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Dating & Relationships

Love expert says these are the four signs a relationship will last

She says these four simple things indicate a relationship will go the distance.

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By Amy Reast via SWNS

A relationship expert revealed four signs a relationship is going to last – and says it’s OK if couples argue as long as they "fight fair".

Clinical psychologist Dr. Kathy Nickerson said there are four very simple things that indicate a relationship is a strong one that will go the distance.

Dr. Kathy - who has 22 years of experience in the field - says "it doesn’t matter if you fight sometimes - as long as you fight fair."

Indicators a relationship is strong including it "feeling easy", genuinely caring about your partner’s happiness, and being “intentionally gentle and kind” to one another.

Dr. Kathy, a psychologist, from Orange County, California, US, said: “After working with couples for so long, I know that it's never too late to make a relationship better.

“The four points I mentioned are clinical observations I have made – but if your relationship is not where you want it to be, don't give up, take action.

“Think about what you're really craving, then find a kind and gentle way to ask for this. Then ask your partner to do the same.

“Couples that commit to talking frequently about what they feel and what they need do far better than couples who shut down, settle for what's offered, and don't talk about how to heal sore spots."

The psychologist explained what she means by "fighting fair" in a relationship.

She said: “Couples who have healthy relationships know that the point of a fight is to communicate, not destroy each other.

“They care about each other's feelings; they're careful about tone and how they phrase things.

"The goal of good communication is to be honest, authentic, and kind - not nasty, critical, defensive, or dismissive.”

Dr. Kathy says a relationship "feeling easy" is critical to it being a healthy one.

She said: “It feels easy most of the time.

"What I mean by this is that it does not feel like a daily struggle or challenge to connect with your partner or get emotional support from your partner.

“Even though life might be difficult and you might face personal challenges, your relationship feels safe, comfortable, and easy.”

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She added that while all of us have rough patches in our relationships, the ones that go the distance will find these rough patches feel few and far between.

Her next point is that each partner should care about the other's happiness - because at the heart of a good relationship is a strong friendship.

Dr. Kathy said: "We feel closest to people who like us, who actively care for us, and who go out of their way for us.

"Healthy couples do this and they're mindful about what makes their partner happy.

"The strongest couples casually track the fairness in their relationship, especially when it comes to things like household chores and choices made for the family, like what restaurant to eat at.

"They strive to make sure both partners get equitable treatment."

The final sign is being "intentionally gentle and kind" to each other - even when things get tough in life.

Often to deal with life's challenges we seek out a person who is our "safe harbor" - and couples with staying power recognize they are that safe harbor for each other.

Dr. Kathy explained: "They are intentional about being gentle with their words and kind with their behaviors.

"They go out of their way to ensure their partner feels secure, valued, and loved.

"When their partner is hurt or upset, they drop everything to listen to them, comfort them, and support them.

"They actively listen for their partner's feelings and they validate those feelings."

Dr. Kathy believes the most important of the four signs is that "your partner's happiness matters to you".

She explained that if it truly matters, you will instinctively do things to support them and show compassion for them.

"You'll ask them about their dreams, their feelings, and their fears," she said.

"You will do what you can to help alleviate the fears and make the dreams come true."

She added: "We all want to stay in relationships where we feel respected and valued for who we really are.

Loving African couple enjoying time together sitting at a coffee shop, holding hands, looking at each other and smiling with amorous expression, feeling pure and tender love, against wooden wall
(Cast Of Thousands via Shutterstock)

"If your partner's happiness truly matters to you, you'll naturally do many things that convey acceptance and admiration."

Sharing the advice in a TikTok video, which racked up more than 400,000 views, she received endless comments and feedback.

Many people found they agreed with the video - with some sharing their own experiences.

Some people said they had previously been in toxic relationships and were now in healthy ones and they found it actually felt unnatural because they had become accustomed to chaos.

Dr. Kathy said: "I would encourage anyone in such a spot to be patient with themselves, pause before responding harshly to their partner, pay attention to their feelings, and talk through those feelings with their partner.

"Someone that loves you will be happy to listen and help you heal.

"And if you have any history of trauma, please be proactive in trying to heal that, it often shows up in relationships in interesting ways."

Others said they had experienced a relationship that had all four of these positive points - but they had been dumped anyway.

Dr. Kathy said it would be hard to comment without knowing the specifics of the relationships - but shared one key takeaway.

Referring to her list of the four signs of a lasting relationship, she said: "I think a good relationship is the most precious gift you could ever receive.

“My advice to everyone would be... act like this in your relationships and if this person is ready for you and right for you, the relationship will last.”

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