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7 Subtle Ways to Measure the Strength of Your Relationship

5. Is your partner comfortable holding hands in public?

VITA PIX/Shutterstock
Source: VITA PIX/Shutterstock

How strong is your relationship? These seven tests could help you gauge your partner's commitment.

1. The Gaze Test

Research show that couples in love tend to spend more time gazing into each other’s eyes. Over a romantic dinner does he or she look directly into your eyes, or avoid your gaze?

2. The Jealousy Test

Does your partner show jealousy when an attractive person shows interest in you?

3. The Endurance Test

Does your partner willingly offer to help you out with some difficult or boring chore, such as helping you move, clean out the attic, or take care of your pet while you are on a business trip?

4. The Separation Test

Does your partner tell you how much he or she missed you, or say, “Is it two weeks already? Seems like you left yesterday!”

5. The Public Affection Test

Is your partner comfortable holding hands or kissing in public, or does he or she pull away when someone approaches?

6. The Squeeze Test

When others are talking about romantic couples, does your partner give you a squeeze on your hand or leg as a nonverbal signal that says, "That’s like us!”

7. The Mutuality Test

Does your partner share personal information, particularly after you have shared something personal or intimate? This is known as “reciprocal self-disclosure” and it's the process by which strong relationships are formed. Further, do you share jokes and stories and find the same things fun or amusing?

Bottom Line

Strong relationships are built by sharing and by being genuinely interested in and appreciative of your partner. It’s not the end of the world if your partner fails one of these tests; however, failing several suggests that your relationship may need more attention. But developing a strong and loving relationships is never easy: Each of you must invest in it and be willing to make sacrifices and concessions.

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More from Ronald E. Riggio Ph.D.
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