The A-Z of love: U is for us



00:23 GMT, 9 July 2012

James Kerr and Matthew Johnstone celebrate the A-Z of love. This week, U is for us.

In the beginning, there is biology — the powerful pull of nature that gives birth to babies. But lust doesn’t last; soon we look for more.

To enjoy healthy, long-lasting love, we need a true partnership. It’s not just about ‘U’, it’s about ‘Us’. Psychologists say a lasting partnership relies on six key factors:

The couple who grow together, grow old together

The couple who grow together, grow old together

Security: You both must feel safe to express your vulnerabilities, hopes and fears without being judged. ‘Being yourself’ is the only sustainable way to be with someone else.

Acknowledgement: Nothing feels better than feeling heard. To build stronger partnerships, talk less and listen more. Silence speaks volumes.

Balance: If you’re trying to be right all the time, you’re getting it wrong. A relationship needs an even balance of power.

Respect: If you respect each other’s boundaries, love is more likely to last. If you don’t, it won’t. It’s as simple — and difficult — as that.

Candour: It is crucial to be honest about how you feel, without censoring yourself to protect the other’s feelings. This doesn’t mean being rude; it does mean being authentic.

Growth: The couple who grow together, grow old together. Look for ways to lift, encourage and enable your partner.

Ask them what they want and try to help them get it. This way, wherever you’re going, you’ll always be moving in the same direction.