Nate Bagley says he was sick of hearing love stories that fell into one of two categories — scandal and divorce, and unrealistic fairytale.
So he started a Kickstarter and used his life savings to tour the country and interview couples in happy, long-term relationships.
I read this article and I was immediately fascinated. One person devoted an entire chunk of time in his life, interviewing couples from all walks of life, in varying lengths of relationship and found that the happiest couples had some major factors involved that they all shared across the board … even those couples who had not been together very long.
The article is incredible. A lot of the comments in the bottom are not giving it any real credit “Love is what you make it”… well, no it’s not, there are about a million little tiny intricate things that go into making two people compatible and it orchestrates chemistry in quite the marionette-like movements. You may not think so, however, you should ask John Gottman Ph.D. and Gary Chapman Ph.D. One, the first, is the considered the marriage guru, no joke. He ran the love lab and has a 95% accuracy rating on judging whether or not a couple will stay married for 15 years, and the other discovered, and put into words and context that we non-scholars can understand, the different social interactions that we, as human mammals utilize to communicate love and place them into categories. The Five Love Languages. (Side note, take the quiz and see what your primary love languages are, both spoken and understood.)
My absolute FAVORITE part of this extensive article, where Bagley pointed out his common findings among all of these happy couples, was this trait:
Intentionality: This is the icing on the cake. There’s a difference between the couple who drives through the rainstorm and the couple who pulls their car to the side of the road to make out in the rain. (Yes, that’s a true story.) There’s a difference between the couple who kisses for 10 seconds or longer when they say goodbye to each other rather than just giving each other a peck… or nothing at all. There’s a difference between the couples who encourage each other to pursue their personal goals at the expense of their own discomfort or inconvenience… even if it means their partner has to stage kiss another woman.
The couples who try on a daily basis to experience some sort of meaningful connection, or create a fun memory are the couples who shattered my perception of what was possible in a loving relationship.”
That right there. That is the glue. A person’s intentions with their partner, with their interactions with their partner, with their future with this partner. The INTENT to go beyond the right here and the right now combined with the intentions of a partner behind their acts of love or affection towards their partner is that “puppeteer” fashioning the dance between the marionette-like movements between a happy and healthy couple that I mentioned before. If I kiss you with the intention of getting something from you, with no feeling, out of habit, or attempting to get something other than conveying love and appreciation — the intent, or lack thereof, is what is going to break down the relationship. The intent will ultimately break the relationship down because you’re not stirring any spark within yourself to maintain the fire, the magnetic love for a person… the “butterflies” people talk about , that shit is real. That is what THIS is, that is what this piece of this article is talking about. After reading this article, my entire outlook on every single action that I do for my partner has changed. I am going think deeply about my intentions every time I do something. When I kiss you goodbye, I am going to do it NOT out of habit, but because I want to leave you with the feeling that you are loved, appreciated, and wanted – and that it is not simply an act of habit. Love is intentional. Those stirring feelings of attraction, and chemistry, those come and go, but the part that makes you feel like your lives would be substantially lesser without one another… the feeling that you know that you could make this person’s life better by loving them, and vise versa… that’s where the intent behind love comes in. I don’t want to be in a relationship solely for my own benefit… I want to be in a relationship because I have a LOT to intentionally offer a partner, as a partner to them. Seeing your partner flourish by loving them is a beautiful thing and it honestly starts solely with that “I” word. You had the INTENT to date someone. You had the INTENT to find a lifelong partner. No matter what way you slice it, even if you weren’t looking for love, being receptive to the intent of another, falls on the exact same platform.
Phenomenal article by Megan Willett outlining Nate Bagley’s travels and I would absolutely love to see more from Bagley.