Secure romantic relationships are based on trust and understanding. They are developed over time and tend to last the longest; however, just because a couple feels secure doesn’t mean the couple is necessarily happy. While every healthy relationship shines with rays of trust and happiness, shadows often lurk filled with lies and deceit. A painting, entitled Alley by the Lake, by Leonid Afremov portrays the secure, yet secret, side to relationships.
Happiness holds relationships together. Finding someone who makes feelings arise, plastering a smiling on one’s face, draws any person in. It’s the warmth one wants and the intensity one longs for. Without this feeling, there is no reason to become involved. There would be no relational difference between people. In the study, “Sweetheart, you really make me happy: Romantic relationship quality and personality are predictors of happiness among emerging adults,” Meliksah Demir states that relationships “experience certain provisions…that include but are not limited to companionship, help, affection, intimacy and emotional security” (Demir, 2008, p.258). Aspects of Alley by the Lake, such as the colors and behaviors that take place, reveal the features Demir suggests take part in the happiness of one’s relationship.
The reliable assistance of another is the help one longs for. In the study, “Within-Person Variation in Security of Attachment: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Attachment, Need Fulfillment, and Well-Being,” researchers, La Guardia, Ryan, Couchman and Deci, work hard to prove that attachment and reliance on the significant other is detrimental to how well a romantic relationship works. Stated within the article, “research has indicated that satisfaction of the basic psychological needs for competence, dependence, and connection does represent a reasonable interpretation of what is meant by attachment of relational partners and that experiences with a relational partner with respect to these needs can affect people's overall attachment security…” (La Guardia, Ryan, Couchman & Deci, 2000, p. 369). The painting expresses the help through the holding of the umbrella. One benefit of being in a romantic relationship is the guaranteed help and reliability that the significant other gives.
Affection is essential. A study titled, “To Have and to Hold: Gratitude Promotes Relationship Maintenance in Intimate Bonds,” explains the necessity of this. Ways of showing affection are countless. However, this study focused on the appreciation aspect of affection. Showing and constantly reassuring one another of your love and fondness creates and elongates the happiness within relationships. The previously mentioned study concluded, “people who were more appreciative of their partners became more responsive (Study 1) and committed (Study 2) over time” (Gordon, Impett, Kogan, Oveis & Keltner, 2012, p. 269). As the couple walks arm in arm in the painting, the liking of one another is inevitable. They...