These 10 Shocking Things Can Predict If Your Relationship Is Likely To End, According To Research
For the most part, many people go into relationships hoping it will last. But can you predict if it actually will or not? Researchers have been trying to answer that very question for years. Although some things like infidelity may not be a no surprise, studies have found some pretty shocking things that can predict whether or not your relationship is likely to last.
Relationships that tend to last are filled with love, respect, and above all, open communication. When you have honest communication in your relationship, there's little that the two of you can't handle together. For instance, hurt and disappointment will be kept at a minimum because you'll both know how each other feels and what your expectations are.
"It’s easy to blame relationship failures on money, sex, etc., but ultimately, it comes down to the fact that one person will have expectations for how they would do something, and fail to understand that their expectations are not those of the other person," divorce attorney Cydney Bulger, tells Bustle. "Your partner is not you." Communication can clear a lot of issues up.
Having good communication can be a positive sign that your relationship will last long-term. But what are some things that can predict if your relationship won't last? According to research, here are some unexpected things you should look out for.
1. Being Overly Affectionate
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that couples who are overly affectionate with each other from the very beginning often break up or divorce later on in life. As Caitlyn Paltsios, relationship expert from Grapevine Gossip, tells Bustle, "Sometimes, when couples are over-affectionate it could be compensation for something that is actually lacking within their relationship." To be fair, showing affection isn't a bad thing. If you're naturally affectionate, don't hold back. It only becomes a problem if it isn't coming from a genuinely loving place.
2. Having A Perfectly Conflict-Free Relationship
"Couples who do not fight or move past disagreements too fast often times do not last," Paltsios says. In fact, a survey of 1,000 adults by social scientist Joseph Grenny found that couples who “argue effectively” are 10 times happier than those who tend to sweep things under the rug. When you don't fight and work out your issues as they come, it creates distance in the relationship. According to the study, four out of five people also said that poor communication played a role in their previous failed relationships. When you're with someone for a long time, you're going to have arguments here and there. But if you know how to effectively communicate with your partner during disagreements, you can work through it in a healthy way.
3. The Amount Of Your Engagement Ring
A 2014 study from Emory University found that people who spent more on their engagement ring were more likely to end up in divorce. Men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on engagements rings were one to three times more likely to end up divorced than those who spent less then $2,000. Women who got expensive rings also had higher rates of divorce. While this may not give the whole picture of every type of engagement or marriage, researchers believe this may have something to do with the financial stress couples experience when they spend more than they can afford to make their engagement and wedding perfect. "Little did you know that going overboard with a ring may in turn hurt your happily ever after," Paltsios says.
4. Believing That You And Your Partner Are "Destiny"
"If you have a hot sex life and attribute it to 'fate' or having found a compatible partner, it may be a sign that this fulfilling sex won’t last," Dr. Jess O’Reilly, resident sexologist for Astroglide, tells Bustle. While it’s great to find a partner you share interests with (sexual and otherwise), research suggests that those who believe in "sexual destiny" report lower levels of relationship and sexual satisfaction in the long-run. On the other hand, those who believe in "sexual growth" and the understanding that a hot sex life and happy relationship require investment and work tend to be more satisfied in the long run. According to O'Reilly, these couples are "better able to navigate the inevitable challenges and discrepancies that will arise with time."
5. Your DNA
A 2017 study by researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden found that genetics may play a role in your likelihood of getting a divorce. The study looked at adopted children and compared the divorce histories of their adoptive parents to that of their biological parents. Researchers wanted to see if divorce was more closely linked to the environment kids were raised in or if it was in their DNA. As it was found, divorce may “run in the family.” Researchers found “consistent evidence” that genetic factors play a role in the “intergenerational transmission of divorce.” More research needs to be done to say for sure that divorce is in your genes, but this study presents an interesting link.
6. Fighting Over Chores
Fighting over chores may seem like a small thing. But according to a 2016 Harvard University study, one in four people say that "disagreements over housework" was a major factor in their decision to get divorced. When you and your partner are tired from work, nobody really wants to take out the trash or do the dishes. But these things need to get done. If neither of you are willing to step up, it can cause unnecessary arguments and tension.
7. Little Everyday Stressors
Everyone experiences stress. There are a bunch of little things that can throw your day off like forgetting an appointment or waking up late. According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, seemingly trivial stressors turned out to be a major factor in why people decided to get a divorce. It was more of a factor than other typical divorce triggers such as falling in love with someone else or major life changes. Researchers found that small, everyday things can build up and create tension between partners. When there's tension, there's likely a lack of intimacy and connection, both of which, are important if you want a relationship to succeed.
8. Not Having A College Degree
Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics found that nearly 80 percent of women who have college degrees can expect their marriages to last for at least 20 years. Only 40 percent of women who have a high school education or less can say the same. One of the biggest factors researchers found here is financial security. While this certainly isn't the case for everyone, researchers found that women who have at least a Bachelor's degree tend to be more financially secure than those who don't. As a result, they may not be as stressed over money and finances, and are better able to invest more time and energy into nurturing a relationship.
9. Having A Heart Rate Of Over 100 Beats Per Minute When Arguing With Your Partner
Psychologist Dr. John Gottman conducted a study on couples where he was able to predict which ones would divorce with a high level of accuracy. If your conflicts involve emotional flooding, which happens when negativity consumes your body and causes you to act out in irrational ways, it can mean trouble for your relationship long-term. Emotional flooding can lead to "waves of anxiety, panic, or rage." When that happens, it's not uncommon for your heart rate to speed up past 100 beats per minute and for your blood pressure to go up.
10. The Way You Talk About Your Partner
Dr. Gottman also found that the way you talk about your partner can say a lot about your relationship's likelihood for success, and even inspired further research from the University of Washington. According to studies, it's not really about what you say, but how you say it. People who speak more positively about their partner or their relationship are more likely to last. Those who put a negative spin to the memories or stories they share might break up eventually. Researchers believe that people who can speak more positively about their relationship tend to have a stronger bond with their partner.
Researchers say these things can lead to breakups, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it will. Many of these are links and not direct causes of breakups. If you make it a point to remember that relationships take work and a lot of open communication, you can overcome a lot of these challenges.