• Four surprisingly simple things to make your relationship better

Four surprisingly simple things to make your relationship better

What makes a relationship successful and long lasting is a big question for us love-seeking humans – whether we are in love, out of love or looking for it right this minute.

Some brand new research has drilled down the key components of a successful relationship – and they're simpler than you think.

The research by a UK insurer, Pru Life, explored the state of relationships in nine countries: Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Cambodia.

Out of those countries, Cambodia scored the highest on the personal relationship satisfaction. 

The Philippines came in second with 79 percent of Filipinos in a relationship which fulfilled their needs and expectations.

So – what are the Cambodians and Filipinos doing so right?

Well, it really comes down to four pretty simple things – but things that aren’t always that easy to do daily …

1. Transparency

You don’t need to tell your partner every, single minute detail of everything – but you do need to be telling them all the important things about yourself and your life. You also certainly shouldn't be sharing intimate life details with someone else and not your partner.

According to the study, couples who are more transparent with each other tend to fare better than those who withhold information from each other. Those who tell their partner everything have a relationship score of 80/100. Those who don't, score 68/100.

"Self-disclosure is a dance. You say something about yourself to show you’re interested... if you both honour the confidences, you can go deeper. The more you share, the deeper the relationship," relationship expert Dr. Margarita Holmes told GMA News Online.

 TIP: Put away your devices. About 45 percent of the men and 42 percent of the women surveyed believe time spent on the phone negatively impacts their family relationships.

 2. Make financial plans together

The relationships where money was talked about openly and financial plans were made together scored higher.

Even though some couples were more traditional with the husband being the main breadwinner – it didn't matter as long as money matters were discussed as a team.

When it comes to finance, employment and domestic situation, there is no one formula that works for every couple. Whatever the situation, the data shows that the important thing is to talk to each other about money, budgets and financial plannin. The experts agree. "The most important view is, talking really helps," said Holmes.

3. Be responsible

This means be responsible for your share of life duties – child-rearing, housework and the mental load. And it needs to be shared equally – despite gender constructs in our society.

"Contrary to what we believe, there is no such thing as a male brain or a female brain," said Holmes, adding that it's important to show children such stereotypes are not true. "I am espousing the belief that men are not made to earn more money and tell women what to do, and women are not made to follow," she said.

4. LOL

The findings also include a good laugh as an important factor to satisfied couples. Couples who laugh together even just once a week scored higher than those who laugh less often.