Advertising
Advertising

7 Signs You Will Probably Have A Long-Lasting Marriage

7 Signs You Will Probably Have A Long-Lasting Marriage

Everyone wants a long and happy marriage.

According to reports in the Huffington Posts and the NY Times the divorce rate has actually been declining for several years.

This is great news!

But wouldn’t it be nice if there were some science behind how to make a marriage last? Or maybe a formula that could be applied or a special pill designed specifically to foster long lasting marriages?

Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon, two researchers at Emory University studied 3,000 married couples in the U.S. to determine some of the factors that can help make a marriage last. Their demographic statistics were compiled and their findings are actually quite interesting.

And while there is no recipe or secret to making a marriage last, there are some signs you may be on the right track:

Advertising

1. You dated at least three years prior to becoming engaged

Date 3 years or more

    Research shows that couples who dated for at least three years prior to their engagement are 39 percent less likely to get divorced than couples who dated less than a year before getting engaged.

    According to Psychology Today, there is no hard and fast rule on how long a couple should wait to get engaged or married.  However, most experts agree that anything shorter than two years drastically increases the odds of divorce.

    Dating for a while before saying “I do,”  indicates a level of planning that suggests the couple is in it for the long haul.

    2. You attend church regularly

    religious attendance

      The statistics here are clear.  Those who attend church regularly and are active in their faith are 46% less likely to divorce.

      Advertising

      An article, on this topic, published in Christianity Today cites the findings from a study conducted by Dr. Wilcox, Director of The National Marriage Project. The study finds that “religiously unaffiliated Americans are the most likely to divorce.”

      Also, when considering how much religion factors into a couple’s ability to make a marriage last, you must understand that it isn’t religion per se that holds the marriage together. Rather, it is the belief system of the church and its views concerning marriage and family. This belief system is tied to the support network that accompanies regular church involvement.

      When couples engage in a belief system that frowns on divorce and are surrounded by individuals who reinforce and encourage marriage–the chance of divorce diminishes.

      3. You have a large wedding

      Wedding size

        On the surface, this factor doesn’t seem to make sense. However, consider the following statistic: couples who elope are 12.5 times more likely to end up divorced than couples who get married at a wedding with 200+ people.

        Having a large group of family and friends who support the marriage is critically important to long-term marital stability.

        Advertising

        4. You have an inexpensive wedding

        cost of wedding. png

          This factor seems to directly contradict point three. But the research data doesn’t lie. The study found that the more you spend on a wedding the higher your chances of divorce become.

          The study states that couples who spend $20,000 or more on their wedding are 46 percent more likely to get a divorce. Adversely, couples who spend $5,000 or less are 18 percent less likely to divorce.

          Researchers Francis and Mialon say one possible explanation for their findings is that post-wedding debt can stoke marital tensions.

          5. You have a honeymoon immediately after the wedding ceremony

          Honeymoon

            Going on a honeymoon decreases the likelihood of a couple splitting up by 41 percent.

            Advertising

            There’s a reason the honeymoon comes right after getting hitched. There is all of this wedding stress that builds up, followed by a huge and extravagant party involving all of your family and friends. All of this stress and pressure can really take a toll on the newlyweds. A honeymoon is a time of relaxation, re-connection and release.

            6. You have a combined annual income of over $125K

            annual income

              Its no secret– disputes over finances are one of the leading causes of divorce.

              Couples with an annual income north of 125K are 51 percent less likely to come undone. And the more a couple earns the lower their chances of divorce become.

              7. Inner beauty is valued over external beauty

              physical appearance

                This is a no brainier. If the physical attractiveness of your spouse is high on your list of priorities you may as well prepare to become a divorce statistic.

                In fact, men are 50 percent more likely to end up divorced when they site their partner’s looks as being an important part of their decision to marry.

                More by this author

                Denise Hill

                Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

                Revealed: The 6 Best Beginner’s Exercises for You to Get a Strong Core Having A Backup Plan May Keep You From Achieving Your Goal, Research Finds Successful People Aren’t Gifted. They Just Master Some Goal Setting Techniques How to Stay Motivated Even Though You Can’t See Yourself Moving Forward 20 Simple Ways to Bring Positive Energy into Life Right Now

                Trending in Communication

                1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

                Read Next

                Advertising
                Advertising
                Advertising

                Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                Posture

                First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                Facial Expressions

                Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

                Advertising

                1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                2. Relax Your Face

                New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

                Advertising

                3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                3. Smile More

                There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                4. Hand Gestures

                Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

                Advertising

                It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                5. Enhance Your Handshake

                In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

                Advertising

                Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                Final Takeaways

                Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                Reference

                Read Next