Often the initial attraction in a new relationship is the physical attraction and building on that, couples find if they are compatible in other ways. Sometimes couples enjoy the relationship but don’t actually stop to think if the relationship is in fact a good fit for the long term.
Many couples I work with that are thinking of exiting a long term marriage, will say that they fell in love and the relationship worked so they didn’t pay attention to the little things that perhaps weren’t a good fit. With the benefit of years, they say it is not a relationship they would choose again and in fact will be looking for different things in their next relationship.
So how do you know if your relationship has a good chance of going the distance? Below are some important factors in creating a solid, healthy relationship.
- You enjoy spending time together, doing pleasurable activities and also the mundane chores. Your partner is one of your best friends and confidant that you seek out to talk to and be with.
- You allow each other, and in fact promote spending time apart to pursue your own activities and hobbies or spend time with your own friends. Neither of you is possessive of each other’s time and view this time apart as a healthy part of retaining the individual person you fell in love with.
- You argue well. A healthy relationship does not mean that you never argue, but that you argue in a healthy manner that gets a result that works for the relationship. Couples that argue well are trying to find a solution together, not work against each other or score points. Their end goal is to try and find a solution that works for both people.
- Your partner makes you a better person and brings out the best in you. If you are a good match, then you hopefully have similar values and being with your partner makes you want to live up to these and be the best person you can be.
- Your family and friends approve of the relationship. If you have a good group of friends and family that genuinely want the best for you and they think you are a good match, then this is a really good sign. They are seeing things in a more logical manner than you with no emotional involvement.
- Share a common vision for the future and similar goals. Couples who are striving for a future together that is what both people want stand a really good chance of staying on track to get there. Not much use if you want different things out of life, one of you will be let down.
- You want success for your partner. Couples who are comfortable within themselves and truly care about their partner as an individual will want their partner to succeed and will be their biggest cheerleader, not the person trying to drag them backwards.
- You are compatible sexually. If your libidos and expectations in the bedroom are similar then this is a good sign of a healthy relationship. Sex is a really important part of a relationship. If it isn’t working, fix it or think about moving on.
- Respect each other’s differing views. You don’t need to be a clone of each other to make a relationship work long term but you need to be accepting of each other’s differences. You may not love your partner’s favourite hobby but accepting it and even promoting it are really important.
- You keep your own identity. Naturally you will adjust parts of your life and self to fit with your partner but retaining the essence of who you are is crucial for long term happiness. Sure you can change your dining habits perhaps to fit with your partner, but giving up your friend’s or favourite hobby is a danger sign.
How many of these do you and your partner have?