A lot of people have been spending more time than ever with their partners’ thanks to coronavirus. For some that may be a hard or unhappy thing to deal with. But for others in sturdier healthier relationships, it has only given them more time to recognize that this relationship is the right one for them.
Trying to figure out the key to long term happiness in a relationship isn’t new. Psychologists have been studying this for years. Some of the things they have found may seem so simple to you but they are truly fundamental for a successful long term relationship.
Here are nine signs your relationship is as strong as a rock.
You think about your partner often when you’re not together.
If you and your partner think about each other a lot when you’re not together, that’s a great sign! In 2007, Stony Brook University researchers randomly dialed hundreds of adults and asked the nearly 300 who were married about their relationships and how in love they felt. Results showed that certain relationship characteristics were linked to stronger feelings of love. One especially interesting finding: The more often people reported thinking about their partner when they were apart, the more in love they felt. So take that little check-in text as a binging little reminder of their love for you.
You respond positively to each other’s good news.
Sharing in each other’s joy is another sign of a close bond. When people feel truly bonded and connected they want the absolute best for their partner. So when something good happens to or for their partner the reaction is basically equal to if it had happened for them. Active and engaged responses seem to be more closely linked with having a healthier bond.
You spend some time apart.
Loving someone doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking moment with them. Having hobbies, friends, and outside interests makes you a more complete person. And that makes you a better partner. If you want to be happy in your marriage, it’s best not to look to your partner for all your existential needs. Finkel recommends finding yourself in hobbies, friends, and work.
You have a similar sense of humor.
This for me has to be one of the biggest things. Lots of things can fade or change in a relationship, from money to looks. But the one thing that can always stay the same is your ability to laugh toghether. Laughter is the world’s best medicine, so it is always better when you have a partner you can get a daily dose from.
You split chores evenly.
An equal division of household labor is correlated with higher relationship satisfaction. When one person feels the labor is too one-sided it can lead to feelings of anger and resentment. In a poll done
56% of married Americans said sharing household chores is “very important” to a successful marriage — that’s more than the percentage who said having adequate income was very important. Acts of service will always be an important love language.
You try new things together.
Do you and your partner make time to try new things? If so, you’re in great shape. Couples that are pursuing new adventures together tend to be happier overall. Whether it is exciting activities like going to a play or dancing or just doing pleasant but routine activities together — like going to a movie. Couples who spent their time trying new things tend to be more satisfied and engaged with their partner.
You don’t have a lot of extreme downturns in your relationship.
Constantly re-thinking the relationship is not a good sign, experts say. Relationships built on drama tend to have highs and lows. But sometimes it is hard to realize that isn’t healthy for either of you. Relationships that are built on a solid foundation of trust, compromise, and love prove to be more stable and well rounded time and time again. If the epicenter of your relationship is the drama of our relationship, chances are it won’t last forever.
You know how to recover from a fight.
Disagreements happen, but if you’re able to come back to the table and makeup, that’s a sign of a strong relationship. Being able to self relfect and apologize is instrumental in long term success. It isn’t about not having conflitct, but rather how you repair the conflict that is important. The thing that all really good marriages and love relationships have in common is that they communicate to their partner a model that when you’re upset, I listen. The world stops, and I listen. And we repair things. We don’t let things go. We don’t leave one another in pain. We talk about it, and we repair it.”
You and your partner appreciate each other.
Couples who feel appreciated by their partner are less likely to break up, one study found. Couples where both partners feel appreciated by the other are less likely to break up nine months later than those who didn’t feel as much appreciation according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
“Even small expressions of gratitude and appreciation can help improve relationship satisfaction,” Andrea Bonior, a clinical psychologist and author of “Detox Your Thoughts,” wrote in a Psychology Today post.