You are meant to be: No couple is perfect, but you two are pretty close. You’re pretty sure you’ve finally found that right person for you. You know, the one who listens intently while you vent about your grueling day at work and is there to hold you tightly on the couch with your Netflix queue
already lined up.But how can you tell for sure? Luckily, science has some answers. Read up on these research-backed factors that strongly influence whether or not you and your S.O. are meant to go the distance.
1. You’re Both Positive Sure, this one might not come as a surprise, but studies show that a positive outlook and a few genuinely exchanged smiles a day can go a long way in keeping a relationship stable.Researchers from the University of Chicago found that when just one partner possesses a high level of positivity, there’s less conflict in the relationship. “Positive emotions are fundamental to any relationship because they counteract the negative emotions that shut us down,” says Jane Greer, New York-based relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship. “This translates into feeling more secure with your partner and more trusting.” And the benefits of seeing the cup half full don’t stop there. Another study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that couples who celebrated their partners’ achievements—say, a job promotion or killing that 7-minute mile—as if they were their own, experienced greater satisfaction than those who reacted negatively or with indifference. In the study, the couples who had broken up rated their partners’ typical responses to good news as “particularly uninspiring.” While this isn’t to say you should break out in the Carlton Dance next time bae offers up some good news, it’s a sure sign that optimism can benefit you both.
2. You Keep Texting to a Meaningful Minimum Between emojis and GIFs, our feelings and emotions are pretty clearly captured sans alphabetical symbols these days. But tread lightly when communicating with your significant other via telecommunication, say researchers from Brigham Young University. After surveying 276 men and women around age 22 and in committed relationships, they found that heavy texting was to blame for both genders feeling dissatisfied with their relationships. “Texting is precarious for a lot of people in relationships because it’s hard to flesh out our genuine expressions,” says Dr. Greer. “When one person is less interactive, the expectation is not matched by the reality for the other, and this can lead to disappointment and a feeling of disconnection.” Similarly, the study found that the men who texted more often reported lower relationship quality than those who didn’t text their partners as frequently, while the women who texted more often reported higher relationship quality. Researchers speculate that as men detach from the relationship, they replace face-to-face convo with increased texting. The ladies, on the other hand, take to their mobile devices to try and make things work.
3. You Limit Social Media Use You love checking your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds—and, chances are, it’s probably also how you read your news. But over-scrolling on social media may be one of the most toxic things you can do for your relationship. One study in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking found that people who use Facebook more than once a day (ahem, most of us) are more likely to report conflicts in the relationship that inevitably lead to negative outcomes like cheating, breaking up, or getting divorced. “Romantic relationships can be challenging enough to navigate without these added technological complications,” says Joseph Cilona, Psy.D., Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist. “Finding ways to simplify or minimize potential pitfalls, like limiting what each other shares about your relationship on social media, is a great rule of thumb to follow.” But good news for your social media mojo if you and your man or lady have been together for over three years: These results only held for couples in the early years of the relationship, which may mean the threat of Facebook coming between you two reduces the longer you stay together.