Lasting Love: The 6 Most Common Traits of Relationships That Last

In the age of Tinder and the hookup culture, modern romance can feel shallow and fleeting. But more people are having longer committed relationships than you may realize.

In 2016, 18 million unmarried Americans cohabited with their partners. This was a 27% increase from 2009. Additionally, 29% of Americans know someone in a long-term relationship after meeting online.

One-night stands and hooking up may seem more normalized than ever before, but romance and true love are still alive and well.

What are the signs of relationships that last? How can you tell if you’re in a relationship that will withstand the test of time?

Here are 6 of the most common and promising traits of successful relationships!

1. Respect

After the chase and the delicate dance of dating, everything is peachy keen. Most relationships go through this honeymoon phase early on. But as it fades, things start to get more real.

It’s natural for couples to become more comfortable with one another. This is part of forming intimacy. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for couples to begin to minimize each other’s feelings. And so often when this happens, the habits snowball into full-blown disrespect.

In relationships that last, both individuals take care of each other. Strong couples not only vocalize their appreciation of one another. They also show their appreciation through their actions – both small and large.

Showing respect and appreciation is vital in a relationship. It’s normal to hurt one another from time to time. But in truly loving and long-lasting relationships, both learn from these instances. Nor do they keep repeating them and continually hurting the other person.

2. Trust

What makes relationships last longer than a few months?

Trust is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for a strong and healthy relationship. It makes the difference between a meaningful relationship and a fleeting, shallow one.

Do you feel like you can trust your partner with your feelings? If you can, it’s safe to assume that you’re in a good relationship.

Once you feel safe with them, even at your most vulnerable, you can say with certainty that you trust them. Because true trust means they love you and see you despite your weaknesses.

Trust takes time to build. You and your partner gain more trust with every experience you endure together. Even when it’s broken (which happens), long-lasting couples learn how to mend it and move on.

3. Communication

Pillow talking into the wee hours of the night is a sure sign of the bubbly and gushy feels of a good thing. But you can have all the pillow talk you want and it all won’t compare to real and open communication.

If you’re wondering what makes relationships last, it’s the ability to be honest. When something bothers you or upsets you, you should be able to open up to your partner about it. They should be willing to have the conversation no matter how difficult it may be.

If you’re always bottling up your emotions and observations, you’re doomed to explode. And the relationship is also doomed to implode as a result of the lack of communication.

Do you and your partner both tell each other right away when something is up? Do you have constructive conversations and feel better about the situation afterward? Do you take each other seriously without blaming or singling out the other person?

If you can answer “yes, yes, yes”, it’s a strong indication that your relationship will last.

4. Balance

Loving someone means you want to be around that person. But loving someone also means you recognize that you both need your space and time apart, as well.

Relationships that last are ones where there’s a healthy balance of time and how it’s spent. Couples who stay together know how to spend quality time with one another.

When together, the healthy couple truly bonds. They’re intimate in the sense that they immerse themselves in each other’s presence. Even in the simplest of situations.

They feel close while folding the laundry, grocery shopping, or socializing in a group. They feel connected while watching a program, talking about something mundane, or driving. They make it a point to have date nights, to put their phones down once in a while, and to look each other in the eyes.

They also know when they need to take time to themselves and regroup. They’re understanding of when someone needs time alone or with friends and family.

5. Affection

It’s easy to spot new couples out in public. They link hands, kiss, and hold one another seemingly to no end. But we so often mistake these couples for being newly in love when in fact they’ve been together for far longer.

If your affection hasn’t wavered over time, it’s a sign that your relationship is strong. But what does this mean for couples who have never been the affectionate type?

Affection is an important component in every relationship. Even among couples who are anti-P.D.A.

True affection can be as simple as light hand holding, gazing, and sharing loving words. Or, it can be as intense as a long and warm embrace or a passionate kiss out of nowhere. Whatever it may look like, affection is key to every long-lasting relationship.

6. Kindness

Kindness may seem like an obvious trait. But in relationships that last, kindness never falters. It begins with speaking and treating one another with respect. But that’s only the half of it.

True kindness is being gentle with your partner’s feelings and perspective. And even when you disagree with them, that kindness is still there through your words and actions.

We all raise our voices from time to time, especially when we feel like we’re not heard. Arguing and fighting is also common, and friendly fighting can even be a good thing. But if it feels like you’re always yelling at one another, there could be something amiss deep down.

Kindness is one of the most important traits of successful relationships. If you and your partner are still warm and kind to each other through all the fights, it’s a very good sign.

Understanding How to Make Relationships That Last

Ask anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship or marriage: It takes work!

And in relationships that last, there’s always a collective effort from both individuals. If you’re truly in a loving and healthy relationship, the effort won’t feel arduous. Instead, it’ll feel meaningful, worthwhile, and quite frankly, not like work at all.

If you’ve been with your partner for some time now, you may be wondering how long the relationship will last. If you nodded your head “yes” to these six traits, chances are you’re in a relationship that’s going to last.

What if you’re still getting to know someone whom you’re beginning to care deeply for? To do the work in the right ways early on, you have to ask questions. Check out these 10 bits of advice that’ll help you forge a more intimate bond with your partner!