How do you know if someone is the one for you?
There are plenty of articles out there which claim to reveal the tell-tale signs that he or she is your soulmate – and they usually revolve around the wishy-washy “they make you a cup of tea every single morning,” or “they tell you that you’re beautiful when you’re wearing no makeup”, concepts that, to be honest, we already know to look out for.
After all, we know that we should be dating someone who’s nice to us on a daily basis – that’s the absolute bare minimum requirement for a happy relationship.
So, if we take the oh-so-basic “being nice” out of the equation, what do we need to keep an eye out for?
Well, Max Blumberg, a psychologist and researcher at London’s Goldsmiths University, sat down with the Mail Online to reveal the surprising signs that a couple really has what it takes to go all the way.
Check it out:
1. You argue – and you argue in the correct way
Do you guys pride yourselves on the fact you’ve never had a single argument? Well, you may want to rethink that stance, as plenty of relationship experts believe that not fighting at all is just as unhealthy as fighting all the time.
“If there’s no conflict it could be a sign that the relationship is really dull - or that one of you might be walking all over the other,” explains Blumberg.
No, the secret to a happy relationship isn’t avoiding conflict at all costs – it’s about resolving conflict in the correct way.
So how do we go about doing that?
Well, much like Dr Spock in Star Trek (oh yes, we went there), we need to adopt the Vulcan principles of logic and reason, and detach ourselves from our human emotions.
Blumberg explains: “You need to wait at least three or four hours before your chemicals re-balance and that wild feeling subsides so you can discuss the matter calmly.
“So the common wisdom not to go sleep on your problems is not necessarily true.”
2. You are happy doing nothing together
The honeymoon phase of a relationship is filled with exciting weekends away, dinner dates, and daytime excursions – but it’s what happens when all of the extra-special excursions stop?
Well, it’s about how well you can make the most of doing absolutely nothing together, and in finding romance in the everyday events that make up our lives.
You know, like a ‘date night’ down your local supermarket, or blasting through a Netflix series together, or ditching a night down the pub for an evening cuddled up on the sofa.
“One strong defining feature is that you can be quiet together - and do absolutely nothing,” explains Blumberg.
“It's about finding someone you can muck along with. It's a very practical type of relationship - but studies show they work.”
3. You talk about yourselves
We don’t mean to other people, either, we mean to each other. It’s all about you and your partner, sitting down together (perhaps with a cuppa), and having a heart-to-heart about your relationship – and really listening to what you each have to say.
Blumberg recommends sitting down for a relationship debrief every six months or so, just to make sure there are no issues or niggles bubbling under the surface.
“It could be a simple matter of saying: ‘I really enjoy our relationship, how do you feel about it?’ or ‘Is there anything you think we can do to improve our relationship? I want you to be as happy as I am.’”
Yup, it should be a little bit like your one-on-one progress catch-ups at work – albeit a lot less formal.
The sessions should help you both to stay on top of all the changes that couples inevitably go through, not to mention keep you engaged and connected with one another.
“If there isn’t any engagement in relationship talk then after a while you might start to feel pretty lonely,” says Blumberg.
That’s definitely given us food for thought.
You can read the full article, which includes all five signs that your relationship is built to last, over on the Mail Online now.