Couples enter a relationship hoping it will last, but sometimes warning signs are there from the start. Knowing the signs of a lasting relationship can not only help you tell whether your relationship is strong, but also what you need to change if it is not. Loving, lasting relationships have several characteristics that relationship researchers have identified as sure signs the couple will make it past the early years.
You Avoid Contempt
One of the most reliable predictors of divorce or relationship failure is frequent contempt and criticism between partners. Dr. John Gottman, a divorce researcher, has found that criticism and contempt for a partner -- through mocking, shaming and guilting -- are common signs of troubled marriages. Contempt in particular is an enormous problem: Gottman has identified this as a characteristic that almost never occurs in healthy relationships. If your relationship is characterized by positive interactions, communication based on empathy and love instead of shame, and a positive view of your partner, your relationship is likely to last.
Your Friends Approve
Studies have shown that in the early stages of your relationship, your friends have a better sense of the relationship's actual health than you do. Researchers have found that the relationship success predictions of friends and family members, who are outside the relationship and therefore better able to see possible issues, are far more accurate than predictions made by the couples themselves. Ask your most trusted friends what they think about your relationship and what weak points they might see. This insight can help you to know whether your relationship is on the right track.
You Trust Each Other
Trust in your partner is a hallmark of a good relationship. Trust means that you are not constantly suspicious, worried or insecure about the status of your relationship and you do not break your partner's trust by checking his phone or quizzing him about his activities. If trust has been broken in a relationship through lies or cheating, it is up to the partner who broke the trust to earn it back. Strong relationships include trust and the willingness to earn back trust when it has been broken.
You're Still Physically Close
Couples in trouble often stop showing physical affection. Couples who stay together engage in physical touching such as hand-holding, casual touching and kissing. If you find your relationship cooling off physically, make an effort to increase romantic touch and work on the physical aspect of your relationship. Studies have found that most people need several "significant touches" a day from loved ones. Work on being more mindful of how you interact physically with your partner if this is a problem in your relationship.
- Prevention Magazine: 9 Ways Therapists Can Tell If Your Relationship Won't Work; Cari Wira Dineen
- Psychology Today: 5 Ways to Tell if a Relationship Might Last; Theresa E DiDonato
- Business Insider: Here's One Way To Tell If Your Relationship Will Last; Lauren Friedman
- Wall Street Journal: Can Eye-Rolling Ruin a Marriage? Researchers Study Divorce Risk; Tara Parker Pope
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