Hollywood and convention dictate that happily ever after style romance is what we should be searching for in our partners. But the famous German philosopher Nietzsche and US psychologists disagree - it’s not romance, but friendship which is the biggest predictor of long-term relationship success.
In one study conducted at Purdue University in Indiana, couples who described companionship and friendship as the most important part of their relationships, experienced the highest levels of satisfactions for their sex lives, and other parts of their relationships.
When we think of our best friendships, they’re with people who are there for us through anything. Through our mistakes, our highs and lows, whether or not we are *succeeding* in life is irrelevant to friendship.
We tend to have greater expectations of our partners than our friends, in part due to the influence of the media on our understanding of what constitutes a ‘good’ relationship.
With expectations can come pressure, and it’s easy to lose sight of what made the relationship so good in the first place.
As in our romantic relationships:
“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” - Seneca