If the average person were to somehow stumble upon a magic lamp and a genie popped out to grant them three wishes, there is a good chance that "having a long and happy relationship" would be one of them. But wishful thinking aside, what are some unusual signs that predict a successful marriage? You might think that some basic things like having interests in common, rarely fighting, or even great sex could be ideal ways to know if your relationship is going to go the distance. Yet some couples have those qualities and still end up in Splitsville. So what gives?
I know that I definitely became more concerned with the strength of my marriage after we had a child. Let's be honest. Major life changes, like moving, new jobs, or having a kid, can be huge turning points in any relationship. So, if you're anything like me, you have taken to searching Google, asking friends, and consulting relationship advice books to try and predict if your own marriage will truly be able to stand the test of time. Well you're in luck. It turns out that there are actually quite a few unusual signs that can predict whether a marriage will be successful or not. Check out these top enduring relationship clues to put your mind at ease.
1. You're Constantly Exploring
It's one thing for a couple to survive a difficult ordeal. But what about voluntarily facing a challenge? According to and article on Psychology Today by psychology professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne, if you and your partner seek out and engage in new activities together, you will likely stay together for the long haul.
2. You Aren't Scared By Taboos
There's a saying that you don't talk about religion or politics in polite company. But that social rule pretty much goes out the window with marriage. What better way to predict the success of your relationship than to talk about controversial topics? Marriage therapist Michele Weiner-Davis told The Huffington Post, that strong couples are comfortable talking about difficult subjects, such as infidelity, infertility,or death.
3. You Lean In
Body language isn't just something reserved for decoding first dates. The way you and your significant other physically behave around each other says a lot. Couples therapist Michael J. Salamon told Prevention that, "a tilt of the head, a shift of the leg, a look or a change in tone can all indicate they are hearing, understanding and are being responsive to one another." From tense times to casual moments, movement says it all.
4. You Prefer Quality Over Quantity
Sex is good, sometimes even great. It's definitely a major component in a lot of relationships and has even been the deal-breaker for some. Though some couples wonder if they're having enough sex, it seems that frequency really isn't such an accurate predictor for a successful marriage. According to a University of Toronto study led by Amy Muise that was featured on CBS News, a successful relationship isn't about how much sex you have, but how connected the partners feel during intercourse. It seems quality really is more important than quantity.
5. You've Got The Same Vocab
It's only natural that if you've been with someone for a significant amount of time, you probably will start to pick up each other's habits. But did you know that how you talk and what words you and your partner use can be a sign of whether or not your marriage will be successful? In a study published in Psychological Science, study coauthor James Pennebaker found, "people who speak in similar styles are more compatible," and are even more likely to stay together.
6. You Watch Rom-Coms
Not every guy (or girl) enjoys a cheesy film with a cliche, mushy ending. But surprisingly, a University of Rochester study featured in New York magazine suggested that couples who watch and discuss films with relationships at the center are less likely to divorce. Who knew that a feel-good movie could predict if you'll actually feel good in your marriage?
7. You Fight
A lot of people whom I've asked about fighting in relationships are under the impression that less fighting means less issues. But that's not always the case. There can still be plenty of tension and unresolved problems even if two people don't discuss things. Relationship expert Terri Orbuch told The Huffington Post it isn't about never fighting, "a good relationship is one where the two of you fight fair." So if you and your SO fight, but are able to stay away from low blows, cursing, and other negativity, then you might be on the road to a long and healthy marriage.
8. You Express Gratitude
A casual "thank you" here and there for the occasional favor is all well and good, but probably not that meaningful. Yet, the little things can also add up to signify gestures of long-term love and appreciation between two people. Florida State University researcher Nathaniel Lambert told Women's Health magazine that a foundation of mutual gratitude and generosity was a major sign of strong, healthy relationships. Just remember that acts of kindness go both ways and reciprocity is always appreciated.
9. You Struggle To Concentrate
If you're finding it difficult to focus on multiple things at once because your mind keeps wandering back towards your partner, it may be more than just poor attention skills. "If you’re able to set aside your thoughts about your partner without much effort, this suggests that your partner takes up only a small amount of cognitive load," Whitbourne wrote in Psychology Today. So conversely, it's argued that getting distracted while thinking about your loved one is a sign of a very successful relationship.