How do you know if you’re in a successful relationship?

There’s no one simple way – and part of a good relationship is some twists & turns (and bumps!) along the way – but there are certain things about your partner & your relationship in general that you should know early on.

Here’s 7 (tough) questions you should be able to answer about your relationship (Source: S. Lebowitz):

1. What are your partner’s biggest emotional triggers?:  knowing the answer to this question is important because it can defuse conflict and increase empathy within the relationship.

2. Does your partner have debt?:  we know that money issues are a big cause of relationships breaking up; so it’s essential for both parties to communicate their status and plans so resentments or secrecy doesn’t build up.

3. What are your partner’s deal-breakers? What are yours?:  successful partners know who they are, who they aren’t, what their struggles and blind spots are, and perhaps most importantly — they know their absolute bottom line deal-breakers.

4. What’s your partner’s feeling about a general timeline to start your family?:  while we can’t always plan for this, it’s essential for couples to both want to have a child(ren) before going down this path. This is literally one of the biggest decisions of your life and relationship and you can’t have only one ‘yes.’

5. Are you both committed first and foremost to your relationship and to one another?:  partners who are present to one another are committed to their relationship. For them the relationship comes first, even with the distractions that go with career success. Everyone else should come second.

6. How can you support your partner when they are at their lowest?:  if you know how your partner prefers to communicate in times of hardship, you can demonstrate your emotional compassion in a way that puts them more at ease.

7. Do you regularly point out things to your partner that you appreciate about them?:  successful partners need to show appreciation for one another. This helps partners cultivate a habit of mind of scanning for the positive in their relationship rather than the negative, which breeds contempt, the strongest predictor of divorce.