I have wondered about these kinds of things over the years, and have read a variety of relationship books and have tried different things. Of course, there is no magic formula, as much as weʻd like one! But, there are some things that we could do to possibly enhance the possibility that when we do meet someone, we can learn early on whether the person is a good match for a solid, long-lasting relationship. Dr. Tashiro, a psychologist, has written an interesting book entitled The Science of Living Happily Ever After, and discusses some research on the subject, and provides some suggestions, based on research, of determining if someone is a good match for you. Here are some of his ideas:
1. Friends and in-laws matter: get their opinions, and really listen to them, of your new love/partner. How many times have you watched a movie where two people get together, and it is obvious to you from the beginning that one person is a creep and the other is just going to get hurt? According to research, outsiders are pretty good at determining which relationships will last, and which will not!
2. Have a good understanding of your attachment style, and compare those to your new love. If they do not seem to be a good match, then strongly re-consider the relationship. For example, if your love is in the category of being a securely attached individual [in other words, had a good relationship with primary caregivers], then it is much more likely they will be able to stick with a relationship than those who are in the ʻavoidantʻ or ʻinsecureʻ category of attachment. Also, if you grew up as a securely attached child, then you will more likely attract a securely attached partner [roughly 50% of the time].
3. You and your love/partner can take a "Big Five" personality trait questionnaire [you can find one on Dr. Tashiroʻs website] to see where you both rate on openness, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. AND/OR you and a group of friends can get together with your new love interest and you can have your friends rate your love interest on these traits [that seems to provide a fairly accurate picture of these traits, according to research]. With these results, you can compare your personality traits with your dateʻs and assess whether you are likely to be a good match. One area to compare is neuroticism as it appears to be the most important personality predictor of future relationship satisfaction and stability. One of the best ways to find out if your love interest is high on the neuroticism scale is to pay close attention to what they do in stressful situations; if they freak out when you would not, this person is probably not likely to be a good match for you. And, as Dr. Tashiro points out, wishful thinking that this personʻs stress reactions will change will not do you any favors! These types of traits tend to last a lifetime.
Tashiro, Ty 2014. The Science of Living Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love.