When you're in a relationship — whether you're just dating, starting to get more serious, getting engaged, getting married, or otherwise making a commitment to spend your lives together — you probably wish you could know exactly how the relationship will turn out. Will you go through another painful breakup? Will you be together forever? Inquiring minds want to know. Luckily, there are some signs you're in a grown-ass relationship that'll last the long run, which might help put your mind at ease if you start to stress.
There's fear in the unknown and if you think your relationship is changing (or you're ready for it to change, but you're not sure exactly what that will look like), it can be easy to overthink things and start to get more than a little bit worked up and stressed out. Ultimately, the solution to all that stress and worry can come from within the very relationship about which you're fretting. It can sometimes be easy to forget, but you and your partner are on the same team, so, as Vikki Ziegler, divorce attorney, relationship expert, author of The Pre-Marital Planner, and star of BRAVO TV's Untying the Knot, tells Romper. Here are signs that you're ultimately fighting for each other, not against each other.
1. Your Partner Makes You Feel Like A Priority
Chances are, if you feel like your partner puts everything else in their life ahead of you and your relationship, it won't last. Making each other feel like you're a priority in the other's life is super important. "A key part of making relationships last long-term is prioritizing each other and the relationship between you," Sarah E. Clark, a licensed therapist and relationship expert tells Romper by email. "If you notice that your partner prioritizes you whenever possible, rearranges schedules to spend time together, or makes you feel like you are at the top of their list, then you are off to a good start."
2. You And Your Partner Communicate Consistently
In any relationship, communication is of the utmost importance. Whether you're in a long-distance relationship or you're living in the same home, regular communication — both verbal and nonverbal — is essential. "It creates an alliance that is reassuring through an action versus verbal. Actions speak louder than words," licensed marriage and family therapist Lisa Bahar tells Romper in an email exchange. "It is also a way to know if you are both drifting or one of you is, when these types of patterns start to break down."
3. You Forget About The Terms Of The Prenup
Some couples choose to draw up and sign a prenup before they get married, thinking that it'll protect them if the relationship ends. According to Ziegler, forgetting what exactly the terms of that agreement are is a good sign that your relationship will last. "I’m hammering home [to] everybody, 'remember what your prenup says, all assets that are separate are separate, generally, anything that’s in joint name is gonna be divisible equally,' and you’re married for 10 years and you’re like, ‘you know what? I don’t even care what the prenup says, I love you, we’re in it for the long haul, let’s live like a married couple,'" Ziegler says. "That’s a pretty good sign that you’re probably going in for the long term, you’re probably going to beat the odds."
4. Your Partner Tries To Meet Your Needs
If you're looking for a sign that this relationship you're in is going to make it, look to see how your partner responds to your needs. "If you ask for something from your partner, they should want to try to make it happen," Clark says. "It could be anything that is reasonable: more time, more affection, a different type of communication, or anything else that makes you feel good. When they try to meet your needs, it shows that they value you and the relationship."
If you don't ask, you can't really be mad that they haven't done it, though, of course, it's always nice when someone who loves you does something for you just because they know it's what you'd like or need.
5. You And Your Partner Can Sit In Silence Happily
Silence doesn't have to be awkward and it also doesn't necessarily mean that there's something wrong with your relationship. In fact, according to Ziegler, the ability to sit in silence together can be a positive sign that things are going to work out. "I think the more you get to know somebody and like their presence and their company, silence speaks much more than actual words," Ziegler says. "[It's] like, I like my husband, and actually I don’t mind that he’s sitting there doing work and I’m doing whatever because I just like knowing that he’s there and we’re together, and then when we talk, we talk. You can also co-exist in a marriage together where you’re not bothering each other." You're just enjoying each other's company.
6. You Often Go To Bed Together
This doesn't have anything to do with sex. "Going to bed together and the same time seems to be a big strengthener in couples," Bahar says. This means you both climb into bed at the same time. Maybe you watch a TV show or read side-by-side before drifting off, rather than one of you going to bed while the other stays up playing video games, watching TV, or working late into the night.
7. You And Your Partner Are Genuinely Friends
That saying about marrying your best friend is as popular as it is for a very good reason. If you're going to be together for the rest of your lives, you and your partner should truly be friends. "Friendship is an important part of what makes relationships last. If you have a strong foundation of friendship, respect, and love, then you can make it through the bad times," Clark says. "The friendship aspect of the relationship does not have to start from the very beginning, though. You can do things to build, deepen, and maintain your friendship over time."
Just because there wasn't a foundational level of friendship there when you got together doesn't mean that it's too late.
8. You Appreciate Each Other
When you've had a long day and there are a million little things you both need to get to and sort out together, it can be easy to focus on the tasks at hand, but it's important, too, to tell your partner how much you appreciate that they're the one in it alongside you. "I think it’s a basic concept, but it’s so overlooked in so many divorces that I handle, so I feel like appreciate each other and definitely be able to communicate how much you love the other person often, not like once a year," Ziegler says. Don't underestimate how much that really matters, or what a great sign this is about the strength of your own relationship.
9. You And Your Partner Fight Fairly
All couples disagree. Fighting in and of itself isn't a sign that the relationship won't last, as long as you're fighting fairly. In fact, fair fighting is actually a sign that the relationship will make it. Mocking or denegrating one another, storming out, dredging up old issues... those are just some examples of not fighting fairly. "You can still be kind and respectful while disagreeing or fighting with your loved ones," Clark says. If you treat each other well even when you argue, then that's a really good sign.
10. You're Still Touching And Kissing
"I think most couples that I talk to after five years don’t kiss," Ziegler says. "So, I think if you’re still kissing, it’s a really good sign your marriage is going to last." Touching in other ways is also important, she adds: "Tt doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual. It’s touching on the couch, holding hands, toes touching in bed." Those physical signs of affection say a lot.
11. You Laugh Together
Sometimes, things are serious, of course, but if you let your relationship get too bogged down by the seriousness of every single situation, you'll forget to have fun together. "I feel like if you’re laughing, at yourself, at your partner, and just making light of things instead of always this seriousness and the fighting, I think you have longevity," Ziegler says. "Because levity, I think, creates longevity."
After all, when it comes down to it, that's what you're really after.