Hey, Psych2Goers! Thank you so much for joining us again. We’re always thrilled to have you! Do you ever look at an elderly couple and say to yourself “I want THAT one day”? I do, too. I don’t think anyone starts dating someone and hopes they break up in a month. But relationships take a lot of work and practice, and it’s a lot easier to figure out the things to not do. How do you know what things help build a strong, lasting relationship? Let’s take a look at 7 habits of couples who last!
Side note: This article is for educational purposes and is based on personal opinions. This video is not a substitute for professional advice, but general guidance. We advise you to always listen to your intuition and always do what is right for you! (We’re routing for you!)
#1: You talk about the hard things with them.
When you are in a committed relationship, you are telling this person that they may be the person you choose for life to take on all life events happy, sad, frustrating, and everything in between. This means you have to open up about things that may be tough to talk about or make you feel vulnerable. Of course, flirting and talking about your likes and dislikes is fun and exciting, but getting into the nitty gritty is what helps the couple form an intimate bond to last!
#2: You do things for the other person (and not because they asked with a “pretty please”).
My fiancé and I have been working from home since March 2020 due to COVID-19. Because of this, we pretty much know each other’s schedules by heart. On the days that I start early, he usually works late. In his down time, he’ll take care of a good chunk of chores around the house, so I don’t have to after my shift. Do you and your partner help out with chores without asking, or do they need a little nudge?
In 2010, Algoe, Gable, and Maisel did a study to test how romantic partners and the relationship are impacted when something thoughtful is done. In this study, the results found that both men and women reported an increased connection and higher satisfaction in their relationship after something nice was done for them. So, next time you’re getting a snack, grab a second for the other half!
#3: You’re aware of your partner’s love language and use it to your advantage.
Have you ever started at a new job or with a new teacher and had them ask you how you like to be praised? Do you like a public shout out? Maybe just a subtle note of encouragement. They’re trying to gauge how you like to receive props, love, and/or praise. Relationships are the exact same. Some people like affectionate words, some like being given gifts, some like acts of service (see #2), and some like a little smooch to help them feel loved. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out how your partner likes to be shown love or appreciation, then do it! This shows them you care about them and helps the relationship last!
#4: Communication is like a choreographed dance.
Communication is, arguably, the most important thing in a relationship. If you two are miscommunicating or not communicating at all, it can result in a lot of fights, frustration, and even a break-up. This can also leave you feeling like you two aren’t on the same page. When a couple lasts the test of time, it’s not because they fight all of the time. Normally, they will communicate clearly and be sure to speak up if something isn’t clear or if they aren’t in agreement. This can also bring about feelings of distrust or worry that you’re being dishonest. Some good communication habits are being honest, checking in with your partner regularly, and being direct. Trusting your partner to be upfront and open with you can really lock you in for the long-haul.
#5: You actually ARE locked in for the long-haul.
Have you ever started dating someone that you were head over heels crazy for and thought this was definitely it, then next thing you know, you got ghosted? Been there, done that, and it sucks. (P.S. They’re not worth it if they did that.) When you’re with someone and have jumped in head first, the last thing you want is some hesitation or disloyalty from them. If you’re in a relationship and want to take the Matrimony Express one day, show them now! Change those social media relationship statuses, maybe post a pic or two of them, show some PDA in public, ask if they’d like to meet family. These are all signs of a relationship taking it to the next level. If you and your partner are on the same page, they’ll be ready to take that step, too. Keeping that “single, ready to mingle” image won’t help in this category.
#6: You do things together!
This is very broad and vague, but it’s actually meant to be. Everyone in the world has their own hobbies, but what do you do with your partner? Is there a TV show or fandom that you both are die-hard fans of? Do you both play the same sport? Have an interest in the same topic? Whatever it is, group activities with your partner is a great way to promote positive emotion between the two. If your activity involves a teammate aspect, like a partner sport, this can also increase trust and your bond to your partner. Sounds like a keeper to me! (And no, that’s not a Quidditch reference!)
#7: They accept everything about you.
I hope we know this by now, but I’ll say it just in case. No one is perfect. No one has perfect friends nor a perfect family. When you enter a committed relationship, you’re saying that you want to be with this person. This means the positives and negatives. Your partner may have a mom who’s a bit too involved, a friend who gossips way too much, or maybe they drop their socks in a pile right next to the laundry bin. Slightly annoying, yes, but these aren’t deal breakers. These are things that come with a lifelong partner.
Now, I want to make a very clear point. If someone’s negative traits make you feel uncomfortable or are toxic or dangerous, it is okay to remove yourself from their presence. If you feel this way about your partner, please contact a mental health professional to explore these feelings.
There you have it! Your own personal cheat sheet for habits to work on, but this can also double as a great starting point for things to look for in anyone who you’re thinking about going out with. Did any of these signs shock you? Do you have any tips or tricks that work for you and your partner? Drop ‘em in the comments below! If you learned something, drop a 💕 in the comments below! We can’t wait to see you next time. As always, keep an eye on Psi for more Psych2Go content!
Have a wonderful day!
Want more hints to the crazy game we call “love”? Check out 7 Signs Your Love Will Last a Lifetime
The references used in and to compose this article are listed below.
Algoe, S. B., Gable, S. L., & Maisel, N. C. (2010). It’s the little things: Everyday gratitude as a booster shot for romantic relationships. Personal Relationships, 17(2), 217–233. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01273.x
Communications, I. F. A. S. (n.d.). 10 simple habits of happy couples. SMART Couples – University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences – UF/IFAS. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://smartcouples.ifas.ufl.edu/married/having-fun-and-staying-close/10-simple-habits-of-happy-couples/
Laurence, E. (2020, September 17). 5 things the happiest couples have in common, according to over 11,000 long-term relationships. Well+Good. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.wellandgood.com/secrets-relationships/
Neves, S. (2021, April 15). The ingredients of successful long-term relationships. Psychology Today. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-sex-and-relationships/202104/the-ingredients-successful-long-term-relationships
Ni, P. (2021, October 26). 5 essential traits of lasting relationships. Psychology Today. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/202110/5-essential-traits-lasting-relationships
Pace, R. (2021, August 26). What keeps couples together: 15 things you must know. Marriage Advice – Expert Marriage Tips & Advice. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.marriage.com/advice/relationship/what-keeps-couples-together/
White, A. (2020, November 27). 5 communication habits of true long-lasting couples. Medium. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://medium.com/be-unique/5-communication-habits-of-true-long-lasting-couples-b8d35cfeb8bf