A clinical psychologist has revealed the four signs that a relationship lasts, saying that arguing is okay as long as couples “fight honestly”.
dr. Kathy Nickerson, who has 22 years of experience in the field, said a relationship is strong, such as “feeling easy,” genuinely caring about your partner’s happiness, and being “deliberately gentle and kind” to each other.
The psychologist from Orange County, California, said, “After working with couples for so long, I know it’s never too late to improve a relationship.
“The four points I mentioned are clinical observations I made – but if your relationship isn’t where you want it to be, don’t give up and take action.
“Think about what you really desire, and then find a kind and gentle way to ask for it. Then ask your partner to do the same.
“Couples who commit to talking often about what they’re feeling and what they need do much better than couples who stop, settle for what’s offered and don’t talk about how to heal sore spots.”
It usually feels easy
A relationship that feels “easy” is critical to health, says Dr Nickerson.
“What I mean by this is that it doesn’t feel like a daily struggle or challenge to connect with your partner or get emotional support from your partner,” she says.
“While life may be difficult and you face personal challenges, your relationship feels safe, comfortable and easy.”
She adds that while all relationships experience tough times, the ones most likely to last are those where the rough spots feel few and far between.
You fight fair
On the subject of fair fighting, she explains: ‘Couples in healthy relationships know that the purpose of a fight is to communicate, not to destroy each other.
“They care about each other’s feelings; they pay attention to the tone and how they phrase things.
“The goal of good communication is to be honest, authentic, and friendly — not mean, critical, defensive, or dismissive,” she says.
You care about your partner’s happiness
Taking care of your partner’s happiness is vital, Dr. Nickerson says, because the core of a good relationship is a solid friendship.
“We feel closest to people who like us, who actively care for us, and who do their best for us,” she says.
“Healthy couples do this and they are aware of what makes their partner happy.
“The strongest couples casually track honesty in their relationship, especially when it comes to things like household chores and choices made for the family, such as what restaurant to eat at.
“They strive to ensure that both partners receive equal treatment,” she says.
You are “deliberately gentle and kind” to each other
The fourth and final sign according to Dr. Nickerson is reminded to be gentle and kind to each other even when life gets tough.
She says that with stamina, couples recognize that they are a “safe haven” for each other.
“They are intentionally kind with their words and kind with their behavior.
“They do everything they can to make sure their partner feels safe, valued and loved.
“When their partner is hurt or upset, they drop everything to listen, comfort and support them.
“They actively listen to their partner’s feelings and validate those feelings,” she says.
Of the four signs, Dr. Nickerson that the most important thing is that your partner’s happiness is important to you.
If this element of your relationship is true, she says, you will instinctively do things to support them and show compassion for them.
“You ask them about their dreams, their feelings, and their fears,” she says.
“You will do what you can to ease the fears and make the dreams come true.”
She adds: “We all want to stay in a relationship where we feel respected and valued for who we really are.
“Of course, if your partner’s happiness is really important to you, you’ll do a lot of things that radiate acceptance and admiration.”
dr. Nickerson shared her advice in a TikTok video that has more than 400,000 views.
About a happy relationship, she adds: “I think a good relationship is the most precious gift you could ever receive.
“My advice to anyone would be… act like this in your relationships and if this person is ready for you and good for you, the relationship will last.”
Additional reporting by SWNS