Professional couples therapists often know whether a relationship will succeed or fail after just a short session, according to Melissa Cohen, a relationship therapist practicing in New Jersey. She says there are several tell-tale signs indicating the strength of a relationship. We share some healthy living tips about relationships that may help you ascertain the strength of your love relationship.
Lack of Trust
Do you trust your partner completely? Is that trust well-placed? Couples have to be able to trust each other completely if they are to survive long-term. Lying, keeping financial secrets or having an affair all demonstrate an unacceptable breach of that trust. If that trust is broken, it takes some mature conversations and forgiveness to attempt to heal the breach. It’s always better not to break that trust in the first place.
It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it that defines your relationship with your significant other. Statements that are filled with sarcasm and contempt attack the other person’s character and can quickly undermine a relationship. If a simple request is accompanied by a demeaning phrase such as “Are you too stupid to do what I ask?” it sparks a cycle of negativity. Similarly, contempt for your partner can often reveal feelings of superiority that do nothing to generate loving feelings. Eye-rolling, sneering, public criticism or comments such as “Am I the only one working around here?” are sure signs that your relationship is about to hit the skids.
Lack of Physical Non-Sexual Contact
Happy couples touch and connect. The stronger and more frequent the touch, the higher the emotional intimacy. Conversely, seeing a couple sit with arms folded or their back turned to each other shows that subconsciously the relationship is over. Revive a flagging relationship with healthy habits such as touching and see how it builds and strengthens your bond.
Lack of Empathy
Couples need to identify with the other’s feelings so that neither party feels alone and uncared for. Often couples resort to hurting each other verbally in a competition to make the other person feel bad and share the suffering. Empathy is a far better way to get through the bad times, together.
Making Mountains out of Molehills
“Don’t sweat the small stuff” is good advice when it comes to relationships. People are not perfect and you can tell early on in a relationship whether you can overlook your partner’s imperfections. They may always run late, be untidy, never take out the trash or spend too much money, but is it a deal-breaker? Try to find several good points about your partner that compensate for minor annoyances and learn to focus on the positive.