When you're in the throes of a romantic relationship, sometimes it can be hard to tell if you've found yourself a ride-or-die partner. Some relationships are built to last, and others aren't. So how can you be sure you've found yourself a good one? According to relationship counselor and therapist Elisabeth Graham, there are signs your partner will stick by you, no matter what you face together.
Every relationship has its ups and downs. There are good times and bad times, and unexpected challenges and situations you'll face — both alone and together. The signs of a dedicated, committed partner, can be found in someone who sticks with you when tough times arise and continues to love and support you through any situation you may be facing. Whether or not you can trust a partner to stick with you, even on the rainy days, can be hard to determine. But Graham says that there are a few obvious actions your partner may take that point towards their integrity and dedication to your relationship. "If you pay attention, your partner's actions often speak louder than their words," Graham says. It's an age old adage, but according to Graham — it's one you can count on to be true.
If you're trying to figure out if your partner will be with you through the end, here are 13 signs to reassure you.
1. They Put Your Needs First
Graham says that being a part of a partner-focused couple, where you and your partner think of each other's needs as often, if not more, than your own, is the sign of a relationship that will make it. "Partners who are thoughtful, who put their partner first, are very conscious in relationships," Graham says.
2. They Thank You Often
It might surprise you, but when it comes to relationships that last, it's not three little words that make or break you — it's two. "A partner who says thank you often is one who is grateful," Graham says. "And gratitude is a key component of successful relationships."
3. They're A Great Listener
"If your partner is a great listener, you're more likely to succeed," Graham says. Of course, this applies to you, too. The more you actually listen to your partner, and the more your partner listens to you, the more apt the two of you are to make it through anything that comes your way.
4. They Don't Sound Strained
You can actually hear whether or not your partner is likely to stick with you, in the tone of their voice. "There are clues in the tone of your partner's voice," Graham says. Because of the amount of clues, Graham says listening to people's tone can be more important than the actual words they're saying. "Partners who sound strained in conversation are less likely to stick around," Graham says.
5. They're Steady & Reliable
"Partners who have a flair for the dramatic are less likely to stick with their partners than those who are steady and reliable," Graham says. Moral of the story? Find a partner who doesn't flee at the first sign of conflict, and you'll be more apt to make it through the tough stuff together.
6. They Don't Avoid Problems
Though it can be easier to avoid problems rather than confronting them, avoiding problems doesn't make for a successful relationship. "A partner who confronts problems, addresses them, and contributes to solving them is someone who will help you through just about anything that you find yourself facing," Graham says.
7. They Pay Attention To The Little Things
"The little things are usually so much more than little things," Graham says. If your partner remembers your favorite things, whether it's flowers, beer, or snack — they're paying attention to you. And a partner who pays attention to the things you love, no matter how big or small, is a partner you're likely to hold onto through the ups and downs.
8. They Want You To Feel Good About Yourself
A partner who wants you to feel beautiful, smart, accomplished, and more? That's the dream. "If your partner goes out of his or her way to make sure you know how wonderful you are, that's a good sign," Graham says. Beyond your looks, beyond simple compliments, a partner who lifts you up and wants you to feel good about yourself is one who will stick with you.
9. They Don't Fixate On Mistakes
It's important to acknowledge mistakes, since you're all human and mistakes happen. But finding a partner who doesn't fixate on them can make or break your relationship, according to Graham. "If your partner holds onto resentment or fixates on the mistakes you or they make, your relationship will be fraught with struggles." A partner who acknowledges mistakes and then moves on from them is one who will be with you 'til the end.
10. They Take Responsibility
"If your partner takes responsibility for their actions, you're more likely to cross the finish line together," Graham says. Finding a partner that will own up to his or her actions matters when you're talking about finding someone who will stick by your side, even when times get tough.
11. They Support You
Finding a partner who supports your hopes and dreams is the goal, right? But finding a partner who is supportive of you when you're going through a tough time is just as important. "Supporting someone when they need it the most is one of the cornerstones of a great relationship, and can make the difference between a temporary relationship, and one that lasts the test of time."
12. They Trust You & You Trust Them
Trust is monumental in any relationship. "If you trust one another, the chances of your relationship succeeding no matter what you go through is much higher," Graham says. Practice trust with your partner, and both of you will be more comfortable in the long run.
13. They're Open & Honest
It can be difficult for people to express their emotions, even when they're in a committed relationship. Opening up to someone, sharing your emotions, your inner-most desires, your fears, your wants, it can be daunting. But a partner who's in it for the long haul with you? They'll be open with you about all of those things. According to Graham, partners who are prone to sharing their feelings with their significant other have better and more open communication, and have healthier relationships because of it.