Forever is a long time, but when you find the right partner, that’s exactly how long you want to be in love together. According to a study in the Journal of Social, Psychological and Personality Science, out of 274 couples who were married for more than 10 years, over 45% reported that they were still ‘very intensely in love’ with their partner.
So how do you know if your love will last? Here’s a list of 9 things to look for in your partner to know if you’ll be together long term.
9 Ways to Tell if Your Partner Will Love You Forever
1. I Only Have Eyes For You.
Others may complain that their partner secretively checks out others when they aren’t looking, but you don’t have to worry. Your partner makes you feel like you’re the only person they want to be partnered with. You’ve never felt jealous about the way they act with anyone else, because they wouldn’t treat you with disrespect in that way.
2. Honestly, I do.
Your partner tells you their secrets and asks you yours. They want to know you deeply and nothing is off the table. If you’ve discussed your hopes and fears, your family, your faith, your finances and the things that you won’t compromise on, then you are on the right track to forever love.
3. We Value Your Opinion.
In the 1990’s, psychologist John Gottman observed the interactions of 130 couples over six years, identifying one behavior as being key to long term success in marriage. This key behavior was what he termed ‘turning toward’ your partner. When you bring up a topic in conversation, your partner shows interest by engaging in a positive discussion.
When your partner asks you what you think and genuinely seems interested in the answer, you feel appreciated. You know that they value your input and want to include you in the decisions that they have to make, big or small.
4. Listen up.
Whether you’re venting about work or raving about the deliciousness of the cronut, your partner loves to listen. They ask questions about your preferences, take mental notes and remember what is important to you. You wonder with amazement how they remembered that it was your Aunt Jenny and Uncle Roger’s 36th wedding anniversary.
When your partner supports you by listening to understand you, and then validating what you have said, they demonstrate a deep caring for you. Another study of 79 dating couples found that supporting your partner’s good news with enthusiasm was a predictor of current and future happiness.
5. Time is Money.
How we spend our time is a reflection of our priorities. If your partner makes sure to spend time with you, then you can bet that you are important to them. If given the choice between a steak dinner out with friends or soup at home with you, they’d pick you every time.
6. Intimate Ways.
If your partner is intimate with you in more than just the bedroom, you’ve got a forever kind of love. Sex is an important part of being a human, but connecting with someone without sex is also healthy. Touching, teasing, talking and playing are all ways that we can connect intimately with our partners. Your partner finds ways to bond with you that make you feel a physical connection.
How often couples have sex was also reported by study participants to be strongly linked to intense love. But even 25% of couples who reported no sex in the past month still rated themselves as intensely in love with their partner. On the other hand, couples in the study who had no physical intimacy or cuddling reported the most marital unhappiness.
7. Promise to Compromise.
When your partner loves you, they are willing to work to find a compromise that will make both of you happy. You hate olives but s/he loves them? Then a half a pie will do with custom toppings for each of you.
By being generous with your partner you build a relationship of respect and appreciation that builds long term bonds. Kindness and generosity have been linked to long term love and marital happiness.
8. Fight Right.
You’ve had a huge fight and it wasn’t the end of the world. In fact, you learned from it and you now know what your partner feels strongly about. If your partner worked to repair any damage that was done in the way of hurt feelings, you now know that your relationship is even stronger and you’re on your way to forever love.
In a study in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, couples who were the most negative in a conflict could be predicted to divorce with a 93% accuracy. If your partner learns the hot button topics that will set you off and avoids those subjects, then they have made an unspoken gesture of kindness toward you. Their respect for your preferences helps to avoid conflict in the first place.
9. I Feel Your Pain.
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When you hurt, your partner hurts. They are so connected to you that your emotions become their own. A setback for one of you is a setback for both of you. This empathy is an emotional bond that strengthens your connection. When a challenge presents itself, you can hold each other close, work together to build the other back up and come back stronger as a team than you were individually before.