2 Early signs that your relationship will last according to psychology

by Gideon Hanekom
October 27, 2022

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No one can predict the future, but certain things may indicate whether or not a relationship will last. In general, relationships that start strong and with a good foundation tend to be the ones that last the longest. In this post, we’re looking at two early signs, according to psychology, that your relationship has a good chance of lasting.

How to Know If Your Relationship Will Last

When you read online articles about the signs a relationship will last, you can see a few common themes. Experts and writers use different words to talk about these things, but the ideas behind them are the same. Some of the ten common themes or signs that a relationship will last are:

1. Communication

When two people can talk honestly, it indicates that the connection will last. This is because communication is essential in any relationship; without it, the partnership would crumble. When two individuals can talk about anything and everything, it demonstrates that they are sincerely invested in the relationship and willing to work together to make it last.

2. Trust

Trust is one of the most critical foundations for a long-lasting relationship. When you trust your partner, you have faith in their character and ability. You know they have your best interests at heart, and you can trust them to be honest and trustworthy. This reciprocal trust fosters a sense of security and intimacy, which can aid in weathering any storms that may arise during a relationship.

3. Respect

Respect is a sign that a relationship will last since it demonstrates that you value your partner and are willing to listen to them. It also demonstrates your willingness to collaborate to solve problems.

4. Compromise

Compromise indicates that a relationship will last because it demonstrates that both partners are prepared to work together to find a solution that works for both of them. It also demonstrates that they are both prepared to put their own interests aside for the sake of the relationship, which is an essential component of any long-term relationship.

5. Support

When two people are in a relationship, they should encourage one another. This mutual support indicates that the relationship will last because it demonstrates that the pair are devoted to one another and prepared to collaborate to make things work.

6. Friendship

There are numerous reasons why friendship indicates the viability of a relationship. To begin with, friends are usually more honest with one another than with anyone else. They are also more likely to understand and forgive when things go wrong.

Furthermore, friends are typically supportive of one another and eager to work through difficult situations together.

Finally, friends often have many interests, making it easier for them to relate and establish a tight friendship. All of these elements contribute to the notion of friendship as an essential component of long-term relationships.

7. Fun/Adventure

It’s a good sign of a relationship with someone who makes you laugh and enjoy life more. After all, isn’t that what we all want in a partner – someone who makes us happy and exposes us to new experiences? If you’re having a good time with your partner and are always excited to see what they’ll do next, it’s a good sign that the relationship will last.

8. Commitment

A committed relationship is one in which both partners have a vested interest in each other and the relationship. This means they are willing to persevere in adversity and are not easily discouraged. A committed couple is more likely to last because they have consciously decided to stick it out no matter what.

9. Respect for each other’s independence

The longevity of a relationship can be gauged by whether or not the partners respect one another’s autonomy. Each partner is at ease with the other’s independence, which is necessary for a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

10. A willingness to work on the relationship

Last but not least, a couple willing to put effort into their relationship has a better chance of staying together. This demonstrates that both parties are invested in making the relationship work. If neither partner is willing to try to keep the relationship alive, it will fail.

relationship will last

Sites such as Huffpost.com mention additional signs that a relationship will last, some of which are extensions of those mentioned above, but others are not, such as:

You feel comfortable being yourselves around each other

If you can be yourself around each other, it’s a good sign that the relationship will last because when you’re comfortable with someone, you don’t feel like you have to put on a show or act a certain way. You can be open and honest without worrying about being judged or turned down.

As such, when you’re comfortable with someone, you’re more likely to feel safe and happy in the relationship.

You consistently show up for one another

Showing up for one another demonstrates dependability and trustworthiness. We’re demonstrating our dedication to the partnership and our willingness to put in the effort necessary to keep it going.

You celebrate each other’s accomplishments

When we take the time to celebrate our partner’s successes, it makes them feel good about themselves and makes our relationship stronger. It helps us remember why we’re with them and how much we like and respect them. This mutual respect is one of the most essential parts of a lasting relationship.

You sincerely apologize to each other when you’ve done something wrong

When you do something wrong in a relationship, you should sincerely apologise to your partner. This shows that you care about the relationship and are willing to take responsibility for what you did. It can help keep hurt feelings and anger from getting worse over time.

Also, saying sorry can help fix whatever damage you’ve caused and rebuild trust.

You spice things up in the bedroom

When a couple has just started dating, everything is new and exciting. But as time goes on, the excitement can quickly fade. Because of this, it’s crucial to maintain a sense of novelty in the bedroom. A little bit of spice can do a lot to keep a relationship happy and healthy. It can help keep things exciting and keep the fire burning.

So, if you want to keep your relationship strong, don’t be afraid to spice things up in the bedroom now and then.

relationship will last

Inc.com includes a few more, such as:

When you have bad news, your spouse is the first person you want to tell – not the person you most dread telling

Not telling your partner something negative will only make things worse. Being honest and open with your partner is crucial, even if you have bad news to share. That way, you can pool your resources and talents to find a solution and tackle any possible difficulties.

When two people are open and communicate with one another, they strengthen their bond and increase the likelihood of their relationship lasting.

Your partner understands the relationship between money and time together

Research cited in the article indicated that a couple’s divorce risk increased by 40% if one partner had a commute of more than 45 minutes each way. Imagine that you or your partner is offered a job with a 20% pay increase but an hour longer commuting. Statistically speaking, that sounds like it could cause some issues in your relationship.

But you might say, “Yes, but it also means more money, which means a more comfortable lifestyle.”

That’s fair, but economists also found that a 40% wage raise is required to make an extra hour of commuting time worthwhile in terms of individual happiness and satisfaction, as referenced in this blog article. Therefore, the extra commute time cannot be offset by a 20% pay raise.

