It can be tempting to resort to dramatics and pettiness when you and your significant other have a larger-than-usual argument or a full blown fight, but science (Yes! Science!) has found that if your relationship exhibits these five signs, you’re more than likely to weather every storm:
1. You Do Little Things For Each Other
PureWow talked with relationship coach Kyle Benton, who encourages couples to engage in ‘small things often.’
“The small acts that demonstrate you care are powerful ways to enhance the positivity in your marriage,” says Benton.
From that little dash of paprika in his favorite soup the way he likes it, or getting her that one specific dessert does wonders for a relationship.
“Those small gestures accumulate over time and will provide a buffer of positivity in your marriage so that when you do enter a conflict, it will be easier to engage in positive interactions that outweigh the negative,” notes Benton.
2. You’re Physically Affectionate
It doesn’t have to mean nightly sex! Seriously, who has the time and energy?
A study published in the Journal of Personal and Social Relationships notes small acts of physical affection—regardless of where they lead—have a big impact.
“Initiation [of physical contact]communicates a desire to be close, have sex, create interest in the relationship,” explains study co-author Chelom Leavitt.
“So even when couples don’t have sex, they are strengthening the relationship by communicating desires to be close and committed to the relationship.”
Just a hug can lower stress, reduce depression, and boost immunity.
3. You Have Similar Mannerisms and Speech Patterns
Turns out, ‘mirroring’ your partner isn’t at all cringey, but in fact can benefit the relationship in the long run!
“People in thriving relationships take on their partner’s habits, interests, and mannerisms,” reports Psychology Today.
Apparently, the science-y term for it is called ‘self-other overlap,’ and it’s a sign your love isn’t going anywhere soon.
4. You Respond to Each Other’s Bids
“Bids” is a term coined by relationship guru John M. Gottman, reports PureWow, and in a nutshell, they’re “attempts at emotional connection that are either reciprocated or shut down.”
Gottman found that bids aren’t ‘do this, do that’ either; it’s more of an attempt at a connection, conversation, or light banter with your partner by engaging them in something you think they might find interesting.
In his experiments, say for instance a husband, who is a bird enthusiast, might spot a gorgeous bird outside and tell his wife about it. Bland right? But it’s just about the fact he saw a bird—it’s about “creating a chance for connection that can make the couple closer,” according to PureWow.
Now if his wife responds enthusiastically to the bird, instead of getting mad she was interrupted in a task or whatnot, then that creates a happier environment for the relationship as the ‘bid’ was reciprocated positively.
But you don’t have to ‘fake like’ your partners hobbies and interests either, because feigned happiness got no one nowhere. Just a simple ‘I’m happy you’re happy’ move can suffice.
5. You Believe in Commitment
Perception is reality when it comes to romance, says a study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, so your views on relationships are influenced early on by what you’ve experienced early in life.
So your parents or parental figures have a heavy hand in that, obviously.
“Children who reported that their parents were happily married were less likely to endorse divorce as [an]acceptable decision than were the children of less happily married parents,” academic journal Demography notes.