Relationships aren't easy. There are so many different things that can get in the way of happily ever after — fights, timing, boredom. But if you are in a strong, solid relationship, then there’s a good chance you’ll actually be together till death do you part. So how to do you know if your relationship can survive anything and everything life throws at you and your significant other? Well, by looking for some subtle and not-so-subtle signs in your everyday routine.
Healthy, secure relationships share certain qualities that make them last for the long haul. The way you interact with your partner — both in good times and in bad — can be an indicator of whether or not your relationship is going to make it to your next anniversary. Couples in good relationships know that getting through a rough patch requires listening, caring, and, most importantly, wanting to get through it. They also know the importance of keeping the spark alive when everything is fine, even after years and years of being together. Relationships take work to maintain, and if you and your partner exhibit any signs that your relationship can survive anything, then it's totally worth the effort.
1You Have Fun Together
At the start of a relationship, big romantic gestures are par for the course. But the big glitzy shows of affection aren't sustainable in long term relationships. But that's ok, because they get replaced with good old fashioned fun. A relationship that's going to last is one that is full of laughter and exciting new activities that keep you and your partner always enjoying your time spent together.
2You Kiss. . . A Lot!
A 2013 study found that kissing directly correlates with relationship satisfaction, meaning the more often a couple plays a game of tonsil hockey, the happier they'll be together. So keep on smooching.
3You Have A Shared Vision Of The Future
&If you and your partner have different expectations or goals for the future, it'll be difficult to have a lasting relationship. Some differing beliefs are irreconcilable, like if one of you wants kids and the other doesn't. Neither of you is right or wrong — it just means you're just not right for each other. If your goals for a shared future do jive, however, you're setting yourself up for success. This means thoughts on marriage, children, financial goals, presence of religion, and more. Sure you'll disagree on minor things like where to take your next vacation or what breed of dog you want to adopt, but for anything that will drastically shape your future lives, it's better if you're starting off on the same page.
4Your Friends & Family Approve
Of course, who you date is up to you, but it's always a good idea to listen to the opinions of the people who care about you most. For one thing, they might be able to have a more objective view of the relationship since their thoughts won't be clouded by emotions. And just overall, a relationship that has the support of loved ones is more likely to last.
5You Understand The Importance Of "We"
Relationships that stand the test of time are the ones in which both partners are willing to put the good of the relationship over what's strictly good for the self. The more you and your partner can focus on what's best for you two as a couple, the stronger your relationship will be.
6You Try New Things Together
Both above and beneath the sheets. One of the most common complaints of long-term couples is that things get boring, but you have the power to keep things fresh and exciting. Doing new things together is not only fun, but it will also bring you closer together and help you strengthen the bond of your relationship. Try new foods, explore your city, go on physical escapades — whatever you both think would be exhilarating. And the "new things" initiative is not limited to outside adventures. Try to be daring in the bedroom, too. You'll keep your sex life exciting, and we all know the wonders that can do for a relationship.
7You Say "Thank You"
Mom always reminded you to say please and thank you, and just because you're a grown-up now doesn't mean you can forsake this advice. In a long-term relationship, it can be easy to take the little things your SO does for granted, but do your best to recognize all that they do. Women's Health magazine notes that couples who show gratitude and thank their partners have stronger relationships. With a simple "thank you", you'll make them feel better, and by realizing what they've done, you'll help remind yourself why you love them so darn much.
8You Cuddle Up
Snuggle in your sleep? According to Women's Health, That means you're a stronger couple. Spooning or sleeping in "the nook" normally means you're happier and more satisfied in your relationship.
9You Don't Hide Anything
Trusting your partner is one of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship. Hiding anything, from text message to shopping bills, means you don't feel comfortable being completely honest with your SO, which is a huge red flag. Couples who are completely honest and transparent tend to have better long term relationships.
10You Fight Fairly
Fights happen, but the couples that make it through the fights are the ones who don't attack in the face of conflict. Yelling, slamming doors, flipping the bird, or passive-aggressively rolling your eyes are all signs that you're not concerned with your partner's feelings during the tiff. If you treat a disagreement as a discussion and both honestly talk about what's bothering you, however, you'll come out the other side feeling better and even closer.
11And After A Fight, You Invite Each Other Back In
Even if you're not completely over what happened, brining your partner back into your life shows that you are willing and wanting to make amends. The silent treatment doesn't have a place in relationships that are going to survive. Showing that you want things to get better is half the battle.
12You Enjoy A Good Chick Flick
Pop in a Hugh Grant or Jennifer Anniston film. A 2014 study from the University of Rochester found that couples who watch relationship movies together are half as likely to split up. It might sound crazy, but it makes sense. The study found that watching relationship problems in a movie spurred couples to think and talk about how these issues popped up in their own relationships. (And, it gives you an excuse to make him watch Love Actually with you.)
13You Can't Keep Your Hands Off Each Other
Touching expresses intimacy, and the more you touch your partner — be it a hug, a back massage or holding hands — the more you'll both know you're part of a committed romantic relationship.
You'd be amazed at how often you think you're listening to someone when you're actually just thinking about what you're going to say next, distracted by your smartphone, or just plain not paying attention. Couples who last, however, make an honest effort to truly listen to what their partner is saying and to empathize with them as well.
15You Enjoy The Boring Stuff Together
If you're happy doing chores with your SO, then chances are you guys are in a strong relationship. Being in a happy couple means you enjoy each other's company and have fun together, even if what you're doing is laundry, grocery shopping or organizing the garage. Just doing it together makes it at least tolerable, if not actually kind of fun.
16You Don't Hold A Grudge
If you want your relationship to last, you need to learn to, in the infamous words of Elsa, to let it go. Holding on to past arguments and not forgiving your partner only puts strain on your relationship. To move forward, you need to learn to put any past problems behind you.
17You Keep Your Self-Identity
When you're part of a duo, you have to make sure you don't lose sight of who you are as a solo, too. And in a good relationship, your partner will support that self-identity, and you will support theirs as well. You're together because you both fell in love with each other, so don't abandon the selves you started out as.
18You Talk The Same
Wanna know if you and your partner are right for each other? Check your chatter. The answer is in the words you don't even think about — pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and quantifiers. In a study done at Texas Tech University, it was found that in regard to these types of words, couples who's language styles matched each other were twice as likely to stay together as those who didn't.
19Your Gut Agrees
No matter how much you watch chick flicks or how similar your speech patterns are, the best way to know if your relationship is going to last is to listen to your gut. Your mind can tell you all kinds of lies, or rationalize all kinds of things, but your gut instincts are rarely ever wrong — so pay them heed.
20You Have A Lot Of Sex
Before you go buy your condoms in bulk, you should know that "a lot" doesn't mean doing it on the daily (unless, of course, you want to.) A recent Canadian study found that couples who have sex once a week are happier than couples who have sex more or less.
21You Respect Each Other
R-E-S-P-E-C-T! But seriously, mutual respect is perhaps the most important element of any relationship. You care about each other, you want each other to be happy, you support each other, you love each other — it all falls under the umbrella of respect.