Think of your relationship like a college course: A couple months in, you need to give it a midterm evaluation to see how you’re progressing.
If you pass the test with flying colors, your chances of making the final grade are great—but if you flop, there’s still time to drop the class and search for a new major.
Luckily, this relationship quiz doesn’t require any late-night cramming. It’s called the “awesomeness factor,” and it might be the best predictor of whether you and your partner are headed toward lasting success or imminent failure, says couples therapist Melissa Schneider, L.M.S.W.
Your awesomeness factor is high—and your long-term prognosis is good—if you can ace these two questions once you’ve been dating for 4 months or longer. “By that point, most people will have already encountered any serious problems they don’t think they can live with,” Schneider says.
Pencils ready? Good luck.
1. Is She Your Almost-Perfect Fit?
Take 5 minutes and jot down a list of the qualities you think a perfect woman should have.
Maybe you’ve always dreamt of someone who’s intelligent, funny, and culture-savvy. Fortunately, you found a girl who listens to NPR on her daily commute, has a mouth as foul as Amy Schumer’s, and can recite every line of Return of the Jedi on command. Check!
“Everyone has their own quirky sense of what they want in their ideal partner,” says Schneider. If she fits most of your must-have criteria, that’s the best sign she’ll make you happy for years to come.
Keyword: most. If you always thought you’d end up with a Yankees fan, but fell for a babe from Boston, that’s okay: “You might meet The One, think she’s great, and alter the list you had all along,” Schneider says.
But when you start making a ton of exceptions—she’s a world traveler but she lacks a sense of humor, she’s hilarious but hasn’t touched a book since high school—that could indicate your union isn’t built to last.
2. Is Your Relationship Better Than Everyone Else’s?
You and your partner barely trade barbs, you try a new position every time you hit the sheets, and in your humble opinion, she’s way more fun to hang with than any of the other girlfriends. If you think your pals would be jealous of your flourishing fling, give this one a check.
But ignore the surface-level stuff, says Schneider. Of course you think your girl is the most beautiful of the bunch; your goal is to be sure you have the strongest all-around bond.
“And the funny thing is, every guy in the room could be thinking that,” says Schneider. “It’s not about actually being the best couple—it’s your perception that counts.”