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.
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.