Although we cannot always anticipate or avoid situations that we know have the power to undermine relationships (such as chronic exposure to non-marital stress — medical, financial, and so forth), much can be noticed and considered when we set out to make our choice to commit for the long haul. We know, for example, that couples who share core values and goals have a greater chance for a happy long-term relationship.
In her article Are You with the Right Mate? in the Jan. 2012 edition of Psychology Today, Rebecca Webber notes specific personal characteristics that researchers have determined bode well for a relationship, and others that bode poorly.
- sense of humor;
- even temper;
- willingness to overlook your flaws;
- sensitivity to you and what you care about;
- ability to express caring.
Negative, maladaptive traits:
- chronic lying;
- chronic worrying or neuroticism;
- emotional over-reactivity;
- proneness to anger;
- propensity to harbor grudges;
- low self-esteem;
- poor impulse control;
- tendency to aggression;
- self-orientation rather than an other-orientation.