6 subtle signs your relationship is still worth saving, according to psychologists

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I am a Richard Linklater girly. From way, way back.

If there’s one of his rom-coms that has always stuck with me, it’s Before Sunset.

The 2004 film traces the reunion of Jesse and Celine, a not-so-couple who first met on a train in Vienna almost a decade prior.

Fortunately, in this flick, they unexpectedly cross paths again!

Their reconnecting feels so, well… natural. 

I know it sounds cheesy, but we’re talking about a rom com here, so bear with me. It’s like they left a couple of footprints across each other’s hearts. 

We root for them because they’re not just finding each other again. They’re rediscovering what made them so great together in the first place.

Their reunion is a reminder that when life tosses us plot twists and pain, there’s always a chance for a surprise ending of our own. 

So, whether you’re navigating a breakup or waiting for your own Before Sunset moment, Jesse and Celine’s story proves there’s hope for us all.

Even when you think it’s ‘The End’… sometimes it’s just the much-needed interval.

Stick with me to discover five subtle, psychology-backed signs your relationship is worth saving.

1) They are still keeping the doors of communication open

Sad to say it but you and your loved one are fighting. Yep, way more than usual.

It seems like it’s all doom and gloom—but is it? Let’s take a wee step back.

If you’re in a heated chat with your SO where tensions are high, and instead of storming off or giving you the silent treatment, they say: “Please, let’s talk about this.”

Take that as your silver lining, pal.

Because that openness means there’s still a whole lot of optimism. They’re genuinely keeping the lines of communication open, and that’s no small feat.

A two-decade study that put relationships under microscope found that a major sign a relationship was built to last was if the partners were not “stonewalling” one another in communication.

When your partner wants to talk, it shows they care enough to go deeper, especially if it isn’t a particularly comfy topic.

If they’re keen on the comms—they’re not ready to give up just yet.

Talking isn’t just about solving your many issues. It’s about understanding each other better and growing closer in the process.

2) They are still showing up for you, offering you support 

If things aren’t perfect between you two, but they still lend a hand or offer a listening ear, that’s something to hold onto tightly.

It reveals they’re actually committed to persevering and weathering the storms with you.

An East Asian study on the link between kindness and joy found that “offering emotional support” was a super positive sign in relationships.

Every relationship has its sore spots, but if your partner is continuing to offer you support, take comfort in the fact that they’re still there, still caring.

Take it from me: you can use this as a starting point to talk openly, work through challenges, and strengthen your connection.

Use this momentum to keep moving forward, as a team (a team that might just be due for a team huddle).

3) They have a forgiving spirit, and can move past things

You’ve had another row. D’oh.

I mean, words were said, mistakes were made. But here’s a positive sign: your partner wants to actually forgive you.

And this is big! For real, not all of us are granted a second chance.

A group study concluded that forgiveness, in the form of “explicitly forgiving others transgressions and/or mistakes” had an immeasurable impact on the long-term success of relationships.

Why? Well, researchers found that the act of forgiveness had the ability to “alleviate negative feelings following a transgression.”

Forgiveness from your SO is a sign they properly value your relationship enough not to let small things tip it over.

They know intimately that we all screw up sometimes and believe in growing together as a unit.

Why should you be optimistic? It proves your relationship can bounce back stronger than ever.

Embrace this forgiving spirit, cherish it, and let it steer you both into happier, healthier waters.

4) They are able to celebrate your individuality and refrain from jealousy

You’re at a work do, chatting with a number of coworkers and new acquaintances. 

Your partner spots you across the room, and let’s face it—you’re looking good and feeling great.

And perhaps they, well… aren’t. They’re not feeling quite as shiny as you.

But here’s the clincher: instead of hovering like a security guard, they give you a bit of space. 

That’s right, they trust you enough to let you be you.

Compare that to a partner who’s always checking in, getting jealous if you talk to anyone that isn’t them. 

That’s not celebrating you. That’s suffocating you.

A recent study on younger couples found that envy and possessiveness was a major red flag in relationships.

Researchers said: “Given that jealousy is closely tied to anger, relationships are likely to turn into destructive behaviors towards partners.”

So, if your partner is able to still respect your individuality, after everything you’ve been through together, it’s a positive hint at their capacity to not want to possess you or control your every move. 

They celebrate your independence, and that’s a major green flag—even if there are other aspects of the union that require a little TLC.

5) They still do those good deeds for you

Believe it or not, those little gestures from your SO can be like little love letters for the soul.

And that’s reason enough to believe your relationship can weather the bad stretches you’re currently up against.

A systematic review pertaining to kindness and mental wellbeing found if your partner is someone who is “happy to help”… then there’s a greater chance your relationship is headed for greater things!

When they still make your day easier or brighter, it reveals that beneath all the tension, there’s still love and effort simmering.

In the chaos of it all, these small acts are like beacons of hope.

6) They don’t act on their interest in other people

Let’s face it. In some rough spots, people look out of the relationship for comfort. It’s unfortunate, of course, but it’s true.

Ever catch your partner doing this in small ways? Maybe they’re eyeballing their super fit personal trainer. Maybe it’s even their powerful boss.

Of course, all of this happens IRL—we’re only human, after all! But here’s why it’s a good sign if they look, but don’t touch.

Research in the field of monogamy in The Archives of Sexual Behavior journal “may indicate that individuals who are highly committed to their relationships do not expect to experience extradyadic attraction.”

Just so you know, “extradyadic” includes anything in regards to attraction outside of the relationship.

What this means is that it’s basically self-control on full display. Your SO could absolutely indulge in that shiny distraction, but instead, they don’t.

Why? Because they genuinely seem to value what you two have built together.

Rough patches will always crop up, but when your partner stays faithful in their heart and mind, it’s a sign you’ve got some better things coming along the way. 

They’re choosing to navigate the ups and downs with you, not eyeing the exit sign.

So, next time you notice them noticing another, take a moment of pause.

It’s not a threat—it’s a moment where their loyalty is tested, and they pass.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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