Arguments in the heat of passion. Ups and downs fast enough to give you whiplash. A lover with a mysterious, dark past. These are all great themes if you’re reading the latest hot romance novel that dropped last week, but let’s save this stuff for the bookshelves. A stable and, most importantly, healthy relationship doesn’t involve any of the turbulence you may find written in books solely for our entertainment. For some reason, there are a lot of us out there that are attracted to toxicity. It keeps things fun, right? Not so much.
“Happy couples that stay together experience five good moments for every one tough moment,” relationship and life coach Keren Eldad shares with Bustle. This is called the 5-to-1 ratio in a relationship. So, if you’re experiencing the opposite — only one happy moment for every five terrible, rocky moments — you may not be in a healthy partnership. Expanding on this, personal and professional coach Laura Hugill adds that when “expectations are clear and agreed upon, and — especially in conflict — there is a mutual trust that the intention of the other is always in service of the strength of the partnership,” stability is present (via The Knot).
Stability comes in the form of your partner as an individual, too. Everyone goes through rough patches, but when these habits become a pattern, it can mean trouble for a relationship. Instead, look for someone who is independent, financially and mentally secure, and knows what they want and how to get it.