Science says there are four kinds of couple

No, one of them isn’t the ‘really irritating’ couple

Science is making the world less terrifying and more explicable: apparently couples have four approaches they use to connect with one another. The University of Illinios asked 376 couples to ‘log’ their commitment over nine months, and reasons for why it might change in that period.

They found that each approach has its own patterns and – apparently – contains some indication about whether the relationship will last.

Let’s work out how long your relationship has left on the clock.

Dramatic Couples



  • Twice as likely to break up as other couples
  • Characterised by up and downs
  • Their commitment to each other is unstable
  • Make decisions based on negative events that happen within their relationship, or negative thoughts they’re having about it

Partner-focused Couples



  • Partner-focused couples are most likely to stay together and be happy
  • Both members of the couple are very involved, and dependent on each other
  • Heavy on commitment
  • People who find themselves in these couples tend to be conscientious – so they’re likely contemplative and considered about their relationship
  • They may share friends but it isn’t at the heart of their relationship

Conflict-ridden Couples


  • Their commitment decreases when they argue
  • They ride ups and downs: conflict divides them but  passionate attraction will pull them back together
  • This kind of relationship is not sustainable in the long-term

Socially Involved Couples


  • Similar to partner-focused couples in the respect they are happy and feel stable in their relationship
  • Likely share friends and rely on these friends to make decisions about commitment
  • Having mutual friends makes people in these couples feel closer and more committed

Love: keep making the world go round.