Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today


3 Telltale Signs That a Relationship Has Marriage Potential

Are you and your partner destined for happily ever after? Here's how to tell.

Key points

  • Empirical evidence highlights what can be considered strong predictors of a resilient bond.
  • Time together should be something you look forward to. 
  • Constructive communication and financial compatibility are also important.
Kadarius Seegars / Unsplash
Source: Kadarius Seegars / Unsplash

It’s difficult to be unequivocally certain about your choice of a lifelong companion. The possibility of seeing your partner through rose-tinted glasses—only to discover that you fell in love with an idea—can be daunting.

Fortunately, scientific research has broken ground on the matter. While finding “the right person” can never be distilled into an exact science, empirical evidence highlights what can be considered strong predictors of a resilient bond.

These three signs can be a herald that your relationship is ready for the next step.

1. Time Together Is Not a Chore

Spending time together is the foundation of any romantic relationship. Whether it is talking, pursuing an activity together, or simply sitting comfortably in silence, time together should be something you look forward to.

A 2021 study published in Contemporary Family Therapy finds that individuals who spend more time interacting with their partner experience greater closeness to them. Couples who spend more time talking to one another have higher relationship satisfaction and perceive more positive qualities in their relationships. These couples also exhibit greater use of constructive communication which can ultimately impact relationship and marriage quality.

An enriching romantic relationship also involves the ability to slow down and relax in each other’s company. You shouldn’t have to feel the need to fill all your hours together with exciting activities or chitter-chatter. If doing your own thing and relaxing together in comforting silence is an enjoyable time for you and your partner, then you just might be with the right person.

2. You Communicate Constructively

Communication patterns between a couple can make or break a relationship. It can be difficult to consider marriage or long-term commitment if you and your partner have incompatible or faulty communication styles. Destructive communication can lead to resentment, which in turn gives rise to frequent arguments or silent treatments.

The Contemporary Family Therapy study concludes that constructive communication leads to higher relationship satisfaction and couples perceive less negative qualities in their marriages.

Additionally, if a couple shares a strong bond, the quality of communication also plays a role in relationship satisfaction and happiness. A 2020 study found that positive relationship maintenance behaviors and connecting one’s romantic partner to one’s own identity can improve relationship satisfaction and happiness. Positive behaviors within a relationship, such as openness, assurance, and sharing tasks, can facilitate a strong connection between a couple.

If your relationship involves open communication, appreciation and a favorable division of chores and emotional labor, then your bond with your partner might run deep enough to warrant preparation for happily ever after.

3. Your Partner Is Your “Financial Fit”

Financial compatibility can put to rest several concerns and insecurities within your relationship. Aligned financial goals can help you approach big spends and savings as a team. Perceiving your partner as capable of making sound financial decisions can provide a sense of comfort and relieve concerns about unfavorable contingencies.

A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that the way couples manage their finances affects the quality of their relationships. The study refers to the “couples and finances theory,” which states that financial issues lead to relationship and marital problems. Efficient financial management fulfills needs and reduces financial uncertainty in the future.

Additionally, the study found that credit management and insurance play the most significant role in determining the quality of relationships. Healthy credit management and purchasing insurance can make an individual appear desirable and comforting and provide their partner with a sense of security.

Financial resources and the way they are managed are essential components in determining the quality of romantic relationships and consequent happiness. Sharing financial goals and exhibiting healthy financial management can be a good indicator for a suitable life partner.

Finding the right partner for marriage is a journey filled with introspection and shared experiences. These signs provide guidance on choosing a partner. Marriage is a significant commitment, and taking time to evaluate your compatibility and readiness is an important step in ensuring a strong and healthy partnership.

A version of this post also appears on

Facebook image: - Yuri A/Shutterstock

More from Mark Travers Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today