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Research into Factors Influencing Relationship Success

A number of different research projects have recently been conducted into factors that can affect the success of a relationship and influence the risk of divorce.

One such study was carried out by researchers at the University of Melbourne, who looked at whether the success of a marriage could be affected by the date the couple chose to get married.

Weddings on ‘Special Dates’

They found that couples who decided to get married on ‘special dates’ such as Valentine’s Day, or dates that were special numerically, such as 9/9/99 or 1/2/03, were at a much higher risk of divorce than couples who married on ordinary dates. For these couples the divorce risk was much as 18 – 36% higher.

The research revealed that 11% of Valentine’s Day marriages and 10% of same-number-date marriages were estimated to end in divorce by the couple’s fifth anniversary, but only 8% of ordinary-date marriages. By the ninth anniversary, these figures were even higher – 21% of Valentine’s Day marriages, 19% of same-number-date marriages and 16% percent of ordinary-date marriages.

According to the researchers, it’s not the date itself that affects the risk of divorce, but what the choice of date says about the couple.

Characteristics of the Relationship

“Couples who marry on ordinary dates may be more strongly influenced by characteristics of their relationships and their compatibility than couples who marry on special dates,” commented Professor David Ribar.

They also found that the characteristics of the couples could be an influencing factor. Professor Ribar explained that people who got married on special dates were more likely to have been married before and more likely to have children already.

“We also found that spouses who married on special dates were less alike, in terms of education and ages, than spouses who married on ordinary dates,” added Dr Jan Kabátek. “We also found that brides who married on Valentine’s Day were more likely to be pregnant on their wedding day than those who married on ordinary dates.”

Relationships Affected by Contact with Exes

A second study, this time from the United States, found that the success of a relationship can be affected by the level of contact one member of the couple has with their ex-partner, the Daily Mail reports.

Researchers questioned 429 people about the relationship they have with former partners. Over 40% said they were still in touch with their most recent ex. For the vast majority, this communication happened once every couple of months, but for 13% it was as often as a couple of times a week.

The main reason given for keeping in touch was friendship, but for some it was linked to a lack of confidence in their current relationship, and others said they kept in touch with their ex in order to have a ‘back up’.

Lead researcher, Professor Lindsey Rodriguez of South Florida University, warned that the degree of closeness could be a problem for the current relationship.

“Those who communicated with exes reported lower levels of commitment to their current partner, poorer adjustment to the break-up, and higher levels of romantic emotions toward their former partner,” she explained.

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