We all have some hope or dream that we will one day find “the one” and have the kind of healthy relationship that lasts a lifetime.
Dating and relationships have changed significantly over the last few decades.
Here are some relationship, dating and marriage statistics to give you a better picture:
- Men and women are older than ever when they marry for the first time. In 2021, the average age of first-time married men was 30.6; for women, it was 28.6 — an increase of more than two years for both since 2010.
- Cohabitation increased for couples by 29% from 2007-2016, according to data from the Pew Research Center.
- The No. 1 argument topic in relationships and marriages is money.
With all of the changes in modern dating and marriage, there are still ways to tell if your relationship has what it takes to last.
Trends in dating and relationships may change, but actions and behaviors that indicate a healthy relationship remain relatively consistent over time.
Here are the tell-tale signs your love will last
1. Their friends are your friends
Their friends include you and welcome you to the group. Your partner is thrilled about it and wants you to feel comfortable around their friends.
Introducing you to their friends is a huge step in relationships and usually means they’re taking the relationship seriously.
2. You make each other laugh
Trust me, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Some people have dry humor that isn’t funny to others and some are plain goofballs which others may not find funny.
When you can both make each other laugh, it’s a sign of understanding each other at a different level.
3. Arguments are constructive
This means that you are able to argue about things while making it a productive discussion as well. There is no name-calling or manipulation happening.
When there are arguments, something is learned from them and used to prevent anything else from happening, depending on what the argument was about.
4. You can have fun together doing absolutely nothing
You don’t always have to go out to have fun. It means something very special when you’re able to sit around the house with your partner not doing anything major and still enjoying each other’s company.
It’s a different level of intimacy you experience when you’re together and not doing anything “out on the town.” You get to see each other in a whole different light.
5. They make you want to be a better person
You both bring the best out in each other. You strive to be a better person every day because of them and the things they have taught you about life.
They don’t try to bring out the worst in you or make your faults and flaws known to the world.
6. You are grateful for one another and make it known
You let each other know how appreciative you are to have each other in your lives.
Not only do you tell each other how grateful you are to one another but you also show it through little and random acts of kindness.
7. You are intimate with each other
You love kissing and touching each other whether it be a hug, cuddling or something more physical.
It’s almost as if you are still in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, even though you’ve been together for years.
8. You discuss the future
You’ll notice whether your partner constantly talks about you and the relationship only in the present tense and not inclusive of the future.
If your partner doesn’t involve you in future plans (such as future activities or outings), they’re probably not anticipating being with you for a while.
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On the other hand, when your partner discusses the future with you and wants you to be a part of it and values your opinion on the future, you have a keeper!
So, how do you know if this is a love that will last? What does lifelong love look like?
How do you know when to invest your time and energy into a relationship or kick them to the curb? How much time do you give before you breakup or move in with them?
These are all valid questions to which I, unfortunately, do not have the answers. I wish I did, but every person is different and every couple and relationship is different.
But if your partner is showing the telltale signs listed above, they are a keeper who truly cares about you and your relationship stands a chance of lasting a lifetime.
Brittney Lindstrom is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. She writes about relationships, organizational psychology and behavior, personality psychology, and more.