You love spending time with your significant other, and you’ve been talking about your future more and more lately, but will your love last? While no one will ever be able to know for sure, there are a variety of reasons why the best relationships last as long as they do.
Wondering if your relationship will stand the test of time? Here are a few things you might not have thought of that can tell you if your love is the lasting kind.
1. You Value Yourselves
There’s a popular saying, “You can’t love someone else until you’ve loved yourself.” You’ve probably read it on mugs, bumper stickers, and Instagram posts many a time before. While the phrase itself may be corny and typical, the sentiment behind it is true—you provide the best example of how someone else should treat you.
Another saying that takes this same thought further is, “Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely that when others see us, they know exactly how it should be done.” When you know how to love yourself, you’re not in a relationship with someone just for how they make you feel but for what you both bring to each other. In turn, you’re not only fulfilled by your relationship, but by what you have inside of yourself, making you a stronger person and a better partner.
2. You Can Deal With Financial Hardships
As it turns out, having a job isn’t just great for your bank account; it’s also great for your relationship. According to The State of Divorce in the U.S., employed females are 5% less likely to get a divorce than unemployed females while men who are employed are 10% less likely to get a divorce. It’s no secret that finances are one of the main reasons why couples fight.
Being with someone who has a steady stream of cash coming in can definitely reduce the need to fight about money, and therefore increase overall happiness, but all couples (even those who are well-off) need to discuss money at some point. Being with someone who you can openly discuss finances with and who is able to deal with financial hardships should they come along, is a good sign you’re able to tackle tough situations together and could have something that will really last.
3. You’re More Than Just Romantic Partners
Friendship breeds long-lasting love because, the truth is, love changes. That burning, intense, obsessive love that’s at the very beginning of a relationship isn’t the way the love during the course of your entire relationship will be like. That early romantic love often morphs into something new—a companionship and intimacy that looks a lot like friendship. But that doesn’t mean the romance is gone. It just means that you’ll begin to love your partner as a full person, not just as the person who plays hooky from work and hides under the covers with you for days on end.
4. You Try New Things Together
If you love trying new things as a couple, your relationship is more likely to stand the test of time. Research finds that couples that experience intense love, over a long period of time, try new things together, whether they’re taking a trip to Italy or spending time in the garden. Even doing mundane tasks around the house together strengthens that bond, enhances the experience, and allows you to evolve and expand as one, rather than just as individuals.
5. You Maintain Your Independence
Neediness breeds resentment from both partners—the one that’s needy and the one who can’t give the other person what they need. However, people that maintain a strong sense of self in a relationship, pursuing their own passions and watching their significant other do the same, are happier and more in love with their partner.
This independence allows you to the see the other person in a new and ever-evolving light, as they grow in their passions, skills, career, or hobbies. Studies have found that neediness makes people less appealing and pushes people away, while independence makes others more attractive. Have you ever watched your significant other engrossed in another task and felt happy and impressed to see them so engaged in something, even if it was something outside of what the two of you share together? If so, you may have experienced this feeling yourself.
Every relationship is different, and what makes one successful might make another a failure. Knowing what works for you and your partner is important, but maintaining a level of independence, contributing financially, and valuing yourself are all universally known traits of happy couples.
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a lifestyle blogger. She’s written for Lifehack, Reader’s Digest, AARP, and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.