Signs Your Relationship Will Go The Distance, According To An Expert

It's no secret that dating and relationships can be difficult. Finding the person you want to spend time with can feel like months, even years, of trial and error. And when you do get into a committed relationship, both parties still have to work to make the relationship last. Even when there are good times together and happy memories made, doubt and worry can easily sneak in. According to Brides, couples, on average, date for two to five years before getting engaged. But how do you know if your relationship is heading in that direction or will stand the test of time?


While there is no exact science to predict the length of the relationship and no way to see the future, there are some hints that a relationship is long-lasting. Laura Doyle has 20 years of experience as a relationship coach and is a New York Times bestselling author. In an exclusive interview with Glam, she tells us how you can tell if your relationship is enduring.

You expect the best of each other

You want to be with someone you genuinely like and care for, and you want that person to be the best version of themselves. "You affirm things all the time, often without even realizing that you are doing it," Laura Doyle says. "Maybe you say things like 'I'm terrible with money' or 'I can't operate without my caffeine,' which may be the opposite of the experience you actually want. But you focus on things you don't want instead of what you do want, so you end up with more of the negative things."


Many believe that you often get what you put into the world, so negative emotions might bring more negativity. "Affirmations also work on the people around you. Everyone knows how damaging it can be to tell a kid that he's stupid, so why would you tell your spouse anything negative as well? What you expect, you get, so expect the best of each other!"

You have hobbies and interests outside of your relationship

Before being in a relationship, there were things you enjoyed doing. Spending time with another person shouldn't affect that. "No one can be everything to another person," says Laura Doyle. "And the more you push your own needs or interests aside to care for someone else, the more likely resentment will build. Self-care is a necessity, not a luxury."


It's important to take time to do the things you love and take care of yourself to keep your own personhood in a relationship. "The sooner you start devoting yourself to your own enjoyment and delight, the better you will be able to deal with everyday upsets," Doyle explains. "After all, your reserves won't be depleted. Tending to your own happiness should be a part of your daily routine. This can be as simple as reading a book, meeting a friend for a cup of coffee or taking an art class. Both your partner and you should be carving out time to take care of your personal needs."

You respect one another

Love and respect go hand-in-hand, especially in a serious partnership. "Respect is like oxygen in a relationship," Laura Doyle stresses. "Without it, a relationship will wither and die. But respect doesn't mean control, manipulation or criticism — even if you mean well. Respect is wholeheartedly trusting one another and giving each other autonomy over your individual lives." Controlling behaviors often walk a fine line and can be mislabeled as respect. It's important that your partner sees you as your own person rather than someone to be molded into their exact specifications.


Autonomy is important for both partners to give and receive. "No one likes to be told what they should wear, eat or do — remember your partner isn't your parent but your lover," Doyle says. "Nothing kills intimacy quicker than criticism and the connection you have with one another should be a higher priority than who's 'right!'" Focus on fostering your relationship and if there are issues, explain your feelings without placing blame on the other person.

Show gratitude daily

Life is hard enough without a relationship making it more difficult. "No one is 100% bad or annoying all the time. While your partner's faults may seem really glaring at times, there is more to it than these particular shortcomings," Laura Doyle says. "In other words, there are good qualities too!" Everyone has their own quirks, you included. There are habits you do that may bother your partner as well, but it's more important to look past these and focus on all the reasons you enjoy being with them.


Don't let the little moments of annoyance overtake all the good memories. "If you open your eyes a little wider, you will notice there are plenty of great attributes you can acknowledge about one another," Doyle explains. "'Thank You' are two powerful little words, even if used for small things, like taking out the trash. After all, who doesn't like being recognized for their effort or energy?" It's easy to take these small daily tasks for granted, but resentment can easily build up. A little appreciation goes a long way in a relationship.


If you only have physical intimacy in a relationship, it can fizzle out pretty quickly. "If you want intimacy, then you must be vulnerable with one another," Laura Doyle says. "It feels risky because it is. You will know when you are being vulnerable because a part of you will resist the urge to open up." You don't want to open up to just anyone, but if there's one person you can be vulnerable with, it's your partner. Being vulnerable reveals a level of trust with another person.


But that doesn't mean you have to share everything at every moment. "Maybe you are holding back tears or are pretending like you are not disappointed — embrace it as much as you can because that is where the real magic happens," Doyle suggests. "Not only is vulnerability attractive but you give your partner the incredible opportunity to show that he loves you just the way you are. And there's nothing quite like it!"