We put together five no-fail ways to see if your relationship is on solid ground. For insight we turned to Dr. Francine Lederer, clinical psychologist and life transitions specialist.
This is a big step when it comes to knowing if your relationship has staying power. But it’s not just about going to his parents' house for dinner a few times. How well do you know his family? If you've met each other's parents and families and accept the things you may not like or love about them, you’re on your way to relationship success, Lederer explains. "In-laws are one of the top issues couples argue about in therapy, so it's important the couple is on the same page as far as the role they want family members to play in their life."
Knowing you can live with your partner's flaws or less appealing side is important and a significant indicator of whether you and your partner are compatible in the long term. "We all are imperfect and it's important at the end of the day that we can live with the parts of our partner we're less crazy about, and that the pluses outweigh the negatives," Lederer says.
If you’re at the stage where you can be completely comfortable with your guy (as in not feel like you have to hide your quirks), there’s a good chance things are on solid ground. A good partnership means having the ability to expose your own flaws and vulnerabilities with your partner, Lederer explains. "Feeling safe and comfortable enough to be yourself around your partner is key to a healthy relationship," she says. "Otherwise it's all a facade."
Are you hiding anything major from your man? Do you get the feeling he’s not being totally upfront? If so, you could have a problem down the road. Otherwise, put everything out on the table. "If you can't be truly honest with your partner even if it may hurt, then you're not ready to take the next step in the relationship," says Lederer. "Trust is a make-it or break-it deal."
To really find out if your relationship can survive the next level, you should agree about the big issues. "Discuss each other's values and long-term goals," advises Lederer. "Knowing where you stand as far as career paths, financial status, religious beliefs, having children, etc. is key in determining whether this relationship is long term or marriage material," she says. "If you can't have the talk, you can't do the walk."
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