7 Little Morning & Night Habits That Predict If A Couple Will Last, According To Science
Relationships aren't easy. They take work each and every day in order for them to succeed. And even if you and your partner try to make things work, sometimes they just don't. In some ways, it'd be a lot easier if you could just know how long a relationship will last before you get invested — emotionally and otherwise — but unfortunately life doesn't work that way. There are, however, some little morning and night habits that predict if a couple will last, according to science, that might give you a little bit of peace of mind if they're habits that you and your partner already have or give you some ideas for the kinds of habits you may want to adopt if you both want the relationship to work out long-term.
If you think about it, most of the week, the only time you spend with your partner is a bit of time in the morning before one or the other of you (or both) goes off to work and in the evening, after you get home. Because that's really not all that much time, in the grand scheme of things, making the most of it can be important. Adopting certain morning and evening habits can not only help bring the two of you closer together, but also just might predict if your relationship is going to last.
1. You Both Read Before Bed Or Work On A Crossword Puzzle In The Morning
If you and your partner are in the habit of both doing a crossword, reading, or going for a sunset stroll, it could mean that your relationship is going to last. A 2005 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that while having opposing interests (i.e. "opposites attract") was attractive for short-term relationships, real commitments required similar values, habits, goals, and leisure activities.
2. Make Them Coffee In The Morning
Whether it's getting up to make or bring them coffee, making them their favorite dinner once a week, or bringing home flowers on Fridays, doing something for your partner that shows you appreciate them can help make your relationship stronger, Dr. Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., a professor at Oakland University and the author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great, told Greatist. Express genuine appreciation for them on a regular basis. Once you get into the habit of doing so, it'll be second-nature.
3. End The Day With A Hug Or Kiss
Want your relationship to last? Get into the habit of starting or ending the day with a hug or kiss. A 2011 study conducted by researchers at Stony Brook University and Harvey Mudd College found that more affectionate relationships meant more "intense love" long-term. Holding hands, snuggling up on the couch, and making time for sex can help with this as well.
4. Celebrate Each Of Your Successes Before Bed
Take a little bit of time to celebrate each of your successes each day. Sure, they probably won't all be as life-changing as a major promotion, but even little things deserve to be celebrated. In a 2006 paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the way you two react to successes and celebrate one another can potentially be an even better predictor of relationship success than the way that you fight. Celebrating each success, no matter how small, shows your partner that you're proud of them and always on their team.
5. Talk To Each Other (And Not Just Small Talk)
It sounds so basic, but communication problems can be relationship-enders. The Gottman Institute found that poor communication skills like getting defensive or stonewalling your partner can cause serious issues. Not only that, but researcher Dr. Anthony Lyons told the New York Times that couples need to talk about their sex life together openly and honestly. Getting in the habit of talking to each other every day, whether it's about who's buying what at the grocery store, your sex life, or the logistics of getting the kids to their activities this week, can help predict if your relationship might last.
6. Ask Them What They Need
You're not a mind-reader, so while you probably sometimes can figure out what your partner might need in that moment, asking them directly about what they need today or what they need this week can help you try to give them those things. In an interview with Greatist for the aforementioned article, Dr. Jeremy Nicholson, Ph.D., a psychologist and dating expert, said that in order for your committed relationship to stay loving, you both need to have your needs met, whatever those needs may be.
7. Go To Bed At The Same Time
The Telegraph reported that a 2013 study found that about three and a half years after a couple gets married, they're more likely to go to bed at separate times than couples earlier in their relationships and that they begin to take each other for granted more. If you get in the habit of going to bed at the same time — and do your best to stick to it — your relationship really might last.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.