10 crucial questions you should ask your partner before the relationship gets serious : Evewoman - The Standard

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Crucial questions you should ask your partner before the relationship gets serious

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It's not always easy to be lucky in love.

Hearts are fragile and things can quickly turn sour.

However according to experts, there might be a way to ensure your relationship is heading in the right direction and help avoid any unnecessary heartbreak.

A study conducted by the University of Exeter found that relationships last longer when they are built on friendship, respect and realistic expectations.

Researchers concluded there were 10 crucial questions that a couple should be asking one another - as well as themselves.

These questions are pretty big, important ones which will take a bit of thought - after all you're trying to establish just how compatible you really are.

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10 crucial questions to ask yourself and your partner:

1. Are my partner and I a 'good fit'?

2. Do we have a strong basis of friendship?

3. Do we want the same things in our relationship and out of life?

4. Are our expectations realistic?

5. Do we generally see the best in each other?

6. Do we both work at keeping our relationship vibrant?

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7. Do we both feel we can discuss things freely and raise issues with each other?

8. Are we both committed to working through hard times?

9. When we face stressful circumstances would we pull together to get through it?

10. Do we each have supportive others around us?

For the study, experts interviewed 10 divorce lawyers/mediators and two judges to uncover the key reasons why relationships fail.

They also spoke with 43 couples, some married, some separated and others that have been living together for at least 15 years.

The responses revealed four common reasons for relationships to break down - incompatibility, unrealistic expectations, failure to deal with issues and failure to nurture the relationship.

Professor Anne Barlow, who led the study, said: "Of course every relationship is different, and it is important that couples build relationships that are meaningful to them, but we found thriving relationships share some fundamental qualities.

"Mostly the couple have chosen a partner with whom they are a 'good fit' and have ways of successfully navigating stressful times."

She added: "These 10 critical questions can help people as they decide if they are compatible with a person they are considering sharing their life with and flag the importance of dealing with issues as they arise as well as of nurturing the relationship over time."

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