An extra few dollars an hour in income won’t make you happy if it requires you to put in an extra hour of driving time every day. In addition, it won’t do anything positive for your partnership.

Your partner doesn’t talk about you; they talk about the cool things you do

For a relationship to last, when sharing with others, your partner must talk about the interesting things you do. That helps build trust and respect. Feeling like your partner is proud of you and interested in your actions makes you feel good about yourself and the relationship. That can help the relationship keep strong and last for a long time.

Your partner cares more about doing something with you than whatever you do

Relationships are built on trust and talking to each other. Even if a couple has different interests, they need to find things they can do together that they both like. If one partner cares more about doing something with the other than what they do, it shows that they want to spend time together and be a part of each other’s lives. That is important for a relationship to last because it builds trust, intimacy, and respect between the two people.

Your partner cares a lot more about determining what is right than about being right

When two people are in a relationship, they must care more about doing what’s right than being right. This is because if both sides always try to be right, they will never be able to find a middle ground or agree on something.

But if they both care more about doing the right thing, they can work together to find a solution that works for both of them. This is important for a relationship to last because it lets both people be happy and keeps the relationship healthy.

Your partner forgives and also forgets

For a relationship to last, it’s essential to have a partner who can forgive and forget. This lets both people move on from fights and mistakes. It also makes people feel like they can trust and respect each other.

If both partners can forgive and forget, it means they are willing to work through problems and are committed to the relationship.

Your partner praises you more than anyone else

A partner who praises you more than anyone else is vital to the longevity of a relationship because it fosters trust and a positive environment. We are more likely to be open and honest with our partners when we feel good about ourselves. We will also be less defensive and more responsive to their needs.

That’s a long list of signs that a relationship will last, and you could argue that they’re ALL significant.

But what does psychological research say about the most important signs that a relationship is likely to last?

Well, one study says that there are two early signs that your relationship is going to last.

What are the 2 Early Signs That Your Relationship Will Last?

Finn et al. proposed an accumulating distress model in their 2020 study [1]. This model suggests that the trajectories of people in disintegrating partnerships (i.e., relationships that end) are marked by higher starting levels of distress that rise more quickly over time than those in enduring relationships.

They also thought that this pattern applies to how partners change: couples who are breaking up should have higher starting differences that grow more quickly over time than couples who stay together. They also looked to see if the suggested co-development patterns were the same in young and middle-aged couples.

In their study, the researchers found two main signs that a relationship will last. 

First, both partners must have similar needs, and second, they must start out in the relationship with similar satisfaction levels.

relationship will last

For example, people with similar needs for deep connection at the start of a relationship (presumably as the relationship goes on) tend to stay together longer. Or couples who both want to live their own lives (i.e., have more independence) tend to stay together longer.

On the other hand, people who start with different needs are more likely to break up in the future.

The same happens when one partner is less happy than the other at the beginning of their relationship. There are more chances of a breakup later on.

But people who start a relationship are both happy with it usually stay together.

Consequently, the researchers concluded that early relationship need and satisfaction levels similarity predicted long-term compatibility.

One of the study’s authors stated, “Right at the beginning of a relationship, you can find typical characteristics, or prediction variables, that tell you if the relationship will last or not.”

The researchers also found something interesting: both groups, those who started with similar needs and levels of satisfaction and those who didn’t, became less happy over time.

But the decline in happiness occurs noticeably quicker in those who later separate, meaning that an unhappy person from the start becomes more and more unhappy over time.

This study looked at 1,965 relationships over seven years. During that time, 16% of (or 314.4) couples broke up.

Why are similar needs and levels of satisfaction so important for the longevity of a relationship?

We could argue that when two people enter a relationship, they must have similar needs and levels of satisfaction because if one person constantly needs more or is dissatisfied, it can lead to tension and conflict, eventually leading to the relationship’s breakdown.

Having similar needs is also essential because it makes both people feel fulfilled and happy. And when both people are happy, it usually strengthens the bond or connection between them, which is one of the essential parts of a healthy relationship.

Some experts say that love is primarily an emotional connection.

Also, when both people in a relationship feel like their needs are met, it keeps resentment from growing.

But it can be hard to find a balance when both people have different needs.

In some relationships, one partner may feel like they’re constantly giving, while the other is only taking. That can lead to resentment over time, making the relationship fall apart.

Also, it’s crucial to have the same level of satisfaction because if one (or both) person always wants more, it can make them feel like they don’t have enough. That can cause one partner to feel unfulfilled and unworthy over time.

So, we can come to the same conclusion as the researchers: it’s essential to have similar needs and levels of satisfaction at the start of a relationship because it helps build a strong, long-lasting bond.

Obviously, this conclusion also has an important implication if a new couple doesn’t start with the same needs and levels of satisfaction.

If that’s the case, they might not be a good fit for one another and won’t be able to keep their relationship going for very long. This is the cold, hard truth, no matter how physically attracted we might be to someone when we first start dating.

So, if you want to have a chance at building and keeping a healthy relationship, it’s crucial to be able to talk and understand each other’s needs from the start.

Because once the sexual attraction has worn off a bit, if one person is always unhappy or dissatisfied, things will probably only get worse, and the relationship probably won’t last.


[1] Finn, Christine & Johnson, Matthew & Neyer, Franz. (2020). Happily (n)ever after? Codevelopment of romantic partners in continuing and dissolving unions. Developmental Psychology. 56. 10.1037/dev0000897.

About the author 

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a renowned relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website shares valuable insights on creating healthy relationships life. Gideon holds a Master's degree in theological studies and transitioned into professional counseling more than a decade ago. In addition, he since completed post-graduate studies in Psychology at Massey University. With over seventeen years of marriage to his wife and two children, Gideon brings both professional and personal experience to his relationship advice. His articles have been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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