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Fewer expectations, better relationship. Here are 5 principles of strong relationships

If you want a better relationship, put these facts to the test.

They say comparison is the thief of joy, but Studio 5 Relationship Contributor Dr. Matt Townsend believes expectations are.

After more than 25 years teaching relationship skills, Matt has found that the fewer expectations you have about your relationship, the better off you’ll be. If you do have expectations, make sure they’re accurate.


Matt believes that the chemistry around our love often gets warped, leading us to expect more from our relationships than they can actually offer.

He said, “My wife needs to be my best friend, my lover, my confidant, everything to me. Can one human that I met when I was 17 actually fulfill all of those roles?”

“Chemistry changes, but so do we grow, our learning, our expectations, the culture around us has changed in the last 20-25 years,” Matt observed. He noted that expectations change as society evolves, and part of being in a relationship is renegotiating and renavigating these changes day by day.

The Myth of Falling Out of Love

Matt debunked the common belief that people fall out of love. He argued that falling out of love is just generally falling into something else.

“We’re more into our career. We’re more into our kids. And when we do that, we distract ourselves and we’re no longer building the love.”

The Role of Conflict in Healthy Relationships

“The healthiest couples still have high levels of conflict,” Matt said. He believes that conflict is not the problem; it’s the inability to resolve it that’s the issue. He encouraged couples to learn how to resolve conflicts and grow together.

The Importance of Character in Communication

“Your level of character determines your level of communication,” Matt stated. He believes that communication skills are ineffective if one lacks the character to handle feedback. He emphasized the importance of integrity, honesty, and humility in effective communication.

Conflict Avoidance vs Making Peace

Matt distinguished between conflict avoidance and making peace. He warned against always running from a conversation to avoid it, as it is not the same as being able to sit in it and make peace.

The Necessity of Growth in Love

Finally, Matt concluded that love can’t last without both parties intentionally growing.

He said, “Life is about growing. It’s not about just two people mutually tolerating each other.”

Improve your relationships through a 10-day Relationship Makeover with Dr. Matt Townsend. Learn more on his website,

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