Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Long-lasting Love

There's an article in today's Toronto Star that reveals the results of a survey done in Great Britain about what makes for a long-lasting marriage.

Apparently you need:
1. to say "I love you" daily
2. share two hobbies
3. make love three times a week
4. communicate three times a day during working hours
5. enjoy two romantic meals a month
6. exchange four kisses and three cuddles a day
7. get away three times a year for holidays
8. snuggle together three nights a week watching the telly

The long-married couples also typically met through friends, dated for three and a half years before they married, waited two years and two months to have kids and when they married, were 31 for the guy, 29 for the girl.

According to these criteria, my husband and I would not have been married for thirty years this June.

How are we different? Let me count the ways.

1. Say "I love you" daily: Well, okay, yes, the hubby and I do this.

2. Share two hobbies: No. Don't even share one.

3. Make love three times a week: Some things should remain private.

4. Communicate three times a day during working hours: Since the hubby now works from home, we could answer yes to this one, although I'm including, "Can you please turn down the TV? I'm trying to write a love scene here!" (The hubby can work with sports, etc. on in the background. I cannot.)

5. Enjoy two romantic meals a month: Hahahahahahaaaaaa! I mean, really? When you've got little kids? And money is tight? No. Way.

6. Exchange four kisses and three cuddles a day: I don't keep track, but we probably manage this, if I count a hug as a quick cuddle.

7. Get away three times a year for holidays: Haa haa haa! Hooo hooo hooo! Oh, stop it - my sides are aching. Again, really? Three times a year? Were these millionaires they surveyed or what?

8. Snuggle together three nights a week watching the telly: Now, heaven knows I like my television shows. And the hubby actually follows more than I do. But our tastes don't match, so often I'll be watching my show upstairs, he'll be watching his downstairs.

Age at marriage: 22 (Bride) and 24 (Groom). Time until birth of kids - three years. Number of years dating - 10 months (but had been acquainted for over 2 years)

So according to this, our marriage was Doomed.

Except... These are activities. They don't measure what I think are the true keys to a good relationship.

Trust, and the security that comes with it.


Affection. I'd include sense of humor in this.



If you don't have these, you can spend hours with your partner, cuddling, kissing, making love, eating romantic dinners by candlelight, and it won't mean a thing in terms of a deep emotional connection and commitment.

This is one reason I don't watch The Bachelor. To me, that's all about setting and props - Hollywood telling us what love should look like, not what it is.


Kaye Manro said...

This is a great post, Margaret. I believe staying power within a relationship has to do with the two people involved. Since each relationship is different, I feel those surveys don't really hit on true reality.

Amy Ruttan said...

Hmm I don't think I would have made it either, of course I haven't been married all that long, its seven years this Thanksgiving.

I think I handle the I love you's.

We like to camp. That's sort of a hobby right? If not then, no we don't.

Number 3. I'm laughing over.

Number 4. I call him only if there's an emergency, and he usually calls to tell me he's on his way home because he could be anywhere in SW Ontario.

Number 5. Yeah I'm laughing over that too. With a 6 and 3 year old and another one come. Yeah right.

Same with 6. Well I use him as a body pillow at night only because my hips are starting to hurt with my burgeoning belly.


8. See above. I work at night, as does he. Once the kids are in bed it's get some words written and he has paperwork.

We dated for four months, got engaged, waited a year and married, we did meet through friends and I was pregnant with my first two months after marriage.

I guess I'm doomed eh?


Kimber Chin said...

The hubby and I have been happily exclusive for 15 wonderful years.

1. to say "I love you" daily
This wouldn't cut it in our relationship. The hubby needs to hear it at least 50 times a day. I tell him I love him 5 times before I leave for work.

2. share two hobbies
At least. We love to travel. We love bargain shopping. We love investing. And so on...

3. make love three times a week
No comment on this one.

4. communicate three times a day during working hours
This is the fast track to getting fired.

5. enjoy two romantic meals a month
Do cans of beans count?
Every meal with the hubby is romantic.

6. exchange four kisses and three cuddles a day
I'd be unhappy with this low amount. I'm a touchy-feely girl.

7. get away three times a year for holidays
At least.

8. snuggle together three nights a week watching the telly
We don't watch a lot of telly, except for the business news and that's not really conducive to snuggling. At least, not lately.

Now some people may read this and think 'Kimber is in a dysfunctional relationship.' Well, no. We may be dysfunctional people but our relationship functions quite well.

Margaret Moore said...

I concur, in that I think this article makes for some fun reading, but as a guide to what really makes a happy, successful relationship? Not so much. There are simply too many variables.

And it's those variables among characters that make every romance novel different, too.