Check your answers…

Are we a ‘good fit’? many of the thriving couples had started as “friends” first, with an intimate relationship developing slowly. Couples should question if they are a “good fit” based on friendship first and foremost.

Do we have a strong basis of friendship? An underlying friendship helps couples through harrowing life events such as bereavement or an affair. Separated couples often lack a firm foundation of friendship.

Do we want the same things? The loved up duos had aligned values, hopes, dreams and expectations of the other partner, and of the relationship.

Are our expectations realistic? Successful couples had realistic expectations of marriage and relationships. They knew it wouldn’t be plain-sailing and were prepared to seek professional help, as well as work hard on the partnership.

Do we generally see the best in each other? Compassion is key and say although compassionate love can take time to build, when it happens – these couples tend to see the best in each other and make allowances when necessary.

Do we both work at keeping our relationship vibrant? Couples in thriving relationships showed they cared for each other in daily rituals and small regular acts of thoughtfulness that communicated appreciation in ways that were meaningful to their partner.

Do we feel we can discuss things and raise issues with each other? Carving out time to talk about your day, or deeper level issues is necessary for a prosperous relationship, as open communication fuels intimacy.

Are we both committed to working through hard times? Couples’ ability to adapt to change is essential to thriving relationships. When couples pulled together during periods of adversity, they often report a strengthening of the relationship as a result.

Would we pull together to get through stressful times? How people cope with life pressures such as bereavement, an affair, financial difficulties or becoming a parent, particularly when the couple had different parenting styles, is key and requires good relationship skills.

Do we each have supportive people around us? We all want our family and friends to like the person we have chosen to be committed to. Close, supportive networks of family and friends enriched the lives of couples across the spectrum of family forms. Women, in particular, drew substantial support from their mothers, sisters and/or friends.