At the beginning of a relationship when you are still entangled in the excitement of new love and the honeymoon phase, it’s not easy to tell if the bond between you and your partner is strong enough to hold you both together for long.
Here are signs experts say you should look out for that could indicate the relationship is going to last.
You feel comfortable being yourselves around each other.
If you don’t feel like you constantly need to impress your partner to earn their love and affection as you are confident this person likes you for you, then things are already looking promising for you as a couple. “If you can be yourself and feel comfortable letting your guard down and being you, the relationship is in good shape,” psychologist and sex therapist Shannon Chavez said.
You’re forthcoming about your pasts.
After you are in a relationship, both of you are able to gradually open up to each other about anything and everything, even mistakes you have made and things you aren’t proud of. “It takes courage, maturity and inner strength to be transparent and vulnerable, even with our partner, about the not-so-positive aspects about ourselves. These are positive qualities for building a relationship that will last and will serve you well as you navigate the ups and downs of life together.” said Kurt Smith, a therapist who specializes in counseling men.
You sincerely apologize to each other when you wrong them.
“We all make mistakes, say things we shouldn’t have said, and can be selfish at times. A simple, ‘I’m sorry’ is amazing in how healing it can be for a relationship. If you’ve got a partner who’s willing to say sorry, that’s a hard-to-find quality and strength, and you should do all you can to keep them.” Smith said.
You celebrate each other’s achievements.
You both are happy and proud of each other when one of you accomplishes something. You both see the other’s achievement as a win for the both of you and should be celebrated as such. “Be enthusiastic about each other and let them know how proud you are of their wins, efforts and direction. One of the worst things to happen in a relationship is insecurity arising out of one partner succeeding.” Bird said.
You consistently show up for one another.
When you both agree to do something, then you will commit to it and make sure it gets done. You both know you can count on each other for the small and big things. “This indicates that each person is in the right frame of mind for a healthy relationship and that they are both on the same page. Consistency allows for trust to build, which then allows intimacy to grow because both partners feel safe and comfortable.” Deborah Duley, a psychotherapist, said.
You share similar values and common life goals.
For a relationship to last, your major goals should be in alignment. This include, your desires to start a family, your financial goals or habits and your views on monogamy. “For example, if one person wants nothing more than to have three kids and the other is strictly opposed to having children there could be an issue. If your partner says they don’t want kids but you do, don’t try to be ‘cool’ and agree with them hoping that they will change their mind someday. That isn’t fair to anyone.” Bird said.
When you fight, you fight fair.
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, however, it’s how you conduct yourselves during those heated moments that determines the damage. “A good sign is that no matter how difficult the content, nobody gets nasty, nobody piles on unrelated grievances, and neither of you wants to win at your partner’s expense. Also key, when it’s all over you have a reliable way to repair.” said marriage and family therapist Winifred Reilly.
You spice things up in the bedroom.
“You don’t have to like all the same things but you can enjoy them as a form of intimacy. You are open to trying new things together and getting out of your comfort zone.” Chavez said.
You’re both good listeners.
You both listen to each other without letting distractions like the TV, phones get in the way, even when having a tense conversation. “Showing you’re willing to listen can be as simple as not looking at your phone when your partner is talking to you, being willing to mute the TV for a moment, or making time to have deeper conversations with all of the distractions turned off and giving each other your full undivided attention,” Smith said.
You’re adventurous and love trying new things together.
Couples who are in the habit of changing things up, by visiting new places, taking up a hobby together or making plans with new friends are more likely to last longer. “Couples that can grow together, stay together. Exploring new things and having fun help keep the passion alive in a relationship. Set the stage for making adventure a part of your relationship.” Chavez said.