Kindness glues forty plus couples together. Kindness is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a long term relationship. Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated and feel loved. There’s a great deal of proof that shows the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a forty plus relationship.
There are ways to practice kindness. Think about kindness as a trait that needs to be practiced so that it becomes second nature. Some forty plus people show kindness easier than others and you need to show kindness to build that emotion so that it becomes a natural trait to you as a forty plus dater, this proves that a good relationship requires sustained hard work.
If your partner expresses a need and you are tired, stressed, or distracted, then the generous spirit comes to the forefront when you are kind enough to meet the need of your partner. That is a good forty plus relationship builder. However this response is based on trust that this response will be reciprocated when you are in need of a similar response.
Neglect creates distance between forty plus partners and breeds resentment in the one who is being ignored.
The hardest time to practice kindness is, of course, during a fight but this is also the most important time to be kind. Letting contempt and aggression spiral out of control during a conflict can inflict irrevocable damage on a forty plus dating relationship. Explaining why you are hurt and angry is the best way to react.
If you want to have a stable, healthy forty plus relationship, exercise kindness early and often, this is not necessarily about back rubs or chocolates. Keeping your moods positive and non-critical is important to any relationship as support and trust are built rather than being broken down. The ability to interpret your partner’s actions and intentions charitably and with empathy can soften the sharp edge of conflict.
Those who showed genuine interest in their partner’s joys were more likely to be together.
There are many reasons why long term relationships fail, but if you look at what drives the deterioration of many forty plus relationships, it’s often a breakdown of kindness. As the normal stresses of a forty plus life together pile up crowding out the time for romance and intimacy couples may put less effort into their relationship and let the petty grievances they hold against one another tear them apart. In most long term relationships, levels of satisfaction drop dramatically within the first few years together. However among forty plus couples who not only endure, but live happily together for years and years, the spirit of kindness and generosity guides them forward.
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Sarah Hussey xxx