[Warning: If you are interested in a calm, comfortable life, this blog will be counterproductive for you.]

Friday, July 27, 2012

How To Determine the Long Term Potential of Any Relationship (And Make It Better)

Great conversations provide the spine of every great relationship. Whether it's a romance, a mentor, or a childhood best friend--every relationship is defined by and sustained by great conversations.

The quality of your conversations is the primary measure of the quality of your relationship.

Even something as powerful as sexual attraction can't hold a candle to the value of conversations. Great marriages are built on great conversations--with attraction added on. Though there certainly are physical aspects to attraction, sexual desire can grow from an environment of great conversations. Arranged marriages worked for centuries because of this principle.

But great conversations don't necessarily flow from fierce physical attraction.

I'm not saying ignore attraction, but I am saying that it can't sustain a relationship by itself. Improving your conversation depth and frequency will improve your love life. But new excitement in your love life won't do much for your conversations.

Want to build a long lasting romance? Find a great conversation partner--who you think is hot. The best prediction of whether you'll stay together is in evaluating your conversation quality. (By the way, couples who speak with contempt to each other, regardless of how attracted or "compatible" they are, have been shown to have a 90%+ chance of breaking up within 5 years.)

Best friends that grow up together or share life together are valuable and precious relationships. They usually form through doing fun activities together. But by themselves, shared experiences create only a shallow relationship. If you want lifelong friendships that make you a better person, someone you can laugh until you cry with--or just cry with, then you need to get good a great conversations.

My best friend for 15 years was someone who lived out of state. He shared my life--and changed my life--through the power of great phone conversations. Our friendship was more meaningful and deeper than most of the people I shared day to day life with.

List 3-5 relationships in your life.
On a scale of 1-10, how is the quality of the conversation each relationship?
On a scale of 1-10, how frequent are the conversations in each relationship?
What's one thing you could do to move the score up just 1-2 points in each relationship?

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