A recent study by the American Psychological Association shows evidence that men and women do share more qualities than we may have believed. According to findings from a diverse sample of couples, men's and women's perception of their partner's empathy, and ability to tell when the other is happy or upset, are linked to relationship satisfaction. In essence: men like to know that their woman is happy and women want men to know when they're upset.
"It could be that for women, seeing that their male partner is upset reflects some degree of the man's investment and emotional engagement in the relationship, even during difficult times," said the study's lead author, Shiri Cohen, PhD, of Harvard Medical School. "This is consistent with what is known about the dissatisfaction women often experience when their male partner becomes emotionally withdrawn and disengaged in response to conflict."
Researchers recruited 156 heterosexuals couples and put them through a series of exercises dealing with conflicts in their relationships. Unexpected to the team was women feeling good about their partners getting upset over conflicts, versus the men feeling happy or not caring. Overall, the study confirms that the more couples communicate and empathize with one another, the happier they'll be.
Do we spend enough time really trying to understand each other? What other facets of relationships are key for a successful union?