To continue with the relationship blog topic from yesterday - Professor John Gottman has recently developed a radical theory for the secret to a successful union, based on 'the love map'. 'The love map' is the term for the part of your brain where you store all the relevant information about your partner's life.
Gottman's research showed that a powerful predictor of how long a relationship lasts is how many apparently trivial minutiae they knew about their partner; for example, what kind of sauce they liked with different food, which was their preferred coffee brand etc. Gottman's theory is that the small details seemed to be the best predictor of the relationship's health. He went onto suggest that 'the love map' acts as a protecting factor from big life upheavals as it's this kind of knowledge that keeps couples up-to-date and keeps them aware of what they are both thinking and feeling.
Obviously, the main criticism of Gottman's research is that it's chicken and egg. Maybe by the very fact that the relationship is strong, a detailed love map will naturally develop. However, perhaps the take home message from his research is that we can all sometimes underestimate just how upsetting it can be for others when we forget the small details as it can be perceived as uncaring.