Three things that can lead to a stronger relationship, according to an expert

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Professor Jacqui Gabb, widely regarded in the UK as an expert in the field of relationships, has shared three of the most important aspects of a strong relationship with The Independent ahead of the publication of her new book.

Co-authored with Dr Meg John Barker, the book seeks to “unpack” the question that couples across the world want the answer to: "What are the secrets to long-lasting love?"

Here are three of their "secrets":

1)    Communication

Professor Gabb suggests that while some couples may find talking at length about an issue can be therapeutic; others are able to communicate in a non-verbal way. 

"There seems to be an idea of banter – in teasing and smaller arguments – that many people don’t understand from the outside perspective. But this can be a couple’s way of communicating with one another in a positive way.

"However, many other couples can find not talking, and instead doing things like going for a walk or cuddling up in front of the TV, are other positive ways of communicating. 

2)    Gestures

In their extensive study, Professor Gabb and Dr Barker found that gestures as small as making someone a cup of tea in bed could go a long way. 

"There’s this idea that buying your partner an expensive gift would be more meaningful,” Professor Gabb said. “That it can help you get away with a past indiscretion. But often the most mundane, simple act can mean the most to someone. Doing the washing up, taking the rubbish out, etc…”

3)    Having a laugh

"Not so much about laughing at the same comedy film," Professor Gabb notes, "but more being on the same wavelength when it comes to humour, and sharing a sense of fun. It’s that personal knowledge about your partner, a deeper knowledge, and a private understanding of one another. 

"Sometimes in the middle of an argument there’s a need to release the pressure valve and have the capacity to find something amusing."

The Secrets of Enduring Love: How to Make Relationships Last (Vermilion) is out now