They’re charming. They’re gracious. They’re attractive. They give you butterflies — the kind you thought you would never feel again after your third-grade crush. An enormous, warm smile fills your face when you see them. In their presence, you feel safe and loved.
But will it last? Despite all of these wonderful qualities and the way you feel about them, can this relationship weather life’s many storms?
It’s a fair question. We’ve all been there — hopelessly, blissfully in love with our significant other, hoping that they are our future. But there are questions. Maybe there are doubts. These doubts may have come from past relationships — ones that broke your trust or your heart or both, and left you feeling bruised and afraid to try again. Until this new person came along, and you’re a little apprehensive, but you want to believe they’re your forever.
Or maybe all of your past exes were just fine, and this new relationship is exactly what you were looking for, and you don’t have trust issues but you wish you had a way of knowing what the future held. Will you guys grow old together? The question crosses your mind once in a while.
If any of these thoughts are familiar to you, stay with me. Although no test or article is foolproof, there are some pretty legitimate ways of being able to assess your relationship — and whether it’ll go the distance. Just watch for these 9 signs.
1. They like your friends (and your friends like them)
If they like your friends, this is a fantastic sign. Number one, it’s pretty difficult to make a relationship last if your friends aren’t too fond of your partner. And secondly, if your friends like them back, that’s a great indication that your partner gives off good, genuine vibes and that they fit in well with the people you already know and love — which is what you want, right?
2. They respect your space
This is a big one. I know it seems a little trivial at first, but we all need space sometimes.Everyone’s version of “space” looks different — maybe some alone time at the end of each day, a solitary sunset walk on the weekends, a night out with friends at the bar when the weather’s warm, or some quiet time to read before bed. Whatever your version of “space” looks like, it’s important that they happily respect it. Romantic relationships are wonderful, but the relationship one has with themselves is essential to maintain, too, and being able to have space and alone time is a part of that. By giving you the opportunity to have it, your partner is showing that they care about you and that they are not being possessive of your time or energy.
3. You know about each other’s past — and you accept it
So many relationships end because one partner still hasn’t settled with the other partner’s past.There are so many so-called “dealbreakers” and incidents that couples originally think they can get through, but in the long run, it ends up eating away at them. But this is just the opposite. If both you and your partner have been transparent to each other about your pasts and have been able to accept each other’s past for what it is (even if it initially took a little adjustment and thinking) you’re doing great. This is a sign that you love them for who they are, not who you want them to be — and they feel the same.
4. You communicate well with each other (and yes, that means no lying!)
Communication can be really underrated, despite it being one of the most critical parts of a healthy, lasting relationship. Without communication, love wouldn’t get anywhere. Of course, I’m not saying you have to tell your partner every little detail of the cream cheese you got on your bagel this morning, or that they have to inform you every time a coworker pops into their office. Good communication doesn’t necessarily mean you’re always communicating, but rather, that you are communicating about important stuff — for instance, when something is bothering you, when you’re frustrated with your partner, when you need help, etc.
Another big part of good communication is honesty. I’m not referring to the little white lies that your partner tells you when they’re trying to throw you off of discovering what they got you for Christmas. But if you (or they) communicate about important things, like your desires or needs, your feelings for another person, your health, your emotions, or any notable life events, then that’s a great sign that you are trusting and open with one another.
5. You are at similar stages in life
By this, I don’t mean age or even life experience. If your partner is 28 and you’re 22, sure, you’re not *technically* at the same stage of life due to age, but that’s not what I’m talking about; you wouldn’t want to break up just because of a six-year age difference that you’ve never thought twice about! Instead, I’m referring to life stages more figuratively. Are you both at a place in life where you’re feeling carefree and excited about the future? Are you both freshly graduated and ready to be adventurous and travel the world? Are you both at a stage where you feel satisfied with your career and environment, and you feel ready for marriage and a family? The idea of “life stages” has much more of an emotional basis than a technical or physical one. And if you two seem to be aligned on that level, well, congratulations! You two have the opportunity to live and grow together — another component of a lasting partnership.
6. Your values align
Okay, this is a tough one. Using the word “values” is a much less controversial way of bringing up some pretty controversial topics, like religion and politics. I’m not suggesting that different religious and political beliefs can never come together to make a good relationship, but it’s the values within them that really dictate whether you and your partner will be compatible for life. Even if you think you can get past a “difference of opinion” with someone, that might not always be the case. Take caution when you disagree on important topics, especially if they have to do with things like religion, morality, life goals, etc. And if you do agree on these things, consider this another green flag. Similar values are so helpful to establishing powerful bonds with romantic partners.
7. You’ve overcome hardships together already
OK, so maybe this relationship is relatively new, or maybe you just haven’t had any obstacles thrown your way yet. But if you have, and if you’ve been able to overcome them together, that’s a wonderful sign. Take that as proof that you can brave conflict together, and that you two will be there for each other throughout life’s ups and downs (as cliche as that sounds). If you could do it once, you can do it again — probably even a few more times. Hardships are sometimes what lead couples to end the relationship, so if you and your partner have already gotten through one (or more) and your love has prevailed, then you’ve got a bright future ahead together.
8. You don’t feel bored in their presence
Disclaimer: I know we all have those dreary Sundays where no one wants to get out of bed and you spend the day moping around, bored out of your mind. But don’t worry, everyone’s been there, and it says nothing about your relationship. I’m talking about how you feel, generally, in your partner’s presence. Do you two find things to talk about, even when you’ve been together all day? Do you still feel excited when they walk into a room, even though you live together? Do they open your mind to fun things? Educate you about things you don’t know and empower your brain? Do you do the same for them? This is such an amazing component of a relationship. Partners who engage each other, open each other’s minds, and quench each other’s boredom make life exciting, and it’ll make the rest of your lives exciting, too.
9. You love each other the way you want to be loved
Do you know each other’s love language? OK, maybe you haven’t discussed love languages or you think the concept is dumb, but do you communicate each other’s likes and dislikes? Do you know the actions that make your partner feel loved, and do their actions make you feel loved? It seems obvious, but loving each other is arguably the biggest indicator of compatibility and longevity in relationships. Everyone wants and deserves to be loved. If you both feel loved by the things you do for each other, then you’re set. Even on the rough days, the love you feel — and show — for each other will remind you why you’re together, and it will power you through time.
So there it is: 9 signs that your relationship will last. Some of these signs are a little vague; others might be more specific and not apply as much to you. Regardless, every relationship is different, and it’s the sentiment behind each sign that matters. Acceptance, reliability, honesty, excitement, and love are all such crucial and powerful components of a good, healthy partnership. If you feel these with your significant other (and, as far as you know, they feel it with you too) then you’re doing great. Growing together and being happy together will be your key to lifetime happiness. So good luck to all of you couples out there.
Oh! And if you’re a single person just waiting for the right person to come along — I’m sending love to you. Because they’ll be here, I promise. And they’ll give you all of these things and more.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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