Will Your Partner Be A Good Spouse? 5 Signs They’re Ride Or Die

Maybe you’ve been dating for a couple months, or a couple years. Either way, you’ve got the future on your brain, and more specifically, whether or not bae is in it. Will your partner be a good spouse? Your gut instinct says yes, but how can you be sure? Of course, there’s the little things that suggest they have real long-term partner potential — like the fact that they always remember small details of the work stories you tell them, or bring you your favorite mint tea when you catch a cold, and tag along to your niece’s four-hour dance recital because they know it’s important to you. Some say you should look at how your date treats the servers at a restaurant as revealing of their character. Others say it’s your SO’s relationships with family members that can tell you a lot about whether they’ll be an exceptional spouse.

No one can predict the future, and just because you’re in love with someone doesn’t mean they’re fit to be by your side for the rest of your life. Luckily, experts say there are some subtle signs to look out for that could hypothetically indicate if your SO is going to be a stellar forever partner. Here are some behaviors to keep an eye out for if you’re trying to discern whether your current bae has some serious spouse potential.

They’re responsible and reliable.

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Reliability is a funny thing, because we all may struggle with one aspect or another. Some of us may be a little “time challenged” (as my mom would say). On the whole, reliability is a key factor to look for in a future spouse, according to licensed clinical psychotherapist and Love Victory founder Dr. LeslieBeth Wish. She says that if a partner is responsible in regards to work and their finances, and you can depend on them overall, that’s a good indicator they’ll be a quality life partner. Dr. Sherrie Campbell, licensed counselor, psychologist, and marriage and family therapist, agrees, citing stability and predictability as spectacular signs of a potential spouse.

Words like predictability, stability, and reliability may not sound all that sexy, but think of it this way: life is immensely unpredictable, so it’s crucial that you can depend on your partner to be there for you in order to establish some sense of stability. So, if your partner nearly always follows through with their promises, you may very well have found your lifey-to-be.

They support your dreams.

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According to Dr. Wish, this is one of the top elements to look out for in a partnership if you’re hoping it will last a lifetime. We all have passions we are pursuing, goals we’re aiming to achieve. There will be times when we doubt ourselves and our abilities. Having an SO that encourages, supports, and helps you to believe in yourself can actually enable you to push through the insecurities or self-doubt, overcome the necessary obstacles, and ultimately, achieve your dreams.

If they’re always down to read a blog you’re working on, the first person at your gallery opening, in the front row at your tech conference speech, or psyched to listen to the latest song you wrote, then you know they have life partner potential.

You have a powerful friendship.

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It's likely that at some point you’ve seen someone call their husband or wife their “best friend” in a sappy Instagram or Facebook post — perhaps you merely scoffed, or perhaps you straight up melted. Either way, the reality is that friendship is actually a super important component of lasting relationships.

“True lovers always want to be friends at the base,” explains Dr. Campbell. “It’s not all about sex. Friendship and playing together help couples stay together.”

According to Dr. Wish, if you have both the friendship aspect as well as the passion — well, that’s a winning combination for a happy life partnership.

If your romance started with a friendship first, you obviously have a bit of an advantage. However, a foundation for friendship can be formed in any relationship, no matter how it was sparked. If your partner doubles as a friend, you'll be comfortable around them in your rattiest sweats, and you'll be able to freely complain about your boss (and know they'll listen). They'll be the first person you want to call with good or bad news, and they'll be the first person you want to talk to when you have a problem you're trying to solve.

When you come to them with a concern — they listen.

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This is a big one. When you confront your partner about something that’s bothering you, how do they tend to react? Do they become easily frustrated or angry, try to shift the blame or hurl accusations? Or do they calmly try to work through it with you? Dr. Wish says an ideal life partner won’t "play history" and rehash previous interactions or altercations, and instead, will "play it forward" to solve the problem as a team. According to Dr. Campbell, an ideal life partner is one who can listen to your concerns without reacting too quickly or strongly as well as tackle any issues without getting defensive.

“When you have a partner who can hear you out when you're feeling vulnerable or they have done something you don't like and they can remain open — that is priceless,” she says.

If you and/or your partner is particularly sensitive, you may need to learn how to address problems in a particular way so that no one feels attacked and then immediately becomes defensive. That said, you shouldn’t feel like you have to stuff your concerns down for fear of their overreaction — a lasting relationship requires that you both feel emotionally safe enough to be totally honest with each other. No matter how rock solid your partnership is, there will be times when problems arise. If your SO seems to be able to swallow their pride and hear you out about whatever's irking you, that’s a great sign.

They’re self-aware.

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Self-awareness is a valuable trait in any person, and it can particularly come in handy in a relationship. A partner who is self-aware will be able to identify what they’re feeling, which means they’ll have an easier time expressing to you when someone bothers them and why. They’ll be aware of their values and morals — what’s important to them, and how much so. They’ll also be considerate of their shortcomings, which means they can often pinpoint where they went wrong in a particular argument and will be better equipped to identify what they need to work on.

What do all of these traits have in common? They spur self-growth. A significant other with self-awareness is more likely to continuously evolve. That’s one of the best things you can seek out in a spouse, because the reality is, both partners may need to bend and change with each other in order to make the relationship work. Self-awareness is a core aspect of emotional intelligence, and an SO who possesses it will likely be able to express their needs more effectively as well as remain honest with themselves about their own areas of self improvement.

These signs can certainly hint that your SO is husband or wifey material. It's important to note, though, that all of these factors are things that can improve over the course of your relationship. So just because bae doesn't check all five boxes doesn't mean they wouldn't make a phenomenal life partner. Ultimately, spouse potential lies in being willing to work on all of these facts (yes, that means you, too) and becoming stronger for it.

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