to me, my partner, that makes your support the most meaningful and valuable to me.

New Experiences
This has been a huge challenge for us because we’re long distance and hiding our relationship. But if I think back to our little weekend trips and the sex toys and threesome, I think we’ve tried a lot of new experiences, considering our limited time together. And I think those were fun and exciting and brought us closer, don’t you? Weren’t we happier in those times? Excited to be doing these new things together, challenging each other? If we were together, I think we’d regularly challenge ourselves and each other to try new things. I definitely want to learn to dance with you. And I’m sure there are a world of firsts out there that I’d love us to experience together.

Share Experiences
Again, we’re limited by long distance. So this limits our potential happiness. But remember the times we did cook together? Or going out together? We always had fun. And we were happier during those periods. We were happier when we shared life, instead of living it separately with someone else. Those experiences bonded us, gave us memories, proved we work together, proved we have fun together. Right now, being with Jon means you get to do things together that you and I can’t, which means that happiness goes to his relationship instead of ours. I think it stands to reason that if we were together, we’d do more things together and be happier for those shared experiences.

Michaelangelo Effect
I know that all the relationship drama we’ve had has been hard on both of us. But let’s look at the positives. We share a very, very important quality. All these challenges have made us both stronger and wiser because we’re the type of people that grow from being challenged. That’s just not true for most people in similar circumstances. Most people face trauma or challenges and become bitter, broken, angry, resentful. Most people give up. Yet you and I have perservered, grown so much more mature. You’ve told me many times that I have challenged you like no-one else. I challenged you sexually and look how much happier you are now. You challenge me too. And as much as it hurts to hear some of the stuff we’ve said to each other, the truth and openness has challenged us both and made us better for it. Haven’t we both become more patient and understanding and wiser? Haven’t we both become stronger? How many couples can say that they push each other to become better people the way you and I do?

We’ve had so many awesome laugh sessions. When I think about my mental picture of you, it’s either as a sex goddess or laughing. How about you? My favourites are probably all the times when we were being serious or arguing and one of us made the other laugh. It was beautiful. Yet I remember all the times together in hotels and apartments when I tickled or we joked or teased or played and we laughed. We laugh so often. I always feel so happy with you.

Fighting Style – bad
I think this is an area where we can both improve, but it’s also an area we’re really strong in. I admit, I have criticized. But I don’t think it’s in the nit-picky petty way many couples do to hurt each other. It was an attempt to rationally talk about serious things and convince you that we are better than you and Jon. Or to point out that what you were doing hurt, in the hope that you’d change. And I can get better at doing that, but at least neither of us does the childish criticizing of meaningless things just to hurt each other, right? That’s awesome.

I don’t think either of us ever show contempt for each other. I hope I don’t. And we don’t roll our eyes very often. We never resort to swearing or name calling. The only name I ever call you is slut, and that’s affectionate and when we’re playing. We care deeply about each other, which means we have self control and show each other a lot of respect when we argue. In fact, despite everything, we’ve never really had the kinds of blow-out screaming matches that i’ve seen a ton of couples go through. That’s precious to me. I hope it is to you too,

Do we tune each other out? There have been times when we’ve kept our distance. But sometimes it’s good to have space and calm down. I think maybe you feel that I’m not listening to your side of things when you say you’re happy with Jon. I also understand your point about not feeling equal and maybe you feel that I tune you out or don’t listen to your side of things. But I think I am listening to what you say, I just disagree sometimes. Especially when it’s about choosing him over me. If I’m guilty of tuning you out when it comes to your family or dreams or something, I apologize. It was never my intent and I can work on listening more. I respect your feelings and I want to make you happy.

