Life will throw things at you when you least expect it. But when you're in a
truly solid relationship, you and your partner can overcome anything that comes your way. But you don't necessarily need to go through rough times in order to tell if your relationship is truly solid. According to experts, you'll know if your relationship has a few very key things.
"A solid relationship by definition is based on a strong foundation that goes beyond love," Lottie M McCullough, PhD, associate coach at
The Relationship Firm tells Bustle. While love is definitely a big part of it, you can't just build a solid foundation on love alone.
There are other major factors that go into it. For instance, you need to have mutual trust, faith in each other, respect, verbal and nonverbal communication, support, and fearlessness. "Just as a house is built on a solid foundation with support and attributes, so is a solid relationship," Dr. McCullough says. If you have these things in your relationship, it's going to be impenetrable.
Being in a solid relationship doesn't mean you won't go through hard times. No one is immune to boredom,
rough patches or fights. "However, those challenges will be met head on with success due to the communication, respect, and hard work that two committed people have in their relationship," Dr. McCullough says.
So how can you tell if you're in a truly solid relationship? If the following things never or rarely ever happen, experts say you're in one.
When there's mutual respect, Dr. McCullough says you shouldn't have any desire to compromise the relationship with disrespectful words. "That's not to say that there will never be cross words," she says. "However, those words will be unintentional or immediately recognized as such and dealt with in the moment through discussion and mutual respect for each other’s voices."
Feeling Threatened By Your Partner's Ex
It's common to feel a little jealous of your partner's ex early on in the relationship. But once you've established trust and commitment, you shouldn't have to worry about your partner's exes. "Past relationships are in the past for a reason and have no place in the present," Dr. McCullough says. "A solid relationship is not threatened or fearful of the exes because lingering exes do not exist a solid relationship."
Getting Jealous Or Suspicious Over Other People
Jealousy and possessiveness should never been
seen as sweet or romantic. Instead, Dr. McCullough says it represents immaturity and insecurity. When your bond is solid, you can trust that your partner isn't interested in being with anyone else but you.
Giving Your Partner Ultimatums
"When you're in a good relationship, you will rarely find yourself
giving ultimatums to your partner because you’re open about your needs," psychologist Kelsey M. Latimer, PhD, CEDS-S, founder of Hello Goodlife, tells Bustle. You won't need to pressure your partner to do anything because you communicate regularly. Your relationship is truly solid because you're on the same page.
Pretending To Be Someone You're Not
"If we aren’t honest about who we are, the relationship will never be solid," Latimer says. When you're with the right person, you should never feel the need to hide who you really are. You trust that your partner loves every single part of you because they're choosing to commit to you every day.
Every couple fights, but only solid couples know
how to fight fairly. According to Latimer, fighting fairly means sticking to the issue at hand. No bringing up old issues or mistakes and throwing it in each other's faces. In fact you'll rarely ever find yourself in big fights, she says, but rather arguments that are contained to a specific, in-the-moment subject.
If you truly trust your partner, you won't feel the need to snoop, meaning you won't scroll through their phone when they walk out of the room or log on to their social media accounts without them knowing. "When one partner is snooping or spying, their main goal is to not stop until they find something 'suspicious,'" certified matchmaker,
Marissa Ventura, tells Bustle. "Where there is no trust, there is no solid relationship."
Getting Your Way Every Single Time
As great as it can be to get everything you want, unfortunately that's not likely to happen if you're in a healthy relationship. "Known as 'the glue' of the relationship, the ability to compromise represents the act of selflessness and no relationship is solid without it," Ventura says. Both you and your partner need to decide what compromises you're willing to make in order to make the relationship work. You must both be OK with not getting everything you want at all times. "Acknowledging your partner's desires is essential, assuming they're reasonable," she says. "If you or your partner has poor compromising skills while dating, it's not going to work long-term."
Worrying Over Your Partner Getting Bored With The Relationship
When you’re in a relationship that's built to last, you won't worry about your partner losing interest. "It won’t happen and you know it,"
Rosalind Sedacca, CLC, relationship expert and author, tells Bustle. How do you know? Because you both make a conscious effort to work on the relationship each and every day. You nurture it, so your mind never has to wander to that negative space. Therefore, Sedacca says, "Your life is easier because it's devoid of relationship insecurities or drama."
Feeling Physically Or Emotionally Unsafe
"If at any point, you fear that a person will physically hurt you or intentionally
emotionally abuse you, blackmail or manipulate you, this is not a solid relationship," licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Melissa Robinson-Brown, Ph.D., tells Bustle. It's an abusive one, and you should find a way to remove yourself from that situation, perhaps with the help of a professional or loved ones.
Using Each Other's Vulnerabilities As A Weapon
When you're in a solid relationship, you can trust your partner enough to be vulnerable with them. More importantly, they will never knowingly bring up your triggers to hurt you. If they do, Dr. Robinson-Brown says, this is neither a solid nor a safe relationship.
Cancelling Set Plans With Other People Because Your Partner Doesn't Have Anything Going On
When you're in a healthy relationship, you and your partner have lives outside of each other. That means, you never ask your partner to cancel set plans with friends, and vice versa. You give each other space to do your own thing and trust that you'll come back home to each other. "A solid relationship is when your love cup is full. It is when you do you," licensed clinical psychologist,
Dr. Dara Bushman, tells Bustle. "It's when you are physically, emotionally, and spiritually satiated. The tempo of your breath is not contingent on your partner."
Talk Bad About Your Partner To Other People
"Our natural instinct when a romance is going well is to defend our partner from any outside criticism,"
Dr. Carissa Coulston, clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. But if you find that you're constantly venting to your friends and family members about how your partner always does something wrong, you may need to think about whether this is the right person for you. According to Dr. Coulston, "Saying negative things about your partner when their back is turned shows a move towards the end of the line."
"Solid relationships allow us to be our most authentic self and allow us to grow," licensed psychotherapist,
Nikita Banks, LCSW, tells Bustle. "Relationships have to allow for each individual partner to change." If you constantly feel stuck or you feel like your partner is dragging you down, it doesn't matter how much you love them. Your partner needs to be supportive of your growth, and they should be growing right along with you. If not, this may not be the right relationship for you.
Feeling Like Something Is Missing
It’s common to experience ups and downs in relationships. But if you find yourself feeling unhappy or unfulfilled more days than not in your relationship, Dr. Robinson-Brown says, that's not a great sign. This shows you're not communicating your needs enough or if you do, your partner isn't listening.
When it comes down to it, a truly solid relationship is really just based on a few essential things. It's important to constantly work on communication and building trust. If you can keep working on your relationship to the point that the above things never or rarely ever happen, you're on a great track.
Editor's Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.