Dating before proposing

If there's a good time to reflect on your relationship and where it's headed, it's Valentine's Day.

We've taken this opportunity to round up scientific research on the specific factors that can make or break a romantic relationship.

After dating someone for a couple of years, you might feel like you know everything about them: what kind of toothpaste they use, which TV series they guiltily binge-watch, which foods nauseate them.

But you probably don't know them as well as you think you do.

Then with the Industrial Revolution people had more leisure time, Finkel says, so we started looking for companionship in our partners.

The '60s brought a yearning for personal fulfillment through relationships, which we continue to strive for today.

An "active-constructive" response would be the best, according to Amie Gordon, a social psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley: • An active-constructive response from the partner would be enthusiastic support: "That's great, honey! You've been working so hard." • A passive-constructive response would be understated support: a warm smile and a simple "that's good news." • An active-destructive response would be a statement that demeaned the event: "Does this mean you are going to be gone working even longer hours now? " • Finally, a passive-destructive response would virtually ignore the good news: "Oh, really?

For example, say a wife comes home to her partner and shares an accomplishment.

Interestingly, when women are the breadwinners, they're less likely to cheat.

When men are the breadwinners, they're more likely to cheat. A 2015 University of Calgary study found that heterosexual undergrads think the average member of the opposite sex has about a 40% chance of cheating on their partner.

"The longer couples waited to make that first serious commitment [cohabitation or marriage], the better their chances for marital success," The Atlantic reported. According to a 2005 study by the University of Pavia in Italy, it lasts about a year. • The adult: Does each person think the other is bright? While having symmetry across all three is ideal, people often get together to "balance each other." For instance, one may be nurturing and the other playful.

After that, levels of a chemical called "nerve growth factor," which is associated with intense romantic feelings, start to fall. A 2014 National Bureau of Economic Research study found that marriage does indeed lead to increased well-being, mainly thanks to friendship.

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