I do feel that you’ve tuned me out. I feel like I gave you five years of happiness with someone else, giving in to what you wanted, while I continued to love and support you, but then you never gave me the opportunity to actually change your mind about us in return, in appreciation for what I did for you. I think you shut me out because you wanted the money guy. I feel like that was selfish and that if you love me, then you should give us a proper chance because it’s something I need. I want you to stop putting yourself first and give us a proper chance because maybe what you and I have will actually be better and make you happier than whatever financial gain you get from Jon. After giving you so much, haven’t I earned that chance? Isn’t that fair? Isn’t doing that a sign of your love? Isn’t that equality? I’ve loved you, so I’ve put your happiness first all these years. If you truly love me, can’t you at least give me a little happiness by allowing me to be heard, to be open-minded?

Aside from tuning me out on the issue, will you really let this relationship end by marrying him without ever really giving yourself a chance to find out if I’m actually right? Do you want to maybe end up divorced five years from now, maybe be a single mom, and regret not giving us the chance to find out if we’re the better match? Can you imagine realizing too late that I was right and losing out on this amazing relationship and then being bitter about it later? Are you so absolutely sure that money makes you happier that you don’t need to bother fully exploring both options?

I know I’m guilty of being defensive sometimes. I try to overcome it when I realize it, but I know my initial reactions might not be great. It’s not easy for either of us when we’re being emotional. I think that since the London offer when my criticism went up and I tried really hard to convince you that choosing Jon was wrong and that I was hurt, I pushed too hard, too long. I was hurt and desperate not to lose you. And over time, you’ve become very, very defensive in response, haven’t you? You were never so defensive in the earlier years. But now you seem to shut out my arguments, and my love, and have increasingly acted like I’m the enemy trying to attack you or hurt you or take you away from a better life. I think that as long as either of us is defensive, then we’re not giving the person we love the chance to make their case. We’re not open to the fact that maybe they’re right, or at last open to the fact that they feel a certain way and probably have good reason to feel the way they do. I think by being defensive we’re disresepcting each other and preventing us from communicating of showing love. being defensive means we’ve stopped being open to each other and we’re pulling away, which will end us.

Fighting style – good
That said, wee do have a lot of huge strengths. I listed the negatives first, but I firmly believe that the way we fight is by far the ‘good’ way and that this is a vitally important part of why you and I work so well.

You and I do concede points. It’s important when we do, but I’ll be the first to admit that we could both do it more. For me, I think a lot of frustration I have is because I’ve tried for so many years to get you to just be open to what I’m saying, to give me some credit, to think that I might be right about us and that love is better than money, but that you’ve shut me down and refused to concede a lot of key points. I’ve put a lot of effort into trying to undestand the truth of things between us, even done research, because I care. But it can often feel like you’re refusing to concede points because you just don’t want me to be right, no matter what. You don’t want to choose me, you want to stay with Jon whether I’m right or not, because of his money. I feel like I conceded to your happiness by staying with you even while you were with him. I feel like it would have proven your love for me if you had then at least given me a chance to have a future with you by conceding that maybe I’m right about some things. Maybe that would have changed your mind and you would have left Jon, maybe not. If not, you’d still choose Jon. But if it did change your mind, it would only do so with good reason, not some trickery. And yod be happy choosing me because you knew it was a better choice. Either way, you win, so I’m not sure why you’ve refused to consider more of what I say.

I have tried to work hard on expressing affection when we fight. I know I’ve been too direct sometimes, I haven’t taken your feelings into account often enough. I’m sorry for that. But I’ve looked through some of my old emails and I do see a lot of really positive stuff mixed in with the arguments. I have tried to never lose sight of the fact that I love you very much when arguing. Even that big email about selfishness after London was honestly done with great care and I was trying to think about your feelings and make a really harsh subject seem less of an attack. Many of the other letters have had long passages about our positive points and my love for you and talk about wanting a future and appreciating you. Even the most critical emails have also been interspersed on other days with good messages and love letters and texts and fun conversations. I think I’ve tried hard to show you that the love is always there, haven’t I? Even in the most painful or upset moments, the love and relationship have always come first.

