Everyone can agree that it’s extremely hard to know whether a crush has a potential for a long-term relationship. Or, so it seemed so far.
As it turns out, a certain psychologist named Alexandra Solomon argues that you can dramatically increase your chances of a successful relationship if you abide by one rule…
This is something that many of us regularly brush off.
However, if love is what you’re after, this rule is the most important box to check.
A new study conducted by psychologist Alexandra Solomon showed the most important rule for a potential long-term relationship…and it’s not something you can tell from someone’s online dating profile.
Instead, she insists that “relational self-awareness” is crucial for the future of a relationship. In fact, both of you need to possess relational self-awareness in order to create a happy long-term relationship.
But, what exactly is it?
As Solomon puts it, “it is the ability to take a curious stance vis-a-vis yourself.”
In other words, if you have relational self-awareness, then you can:
- understand and define your feelings
- talk about past relationships and how they influenced your relationships today.
- believe that any previous relationship problem is caused by both sides.
- listen to feedback about yourself without being overly defensive or running away.
Even though many people consider physical attractiveness, level of education or income when looking for a partner, Solomon believes these factors pale in comparison to relational self-awareness.
A long-term partner should be someone who will be by your side even when problems arise. You need a person who will face his problems with you, instead of running away.
So, how do you assess someone’s level of relational self-awareness?
Solomon suggests two strategies:
1. Watch their stimulus-response process
All of us encounter different moments throughout the day where we choose how we’ll react. According to Solomon, we should look out for awkward or challenging moments, as they reveal a lot about your self-awareness and character.
Here are some situations you should watch out for:
When you’re driving and someone cuts you off
When a waiter brings you the wrong order at a restaurant
When you’re waiting for an Uber, but they’re late because they can’t find your location.
Whenever situations like these happen, we tend to respond by fighting, fleeing or staying calm. The most usual reaction would be a flight-or-flight response, but people with high relational self-awareness usually choose the third option.
This shows an ability to control your emotions, empathize with other people’s emotions and stay rational.
This is important for a relationship because sooner or later you’ll find yourself in these challenging situations.
Simply put, if your partner can’t stay calm if you do something that frustrates or annoys them, it’s going to be difficult for the relationship to last.
2. Listen to how they talk about previous romantic relationships
This is a good way to get some kind of idea about your partner’s relational self-awareness. Solomon says that people who have a low level of relational self-awareness “tell stories that are full of blame and shame.” They constantly play the role of a victim.
On the other hand, people with high relational self-awareness often tell more balanced stories. If the relationship doesn’t work out, they say things like “She was suffering and therefore unable to connect with in a healthy way”. Or they will learn from the experienced even though it was painful.
Therefore, the next time you go out on a date, use these methods and see their reaction. If you notice they’re calm, balanced and collected, this might be the beginning of something beautiful!