No one gets married anticipating that they’ll one day divorce. And no one buys a home with their partner if they suspect one day they’ll be moving out. Yet 40 to 50 percent of married couples in America wind up getting divorced, which is a pretty significant number. Still, since approximately 50 percent of couples do stay married to each other, don’t fret: you very well could be part of the more optimistic statistic.
There are some pretty telltale signs that you and your boo can stand the test of time that are pretty easy to identify. Here’s how you can tell if you and your partner are likely to make it.
Remember how it felt when you first started dating your partner? Maybe you couldn’t stop writing their name down in your notebook, or maybe you were prone to buying little gifts for them all the time. However, now that those pheromones have subsided, are you still doing those little things? If so, that’s a good thing.
Kimberly Hershenson, a NYC-based therapist affirmed this, noting, “If you still remember what it was like when you were dating and are bringing some of those behaviors into the relationship, such as texting your partner in the middle of the day to let them know you’re thinking of them, buying them their favorite treat as a surprise, or kissing them goodbye and saying you can’t wait to see them later, these are all great signs your relationship will last.”
Life can be pretty hectic for most couples. Between maintaining a home, taking care of kids, and managing your careers, it can be easy to let your relationship take a back burner. But if you naturally carve out alone time together with your sweetie, that’s a fortuitous sign that you’re nurturing your bond.
One way you’re already doing this, according to Hershenson, is if “you set aside one night a week for ‘date night in’ by setting the table, putting out candles, and having a delicious meal together.” That can keep you dialed into each other and well-connected. Additionally, even if you decide to go out, you’re still connecting if you, as per Hershenson, “turn off electronics and focus on conversation. These are great signs your relationship is going in the right direction.” The key is to observe that time you spend alone together as special.
It might be a topic too taboo for the dinner table, but one sign that you and your sweetie have longevity on your side is if you’re still having regular sex. That’s because regular intimacy — even if you have to schedule it — will help you reduce tension and protect your partnership from the regular, less-sexy stresses of life, which sets you up for long-term success.
And non-sexual touch is important, too, as Hershenson noted, “It’s a great sign if you physically touch [each] other whether it’s a kiss hello or goodbye, snuggling on the couch, or holding hands. Even non-sexual touching builds connection between partners.” So if you’re physically connecting, you’ll be emotionally connected as well.
Most relationships are super easy in the beginning when you’re both feeling the rush of hormones and chemicals, constantly swooning over each other in a dopamine-fueled haze. Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and business owner concurred, telling me, “The beginnings of relationships are exciting and filled with passion.”
But every couple will have to deal with changes once you move out of the honeymoon phase. He continued, saying, “A lot of that naturally fades and a successful couple has to find happiness in the daily joys and struggles of life. If you and your partner love the little things about each other and can enjoy spending time together just ‘doing nothing,’ it’s a good sign your relationship will last.” So if you take joy in cooking a meal, going to the gym, or binge watching Netflix together, that’s a sign you’re doing things right.
The ability to compromise is important for success in many aspects of life, whether you’re collaborating with coworkers or strategizing girls’ night out with your besties. Naturally, your romantic relationship will also thrive when you’ve both have honed your ability to give and take.
As Bennett noted, “A long lasting relationship requires flexible individuals who are willing to give a little (and sometimes a lot) to ensure mutual happiness. If you and your partner are good at finding solutions that make you both happy, it’s a good indicator that you’ll be successful in the future.”
That can be manifest in many ways, such as trading who gets to pick the movie for date night, or bigger things like moving to a new city for a partner’s career opportunity. If you’re both receiving the benefits of compromise over time, you’re on the right track.
It’s somewhat inevitable in life that you’ll fall on bad times occasionally, whether that means losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, or enduring a traumatic event. But as tough as things can get, there can be a silver lining if you’ve endured hardship together with your partner.
According to Bennett, “If you’ve been through adversity together and your relationship grew stronger, it’s a good sign you can handle anything that comes your way.” And there’s another possible benefit, too. Bennett went on, “Not only that, but overcoming adversity as couple bonds you to each other. Consequently, your relationship has a better chance of lasting.” Adversity, then, is not all bad if you’ve gotten through it together.
Conflict is a natural occurrence and happens in just about every human relationship, whether between parent and child, sister and brother, or among romantic partners. Shula Melamed, a relationship and wellness coach, has observed this, telling me, “There is a chance if you are together with someone for a long time you are not going to agree on everything.”
And if you’re going to make it last with your significant other, you have to learn how to fight fair. She continued, “What predicts your ability to weather these storms is the ability to fight fair and make up afterward. It is a sign of respect and acknowledgement of one’s own responsibilities in disagreements. These moments can also lead to constructive conversations about what is going on between the two for you, forging greater emotional intimacy.” So if you’re not fighting dirty or fighting all the time, you’ll avoid negative fallout from poor conflict management.
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