If you’re looking for a serious relationship that lasts, you can only hope that the person you’re with is finally it. But how can you know for sure? You can definitely look for signs you’ve found “The One.” But is there any sort of test you can give your partner to see if your relationship is meant to last?
But first, keep in mind that relationship tests are not mind games. For instance, this is not about testing to see whether your partner cares if someone else flirts with you. It’s also not about testing your partner’s love for you or doing something in order to analyze their reaction. These type of “tests” may actually be manipulative and they can lead to toxicity in your relationship over time. And if you truly want a healthy relationship, there are other ways to gauge how compatible you are that are more upfront.
If you want to know if your relationship is meant to last, experts say these are the tests your partner should be able to pass.
1. The Money Test
Money isn’t everything in a relationship, but it is important. How is your partner with finances? Do their financial goals match yours? If one of you is a spender while the other is a saver, it can be a source of arguments in the future. In fact, studies have found that money is one of the biggest source of stress in relationships. So as relationship expert and spiritual teacher, Eliyahu Jian, tells Bustle, pay attention to how your partner spends their money. Do they fail to tip servers when you’re eating out? Do they like bragging about the expensive things they like to buy? If that isn’t in line with your attitude towards money, you may have incompatible values.
2. The Desirability Test
It’s common to feel insecure every now and then, especially if you’re having an off-day. But as relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle, if you partner has a way of making you feel attractive and desirable even when you don’t feel it yourself, “they’re a keeper.”
3. The Loyalty Test
“If they can make you feel that there are no obstacles to their loyalty, then they’ve passed a test you didn’t mean to give them,” Masini says. It’s important to feel like a priority to your partner, no matter what else they have going on. If they have a way of making you feel like you’re number one, she says, your relationship is good in shape.
4. The Family Test
How does your partner treat your parents? Your siblings? Your best friends? “If your partner goes out of their way to be generous with the people you love, they’re more likely in this for the long-run,” Masini says. But if your partner can’t be nice to the people closest to you, it doesn’t matter how much they love you. “They [might not] have the maturity to tackle relationships of those who will always be in your life,” she says.
5. The “In Sickness” Test
If you’re sick or injured, someone who likes you but doesn’t love you might send you a “Hope you feel better!” text, go quiet for a bit, and then pop up again when you’re back in good health. “They don’t want to deal with the ‘for worse’ part …,” Masini says. But if your partner shows up with cool compresses, aspirin, chicken soup and love — they’ve passed a pretty important test. “Being with someone who’s sick, over the course of a week or more, is really a relationship hurdle,” she says. “I’m not saying you should hang out with people who have chicken pox to infect yourself and test your partner, but next time you get a stomach virus or a bad cold or flu, see how your partner measures up!”
6. The Self Test
A happy long-term relationship starts with you as an individual. It’s difficult to fully open yourself up to a healthy dynamic if there are things that are holding you back. When this happens, Dr. Borg says, you’re more likely to end up in an “irrelationship,” where people “create and maintain a way of being that protects them both from love’s dangers.” Meaning, you’ll keep yourself at a safe distance in order to not get hurt. So this self test is a test both you and your partner should be able to pass if you want a healthy relationship. Ask yourself, are you drawn to people you need to “fix”? Do you keep doing things for your partner only to get very little back in return? If so, you may need to figure out why. “Unfortunately, these irrelationships limit our experience to that which we believe is expected and necessary to keep the other from rejecting us,” he says. “We forfeit a full and fully satisfying relationship.”
7. The Communication Test
Out of all the tests your partner can pass, this is probably the most important one. According to Jian, most people can pass the desirability test because it’s easier to relate to people on a physical level. “But it doesn’t go to the next level which is great communication with one another,” he says. We need healthy communication in order to understand each other and connect on a deeper level.
As Grant Brenner, psychiatrist and author of Relationship Sanity tells Bustle, it’s important to make attempts to “compassionately engage in authentic conversation about intimacy” in your relationship. This should be done without pressuring your partner to talk or putting them on the spot. “It’s not a pass-fail test but their response (and responsiveness) can help gauge readiness to begin the process of working on the relationship or needing to give it more time,” he says
Again, these relationship tests aren’t about doing something in order to see if your partner passes or fails. Relationships require trust. If you feel like you need to test your partner in any way, you may want to think about why. Instead, these “tests” are things you should be observing as your relationship progresses. If you’re on the same page about things like finances, making each other a priority, and communication, you have the keys to make your relationship last