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The Science Of Forever Couples– 7 Traits That Make A Love Last

According to researcher Dr. Brené Brown, there are seven basic building blocks of trust: boundaries, reliability, accountability, vault, integrity, non-judgment, and generosity. These elements can be remembered using the acronym “BRAVING.” Each of these qualities are crucial to making a relationship last long-term. Learn more about the seven traits that make a love last below.

1. Boundaries.

First, boundaries! Boundaries are essentially relationship rules that draw the line between what is acceptable and what is unacceptable within a particular partnership. At their core, boundaries help provide a framework for a healthy, functioning relationship that is based on mutual respect and solid communication.

2. Reliability.

Next up, reliability. Reliability is dependability. It is showing up when you say you will and in the way you are meant to. It is following through and staying true to your word. And it is your partner responding in kind. Knowing what to expect from one another creates consistency and therefore trust.

3. Accountability.

Accountability builds trust because it bridges emotional safety and closeness. Accountability means that both partners can admit to their mistakes and then make the concerted effort to remedy those wrongs by doing better moving forward.

4. Vault.

The “vault” refers to keeping things said to one another in confidence only between you both. The vault also refers to respecting the stories of those outside of the relationship, too.

5. Integrity.

According to Dr. Brown, integrity exists within three pieces. “It’s choosing courage over comfort, choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast or easy, and practicing your values, not just professing your values,” Dr. Brown explained on her podcast Unlocking Us.

6. Non-judgment.

Non-judgment is the practice of allowing one another to be human. It is not demanding perfection. It is allowing room for messiness and mistakes and pain. It is giving one another support and accepting help from each other, too.

7. Generosity.

Last but not least, generosity. In the BRAVING model, generosity means assuming the best in one another. As Dr. Brown puts it, “The last one is G, Generosity. Our relationship is only a trusting relationship if you can assume the most generous thing about my words, intentions, and behaviors.”

Now, this doesn’t mean ignore pain your partner may unintentionally cause. Instead, you assume the best of your partner but still check in about a misstep and communicate how that mistake made you feel (even though it wasn’t done in malice).


Trust is everything in a forever relationship. In fact, research has even shown that trust is the number one characteristic people want in a significant other. However, it is important to note that trust is something that is built between two individuals. It is a mutual endeavor and one that takes effort from both parties. By incorporating the aforementioned, you can help create trust in your partnership and give yourselves a shot at forever.