There are so many different things that play into whether or not your relationship is going to last. For instance, there’s compatibility, timing, and a desire to keep working on the relationship no matter what. No relationship is guaranteed to last forever. But according to experts, there are some habits you can adopt in your relationship if you want to up your chances of staying together long-term.
According to psychologist Kelsey M. Latimer, PhD, CEDS-S, founder of Hello Goodlife, it’s important to be mindful about the habits you bring into and create in your relationship if you want it to last. “Having a mindless attitude can feel disrespectful to your partner’s needs and may lead the relationship to slowly deteriorate,” Latimer says.
That’s why it’s important to adopt relationship habits that will allow you to tune into your partner each day. For instance, talking consistently and sharing your gratitude for each other are pretty basic things you can do to make your relationship last. In fact, studies have found that couples who express gratitude feel much more satisfied in their relationships than those who do not.
But sharing gratitude isn’t the only thing that can predict relationship success. Here are some quirky relationship habits that can predict if you and your partner will stay together, according to experts.
“Maybe it’s Myers-Briggs, or love languages, or enneagram, or hockey. Our hobbies, whether intellectual or physical, often require a separate language,” Jenna Birch, CEO of Plum dating app and author of The Love Gap, tells Bustle. Learning to “speak your partner’s language” is a really important way to bond. It shows that you’re actually listening and understanding each other.
As research has found, couples who “listen to understand” each other are more satisfied in their relationships than those who “listen to respond.” “So, figure out what [their language is] — so you can speak to your partner in a way that promotes growth and shows engagement with their interests,” Birch says.
“The best part about millennial humor is the memes,” Birch says. “[And t]he best part about relationships is always having someone to share memes with!” Sharing memes via Instagram or text is a fun way to stay connected throughout the day, without getting into long conversations that you can do in person. Besides, memes are typically funny. As a 2013 study published in the Western Journal of Communication found, couples who share the same sense of humor are more likely to stay together.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Research in Personality found that couples who enjoy playfully teasing each other, are often much happier in their relationship. “Playfully poking fun at your partner can be a great way to connect — and also, it’s good not to take yourself so seriously all the time,” Birch says. “If you two make a habit of teasing each other, you’ll keep the relationship lighthearted.” It’s important to note that you need to enjoy playful teasing. As the study found, people who don’t enjoy being laughed at were more unsatisfied with their relationship.
A 2016 study published in the journal Chronobiology International found that couples who go to bed around the same time have better relationships. According to researchers, sharing a bed with your partner is an expression of intimacy and attachment, which can lead to a stronger romantic bond.
“We need to be more mindful to create positive interactions so that the overall health of the relationship stays in a positive space,” couples therapist Beth Wylie, LMFT, tells Bustle. “When the ratio between positive to negative interactions is at a high of 20 to 1, you can manage conflict easier and just get along better.” According to her, making a habit out of kissing your partner is a fun way to create more positive interactions. In fact, the Gottman Institute says that kissing for just six seconds twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) can help you better connect with your partner.
Fantasies are such a personal thing. You can pretty much fantasize about anyone you want. But if you’re fantasizing about your partner, that’s a really good sign your relationship is on the right track. As a 2018 study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found, people who fantasized about their partner were much more eager to participate in both sexual and non-sexual “relationship building” behaviors. When people fantasize about their partner, they find them more desireable and feel much more satisfied in their relationship overall.
Chores may not be fun, but tackling them with your partner can be very beneficial for your relationship. According to a 2018 study by the American Sociological Association, couples who split the household chores had less conflict, better sex, and felt much more satisfied in their relationship. It may be a small thing, but a habit like this can help to maintain the friendship and intimacy in your relationship. As Wylie says, “By intentionally creating positive habits, you will be able to manage conflict better and your relationship will not just survive, it will thrive.”
The reality is, no one can really guarantee that your relationship is going to last. But adopting some good relationship habits with your partner can make it possible.