The secret to lasting relationships -

How to live "happily ever after"

Does anyone really know the secrets to a lasting relationship? Our communications coach, Marcia Brandwynne, shares the details on enduring love from the people who've lived it.

"Cinematic love affairs offer moviegoers an idealized version of what relationships are," says Coach Marcia. "We love to watch, and wish for the fairytale, and then reality sets in. And we realize maybe we really don't need the fairytale."

In a five-year study published by Cornell University, researchers found what many of us already know: The best advice comes from people who have been there and done that -- our seniors.

Through 1,000 interviews, Cornell gleaned 30 lessons for living. At the top of the list? How to give your relationship the best chance of lasting.

The most universal piece of advice from our elders is to marry someone a lot like you, someone who shares your same values. 

But how do you know if you share the same values?

First, you need to identify what your own values are. You do this by taking inventory of what your beliefs are on some very key life issues, like money, sex and lifestyle.

Be specific. When you think about money, are you a saver or a spender?

With regard to sex and intimacy, how intimate do you like to be? Are you someone who is highly affectionate, do you like to hug and kiss and touch, are you touchy-feely or do you tend to keep your feelings to yourself?

And then lifestyle: What's fun for you to do? Are you adventurous or are you a homebody?

Once you've identified how you feel about these issues, you have the basis of exploring another person's core values to see if that person can become your best friend. And that's important! Because marrying your best friend is the number two tip from the wisest Americans. 

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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