Sure, the start of a new relationship is amazing (if it’s going well) but long after the honeymoon phase is over, it’s often the more mundane day-to-day stuff that sustains a long-term happiness as a two.
We’re all familiar with the signs of an unhappy relationship – arguing, distrust, cheating – but what are the subtle markers of a partnership that has staying power?
Here Rachael Lloyd, relationship expert at https://www.eharmony.co.uk, shares five key signs that your happiness is going to last…
1. You have the confidence and trust to be open with each other
“Talking about your feelings seems like an obvious way to stay happy in a relationship, but it just doesn’t tend to happen with couples as much as it should.
“Eharmony’s research has found a quarter of us still don’t open up about mental health issues to our partner. If you’re the type of couple that can openly communicate about these kinds of topics and work together to support each other when any issues come up, then it’s a great sign.
“For those who don’t feel able, it doesn’t necessarily spell the end for your relationship – couples therapy can help open up that dialogue over time.”
2. You both take the time to appreciate the good things about one another
“When a relationship has been going on a long time, it’s easy to see your partner as an extension of yourself and a part of your life.
“There’s nothing wrong with that, but those that make the effort to step outside of the norm and notice positive things about their partner can help to ensure a happier relationship.
“When your partner has made an effort with their appearance and you compliment them, that’s great. But what’s sometimes even better, is to notice deeper qualities and tell them how you value those.
“For example, intelligence is one of the qualities that we find most important in a partner, so why not mention how much you appreciate having someone in your life who you can have meaningful conversations with? It’s a sign of a lasting partnership.”
3. You have similar priorities in life and you can adapt as a couple when you don’t
“It is commonly said that ‘opposites attract’ and when it comes to pure excitement in the early days, that may be true. But in the long-term, happiness and compatibility comes from a relationship where both partners are on the same page with what they want from life.
“If that’s travelling the world or settling abroad, then eventually that conversation needs to happen. If it’s marriage, kids and stability then the same goes too.
“The chemistry that comes from tension in personality and priorities in the early days can only carry you so far. Crucially though, if you are able to compromise and adapt when you don’t share the same priorities, it means you can find a middle ground. Openness is key to this.”
4. You laugh together
“The ability to have fun together and laugh at the same things is incredibly important. Couples that can have fun just being together without spending money, or going somewhere special, often end up being better able to withstand tough times in life – such as when luxuries like trips together fall by the wayside.
“All of this will stand you in great stead for long-term happiness. And what’s more, laughter also has the power to break the frostiest of moods, meaning that you can can better bounce back from those inevitable little arguments with a spring in your step.”
5. You have individual interests and pursuits, but cheer each other on from the sidelines
“Retaining a sense of your individuality as a person is healthy. Having a happy relationship doesn’t necessarily mean doing everything together and sometimes happiness is doing things to look after or please yourself.
“As long as you’re on the same page for the big questions and life priorities, having different hobbies or occasionally seeing certain groups of friends without your partner can give your relationship space to breathe.
“The key tell-tale sign here is your response when you come back together. In the happiest relationships, you’ll listen to one another about what you did and accomplished when apart and offer mutual support where needed.
“Your relationship should make you want to be a better person. At the same time, you should also be able to confidently say you encourage your partner to be a better person too.”
Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto
See also: Six signs that mean you might be in a toxic relationship: https://www.lifestyledaily.co.uk/article/2020/02/23/six-signs-mean-you-might-be-toxic-relationship