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Psychologists call them "material constraints": Think a house you co-own, a joint bank account, or a pet you both take care of. Research suggests that material constraints make a breakup a lot less likely. Presumably, that's because it's harder to disentangle yourself from the relationship when it's not just the two of you.

So it's wise — if slightly uncomfortable — to think in advance about what you'd do if the relationship dissolved. Specifically, Birch argues that many men and women may be on different timelines: While men want to feel established professionally and financially before settling down, women can work on love and their career at the same time. Birch urges women to take men seriously when they say they're "not ready" for a serious relationship right now. That may mean moving on to someone else who does feel ready, instead of wasting your time hanging around. Data from OKCupid, described in a blog post, suggests that people's attitudes and behavior around interracial dating can differ, drastically.

If anything, racial bias has intensified a bit. You and your partner may not always see fireworks like you did in the early stages of your relationship. The key is not to freak out. Rachel Sussman, a relationship expert and marriage counselor in New York City, told Business Insider that the decline of passion in a relationship is perfectly normal — and that you can lure it back. One strategy is to schedule sex; another is to try a new and exciting activity together.


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Above all, try to be patient while you work on things. It can be hard to make a relationship work if you and your partner have different values. Values are different from interests. If you like going to football games and your partner doesn't, you can probably find a friend to go with you instead.

But if you're interested in earning more money and status and your partner doesn't care, that could be a problem. Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University, spoke with a series of older Americans for his book "30 Lessons for Loving" and heard a lot about the importance of shared values.

Relationships - The Cut

Pillemer's interviewees recommended having an explicit discussion about core values with your partner before getting married, or deciding to be together long term. You'll want to cover values around children, money, and religion — and whatever else is important to you. One year-old man put it in very frank terms: "If you have divergent personalities and ideas of what's right and wrong, and what you want to do and what you don't want to do right at the very beginning, well, it's not going to get better. It's going to go downhill. In her book "The Real Thing," Washington Post features writer Ellen McCarthy quotes Diane Sollee, a marriage educator who explained that too many people have delusional expectations for marriage.

That there will be times when one or both of them want out and can barely stand the sight of each other. That they'll be bored, then frustrated, angry, and perhaps resentful. Ruth Westheimer — better known as Dr. Ruth — has seen it all, having counseled thousands of people about their relationships and sex lives. One general conclusion she's reached? Most people have unreasonably high expectations for romance.

Westheimer told Business Insider: "Hollywood and the movies tell us that the stars have to be twinkling every night," adding, "That's not reality of life. As for sex, Westheimer said too many people expect multiple orgasms or think that "a man can have an erection like you see in sexually explicit movies.

MUSIC OF LOVE

That's why it's important both to be sexually literate and to temper your expectations about what your relationship can bring you. Here's a scary thought: The person you're happy with today may not be the person you'll be happy with forever. Eli Finkel, who is a psychologist at Northwestern University, a professor at Kellogg School of Management, and the author of the book "The All-or-Nothing Marriage," told Business Insider: "Even if we achieve compatibility in the marriage, there's no guarantee that that compatibility will remain strong over time.

The real question is whether you're planning to try to make the relationship work regardless of how you both change. There's no right answer. Finkel shared another distressing insight with Business Insider: "People who are relatively uneducated have a higher divorce rate than ever, and a lower marriage rate, and when they are married, the marriages tend not to be as satisfying. Finkel has a theory to explain why: "It's really difficult to have a productive, happy marriage when your life circumstances are so stressful and when your day-to-day life involves, say three or four bus routes in order to get to your job.

You can read dozens of books and articles on the science of relationships; you can see a couples counselor; you can train in couples therapy yourself. And still, you may occasionally run into conflict with your own partner. Business Insider spoke to four married couples in which both partners are relationship experts and each couple had stories about marital conflict.

The key to navigating that conflict successfully — and this is something all four couples agreed on — is staying curious. One expert said she got upset with her husband recently for brushing her off. When he noticed she was upset, he asked questions like, "Why did that bother you so badly? Read the original article on Business Insider UK.

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The couple can choose to be completely sexless, or the asexual partner can "compromise" by engaging in sex occasionally under certain circumstances, or partners can experiment with "pseudosexual behavior," such as cuddling, to find an arrangement that works for both. Tags: open relationships , a plus original , relationship guide , types of relationships , preferred relationship type , different types of relationships , common relationship types , monogamous relationship , polyamorous relationship , casual sex , friends with benefits relationship , asexual relationship , ways to be in a relationship.

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