While most people know that they don't need to have everything in common with their partner, it's still really tempting to fall for people who are similar to you. And while this isn't the formula for love, when people stay together for a long time, it may be because there are certain ways they tend to mirror one another.
What couples have in common when they've been together for a long time, though, may be a bit more surprising than you think.
The things that matter for couples to share in the long run are generally not the things that seem to matter on the surface: things like shared music interest, hobbies, or preferred cuisine. "It’s easy to think that what matters in a relationship is shared interests and hobbies," Liz Colizza, MA, LPC, head of research at
Lasting, tells Bustle. "While these things make a relationship smoother, and possibly more fun, they are not vital to having a successful and healthy relationship. What matters most for couples to have in common is their level of commitment to one another, mutual emotional dependence and the desire to move toward one another." And these forms of emotional connection can be strengthened by more nuanced little shared traits.
While it may be frustrating if you and your partner struggle to choose
what to watch on Netflix during a night in, these sorts of disagreements aren't usually going to be detrimental long-term. More everyday, simple commonalities, may be more important — even if they seem a bit odd upon first glance.
Here are seven weird things you have in common with your partner that may mean your relationship is more likely to last, according to experts.
Moving At Similar "Speeds" In Life
Moving at the same pace through life may seem like a weird concept to wrap your head around, but it's an important thing that a lot of long-term couples have in common, according to experts.
"Couples who are able to keep their relationship vibrant over many seasons often enjoy living life at a similar speed and pace," trauma therapist
Shannon Thomas, LCSW, author of , tells Bustle. "This idea means that go-getters who like working all day may be more evenly matched, and those who like keeping things a bit more low-key and methodical may pair up as well. If you want to last with a partner, then it may be a good idea to assess whether you two will want your lives to move at similar paces as the years progress. Healing from Hidden Abuse
Being A Traveller Or Homebody
If you're somebody who wants to see the world, you may want to think a little more deeply about settling down with someone who hates airplanes, or even just prefers staycations in general. This issue may seem frivolous, but it's something that a lot of long-term couples have in common.
"Couples who have either a similar traveler spirit or homebody personality in common can become a long-lasting relationship," Thomas says. "It is very challenging to partner with someone who views the choices of travel or staycations very differently. One partner could feel held back from seeing the world and the other shoved out of their comfort zone." So travel plans may be worth considering when thinking of long-term potential.
A sense of humor may seem like a very vague thing to have in common — but even the particularities of dating a prankster or a sarcastic person when you're neither of those can spell out trouble in a long-term relationship.
"Having a similar sense of humor is something that long-lasting couples tend to have in common," therapist
Adina Mahalli, MSW, tells Bustle. "It might seem insignificant, but if [one person is] a meme-master and [the other] just doesn’t get memes, it might not last very long." As weird as it seems, then, you may actually want to put more thought into things if you or your partner don't get each other's jokes.
"Positive Illusions" Of Each Other
"positive illusion" in romantic love basically means forming a rose-colored view of your partner. Long-term couples that share this altered view of one another are more likely to last.
"Couples that tend to stay together for a long time take an idealistic view of their partners and the relationship,"
David Bennett, certified counselor and relationship expert, tells Bustle. If either you or your partner does not have a "positive illusion" of the other person, then you may want to think more about whether the relationship is built to last.
Similar Grooming Or Hygiene Habits
Couples are known to have some
weird habits in private. Long-term couples tend to share a level of comfortability about grooming and hygiene as one another.
"[If you share this, you may feel comfortable] grooming your partner," Colizza says. "[Or you may] examine moles and dark hairs on each other." Other couples may consider this sort of behavior off-limits. If you and your partner cannot find a way to feel comfortable with your personal hygiene
behind closed doors, then you may not have the right things in common to last.
Speaking The Same "Language"
communicating with your partner is essential to last long-term. But one weird thing couples may need to have in common in terms of communication is the ability to "speak the same language" over time.
"Long-lasting couples have mastered their communication," Mahalli says. "[...] They also likely use similar phraseology to express themselves. People who overhear them might think they’re speaking a different language, but they just get each other." While you may not be able to read your partner's mind, being able to share a communication style that extends into
nonverbal communication is important.
Not Being Bothered By Each Other's Bad Habits
Everyone has bad habits. And most couples experience little pet peeves in a relationship. But long-term couples tend to share a common acceptance of the weird things their loved ones do.
"What differentiates an important quality to have in common with a partner, and one that is irrelevant to the relationship, depends squarely on the impact to daily life together," Thomas says. So if you aren't bothered by your partner's habit of forgetting their keys, and your partner, in turn, is OK with your never making the bed, then you may be more built to last than other couples.
In the end, there is no formula for what will make a couple be able to last long-term. But having specific little commonalities may increase your chances of lasting — even if these commonalities seem weird and overly-specific. Partners share their lives with one another, so it can be important to share certain traits.