Are you a worrier?
Do you look around at all of the love relationships and marriages that started out so wonderfully and then ended in pain and drama? It can feel like there’s an epidemic of relationships falling apart if you read magazines or surf the internet.
It’s natural to want to know what chance your relationship has of surviving. It’s understandable that you want some sign that you and your partner are on the road to staying together and being happy for the long-term.
As with everything in life, there are no guarantees. One thing is certain, however. If you spend time and energy worrying and looking out for problems, you’re likely to get what you’ve been focusing on.
Do recognize it when distance and disconnection are coming between you and your partner, but if you’re almost expecting things to go wrong, recognize that and stop.
Instead, keep your mind open and observant. When things are “off” or a habit forms that takes you away from one another, make changes, but be sure to also watch for what’s going RIGHT.
Look for signs like these that your relationship is on its way to thriving (or is already there)…
1. You’re comfortable in your own skin.
The very first sign that your relationship is likely to stay close and connected is all about you. One thing that will doom a relationship to conflict and dissatisfaction is insecurity. This isn’t only about believing that you are attractive or good-looking, it’s about how much (or how little) you honor and respect yourself.
If you have healthy self esteem, you’re less likely to get needy, jealous or to rely on your partner for your self worth. You’re probably going to be honest about what you want and how you like to be loved and that integrity will make it easier for your partner to work with you to create an amazing relationship.
2. You really trust each other.
Speaking of honesty… You probably already know how essential trust is to a love relationship or marriage. For all the talk about “trust” out there, few people really know what it is. There are many ways that a couple mistrusts, undermines, double checks or doubts each other. This is because most of us have experienced betrayals of different kinds in the past– in this relationship, another one or in childhood.
When you acknowledge the ways that you don’t and do trust your partner, you give yourself valuable information. You pinpoint where to talk and create agreements and you identify what’s working which provides a place to build from. Even if trust isn’t 100% in your relationship, thriving comes as you strengthen it.
3. You talk about the tough stuff.Communication is one place where many couples undermine trust. They hold back, pretend to agree, cling to being “right” or don’t really listen. The couple who has the courage to openly share and really listen to each other when discussing charged or difficult topics is likely to be thrive.
Resist the temptation to avoid tough issues or to stuff down what you want. Remember that there is a middle ground between gritting your teeth in silence and all out war. When you take the time to talk with kindness and honesty, the reward is not just harmonious communication, it’s also closer intimacy and relationship satisfaction.
4. Your relationship is a top priority.
For anything to do more than just survive, you’ve got to give it your time and attention. This is definitely true for a love relationship. If you and your partner both consider your relationship one of your top priorities, this is a positive sign that your love will last and keep growing.
Too many people believe that they can’t have both a fulfilling career AND an amazing relationship or a close bond with their kids AND a passionate connection with their partner. That is simply a lie. Choices will need to be made and there may be times when you are more focused on one area of your life than another, but if you keep making your relationship one of your top priorities, it will flourish.
5. You bounce back quickly.Disagreements and arguments happen. Hurt words get spoken and promises broken. The difference between a relationship that keeps getting better and one that declines or falls apart is how quickly the couple bounces back from difficulty.
If you and your partner hold grudges or punish each other for mistakes in aggressive or passive aggressive ways, notice it. Start changing your role in prolonging the conflict and watch as what happens between you changes as well.
6. You have fun together.
If you’re not having fun at least some of the time with your partner, then maybe you should ask yourself why you’re still in this relationship. This may sound like a harsh question and we don’t recommend that anybody impulsively end a relationship, but we do encourage you to have more fun.
It makes it easier to resolve conflicts and is simply a more enjoyable way to live and love together. If you’re not having much fun with your partner, lighten up and get a little adventurous. Suggest activities you haven’t tried before. Make a list of things you both think would be fun to do and then, go do them!
A thriving relationship isn’t about just one situation or thing. It’s an accumulation of mindful moments in which you really connect and nourish the love you share.