I think I see the affection from you too. We often start serious conversations with sex time first and in between arguments there are good conversations and sexy pics. And when we argue, you don’t lose your temper and become emotional and angry. You have self control. Because you care. I see that. I think this is an area we’re pretty good at. We can get better, of course, but it’s still an area of strength. I wish you were as affectionate as you used to be. I remember how you’d call me up and try to cheer me up more between fights or painful conversations in the early years. It made me feel loved.

Showing humor is our best strength. We break up arguments with laughter or sex to show we care. We’re really good at that. In fact, this is the first and only relationship I’ve ever had that and it’s wonderful and precious and I don’t want to lose it. I’ve never had another person willing to let their anger go the way you do and be willing to laugh at a joke. I’ve never had anyone so willing to put the relatiosnhip first. I think most people hold on to their anger or resentment or pain and refuse to release the tension. They just want to keep fighting, to lash out. You and I don’t. And I think that this strength is absolutely critical to a long-term relationship. I think it’s a big reason we’ve lasted.

Why get married?
Look at those answers. Financial stability came fifth. Not first. Not even close. Most people agree with me, that love comes first. The life-long commitment and companionship up there mean that the relationship is the most important thing to them, not financial gain from a partner. A marriage is a partnership, the making of a team, and the only way that’s going to be successful is if the team works hard at being a good team. And if they’re a team for the right reason: love. I’ve fought all this time for you and us because of our love and because I think we make the best partnership. Most people seem to agree that this is what it takes to be successful. Maybe you can be happy with Jon and the money will be good. But I truly believe that if you and I base a marriage on love and friendship and honest partnership, we’ll be happier and more successful. I think we’ll get old together and look back at our lives and have fewer regrets and more to be proud of.

Think Positive
I talked about this before. I’ve always wanted us to have a successful future together, so I’ve approached our relationship with a positive attitude. I’m not perfect, I’m sure I can be negative too sometimes. But I’ve tried hard to hang on to my faith in you, to believe in the best about you, and to believe in the best of us too. I think I have good reasons for doing so, it’s not blind faith, but I think that positive attitude is why I was able to keep going, keep working on us, keep loving you as much as I have. I have always had hope.

But I feel that this has also been a critical problem on your side. I think that because you wanted Jon to be the one no matter what, you have seen us from a negative point of view for the past 5 years. That meant you were the one to try breaking us up, why you wouldn’t give us a chance or concede my points about us, why you think we have more problems than good points. You expected us to fail because you wanted us to. You didn’t want you and I to be as succesfsul as you and Jon, to legitimize your choice in him. You never had that attitude in Osaka. Then, I was the one you wanted a future with so you had the same atitude I do now, and we were stronger. It gave you the ability to endure me being with someone else and still fall deeply in love with me. If you  and I both had a positive attitude, I think we’d be unstoppable. And very happy.

Kids are highly stressful and a ton of work. They can destroy a lot of marriages. I’ve been looking around the dating scene here and you would be shocked to find out how many single parents there are. It’s staggering. So many people are getting married without true love, true commitment, true honesty, or having the skills they need to succeed. Add kids on top of that and it’s tearing marriages apart. Some don’t divorce, but talking to others, you know that people are just staying together ‘for the kids’ sake’, not because they enjoy the marriage anymore. It’s very sad.

You know how much I love kids and how good with them I am. I have a lot of experience. I’m going to be a good father. And you know how much I work on us. I’m a good partner. I firmly believe that when kids come along, you and I will be able to not only survive having kids, but still have a strong and happy marriage despite the stress. I don’t know Jon much, but from what I do know, I just don’t believe the same is true of him. I’m loving and cooperative and relationship-focused. He’s more selfish and career focused, which might put more work on you or mean that nannies are actually raising your kids, not you two. I could be wrong, but my experience tells me that you two are more likely to be hit harder by having kids than you and I. I think you and I are the better team.

Always happy to hear what you think too. 🙂