There's nothing quite like finding yourself in a brand new relationship where everything is, seemingly, perfect. Any future drama, chaos, heartbreak, and all other possibilities don't even register on your radar. In fact, things are so great, you don't even think you could possibly break up ever! It's like you've finally met your ~lobster~ and you couldn't be happier.
But — because life always comes with a but or two — no matter how great things may be in the beginning, there's no guarantee it will stay that way forever. Simply because relationships, especially the good ones that stand a chance, aren't easy. "All relationships are work," Jessica Bunevacz, relationship coach tells Bustle. "Even when it's fun, it's work."
As much as it would be nice to think you can just dive into a relationship and have a good time, without any regards to the effort it involves, you just can't. Relationships, and life in general, are far too complicated and demand a lot of time and energy. Relationships also demand that, from the very beginning, you develop habits that will make the relationship as healthy as possible, therefore standing the test of time. Here are six habits of couples whose relationships have a good chance of lasting, according to an expert.
1There's Constant Communication From Both Sides
Although we all know that communication is important for every relationship, the best communication is the kind that involves two people. In other words, if you're the one doing all the communicating while you're partner just goes with the flow of whatever you're saying, then that's one-sided communication — and it's not a good habit at all.
"A key habit that comes to mind is consistent reciprocation of communication," relationship coach at Maze of Love, Lauren Irish, tells Bustle. "It is easy and common for one person to be the primary initiator on texts, e-mails, and phone calls, before eventually getting tired of not feeling like the other person is leaning in. That 'tire' will grow into resentment and they will eventually back away or become passive aggressive, simply not feeling thought of by the other... Imagine the alternative where one person communicates and the other person simply responds."
2Both Partners Feel Like They're Part Of A Unit
While you don't want to be so much of a unit that you cut people out of your life, as if it's just you and your partner against the world, you do want to feel like you're on the same team no matter what situation may arise.
"Both people feel jointly 'in' and thought of from the beginning," says Irish, explaining that a "higher sense of unity" is something in which thoughts and feelings are shared, and couples really feel like they're with someone who always has their back.
3Both Partners Equally Take The Initiative
As part of that "consistent reciprocation of communication," comes taking initiative. Whether that means initiating conversation, date night, or what you'll have for dinner, according to Irish, taking the initiative from the beginning will set in motion a good habit that is likely to last — and make the relationship last because of it.
4Both Partners Listen To Understand
Listening isn't always easy. Listening, really listening, is more than just nodding your head and hearing words; it's about understanding what's being said and actually letting your brain process those words and opinions.
"Another key habit is listening to understand, this instead of listening to respond," says Irish. "Quite simply, when two people are getting to know each other, feeling each other out, there will be missed messaging, nuances, disagreements, and everything in between. Too many times, people respond to what they heard or saw, or at least what they thought they heard or saw."
5Neither Partner Passes Judgment
When you're in a relationship and really care for someone, judgment should never be part of the equation. Judgment comes when we rush to make a decision without adequate knowledge and it just creates a mess.
"Couples with lasting potential don't rush to judgment or immediately draw conclusions," says Irish. "Instead, they assume positive intent and listen to understand what was really said and, when necessary, ask questions.
6Both Partners Ask Questions
Since proper communication is a back and forth, couples who have a higher chance of seeing their relationship last, ask questions — a lot of questions, so there's no confusion or space for judgment.
"When [both partners] ask those questions, they do so in a genuinely curious, and understanding way," says Irish. "This will build communication and listening skills while also helping two people to learn about and understand each other beyond the surface level that so many potential couples can't get past."
Ultimately, couples who put in the effort to communicate early on, in all realms, are the ones who will have a better chance at relationship success than those who don't. Without communication, a relationship has no foundation, and without a foundation, there's no future.