7 Critical Signs There's Still Hope For Your Relationship, According To A Couples Therapist
Every relationship goes through its fair share of ups and downs. But when your lows outweigh the highs and the distance begins to grow, could that signify the beginning of the end? You may be left wondering, "is there still hope for my relationship, or if it's a lost cause?"
For the most part, people don't go into relationships wanting it to end some day. You enter into a committed partnership with the hope that eventually it will lead to something long-lasting. And when things start to seem like they won't work out, making that decision to end a relationship can be difficult.
When you invest a lot of time and energy into something, like a long-term relationship, you want to see it pay off or else it may just seemed like a big waste of time. That's probably why the longer you've been with someone, the harder it is to let go. Sometimes, the hope that things will get better may be the only thing keeping you two together.
But should you really call it quits or should you stick it out? Before you make any decisions to end it completely, take a step back and reflect a bit. According to marriage and family therapist, Melissa Divaris Thompson, LMFT, these are some critical signs that there's still hope for your relationship:
1. You're Still Learning And Growing
Oftentimes people will choose to end a relationship if they feel stuck. There's no movement forward. Your relationship is what it just is. But if you find that your relationship still pushes you to grow in some way, Thompson says that's a sign there may still be hope. Relationships are tough sometimes. But if you can learn and grow from the challenges you face in your relationship, then it's one that's probably worth holding on to.
2. You Care A Lot About Your Partner's Feelings
"This is critical in relationships and a huge indicator that your relationship may continue," Thompson says. "Some couples start to not care about their partner's needs, feelings and desires and this is a major indicator your relationship is failing." But if there's empathy and warmth still there for each other, it’s a really good sign.
3. You Can Still Laugh Together
Research has found laughter can really benefit your relationship and bring you closer together. As Thompson says, having a sense of humor can lighten the hard times. So if you two can still share a laugh together, that's a critical sign there's still hope there.
4. You Can Still Remember What Brought You Together in The First Place
A 2017 published in the journal Personal Relationships found that sharing your memory of when you first met can help bring back some of the passion you felt for each other in the beginning. As Thompson says, "Remembering what brought you together initially is another hopeful sign that a relationship can work." So if looking back can reignite those feelings you initially had for your partner, that in itself can make you hopeful that maybe you can get yourselves back to that place again.
5. There Are Still Those Moments Of Comfort
"When I work with couples in my private practice I look for these moments of connection, even if they're small," Thompson says. Do you share a laugh with your partner? Can you still talk to them about your day? Do you still feel that sense of being "home" when you're around them? "If these moments are still happening, it’s a good sign that there's still hope for your relationship to survive."
6. You Both Want To Work On The Relationship And Still See A Future Together
"Having similar goals and intentions can offer a lot of hope," Thompson says. This is one of the most important indicators that there's still something there worth saving. If you and your partner are willing to work on your relationship and maybe even seek some outside professional help, it could make all the difference.
7. You Make The Effort To Keep Your Partner And The Relationship A Priority In Your Life
"Having each other as a priority in your life is important for any relationship," Thompson says. You have to make each other a priority in order to maintain a relationship, especially if that's the reason you became distant in the first place. "Being on the same or similar page to your expectations of one another and of the relationship is critical for hope," she says.
According to Thompson, relationships that have no chance of sticking it out are ones in which couples try to fix problems too late, they no longer respect each other, and either one or both don't care to work things out at all. So if that doesn't describe you or your relationship situation, then be hopeful. There's a pretty good chance your relationship might be worth saving.