New Study: The Definitive Signs of a Good Relationship

couple in a good relationship laughing together

Do you know the signs of a good relationship? How can you tell when you’re a good match? A new study commissioned by EliteSingles and conducted by OnePoll delved into what makes couples compatible. As it turns out, being part of a great pair takes individual work.

Good Relationships Require Self-Care

The EliteSingles-commissioned study asked 2,000 people in relationships about the daily routines that made their partnership work.

Top compatibility factors

Some of the habits that people said help keep their relationship in sync were cleaning habits (32%), exercise regimens (36%), morning or evening routines (41%), and eating habits (42%).

However, the most popular answer wasn’t about what couples do together – it was about what they do apart. 45% of people believe that having self-care routines is one of the key signs of a good relationship.

This suggests that an interesting piece of the compatibility puzzle is retaining a level of individuality. Codependent couples rely on each other for everything, compatible couples know that by carving out space for self-care, they build the emotional strength required to be a good partner.

Big-Picture Signs of a Good Relationship

Along with the day-to-day signs of a good relationship, the study also looked at some of the big-picture factors that contribute to compatibility.

top big picture compatibility factors that make a good relationship

Survey respondents were asked to pick the three major factors they thought most contributed to their harmony as a couple. The top three were mutual respect and understanding (54%), shared interests (52%), and goals for the future (49%).

Interestingly, although political and religious views are often cited as vital indicators of a good relationship, the survey didn’t give them much weight. Only 17% of people thought politics were a compatibility factor. Just 15% thought the same about religion.

Sharing Similarities

Couples in the study were also asked about the ways in which they felt they were most similar to their partner.

Visual showing 7/10 people have the same love language as their partner

The top three similarities drawing people together are shared values (68%), a shared sense of humor (60%), and shared levels of ambition.

Another similarity that couples in the survey felt strongly about was having a shared communication style. Specifically, those surveyed felt it was important to communicate love in the same way, with 70% of those surveyed saying they had the same love language as their partner.

It makes sense: love languages are the ways in which people express and receive love. A shared love language means communicating this love in a way that both partners easily understand. And communicating love easily and often is definitely one of the signs of a good relationship.

Celebrating Differences

Of course, not all great couples are peas in a pod, with all the same values and tastes. In fact, the survey also indicated that healthy couples celebrate differences as well as similarities.

This is especially true of pop culture. In the world of online streaming and shared Netflix accounts, it could be easy to think that sharing the same taste in games, music, movies, and TV dates would be one of the signs of a good relationship.

Not so, according to the survey. 66% of people surveyed say that entertainment preferences are not an important compatibility factor. Additionally, 68% of people say their own entertainment tastes are different from their partner’s.

Pleasingly, rather than drive couples apart, this disparity could actually help them grow. 85% of people say their partner helped them fall in love with media they wouldn’t have otherwise considered. 

Learning Relationship Lessons

Finally, for all the singles out there who’ve been through breakups, a note of hope. The study showed that it’s not just the good relationships that can teach lessons of compatibility.

In fact, 76% of survey respondents agree that a relationship that didn’t work out can be one of the most important love lessons there is. By showing what doesn’t work, a broken relationship can teach singles what to prioritize in the future. And that can help people spot the signs of a good relationship when one does come around.

There’s hope too for people who are just starting out on their compatibility journey and aren’t sure yet just how much they have in common. 80% of those in the survey agree that no couple is perfectly compatible at the start of a relationship. Instead, they grow to become better partners for each other over time.


If you have questions about this study, please get in touch. You can reach us at [email protected]

All statistics are from an anonymous study commissioned by EliteSingles and conducted by OnePoll in November 2020. 

About the author: Sophie Watson

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