Whether you are currently working with an exclusive dating agency or going about your search alone, how do you really know if the relationship will go the distance? You may find that you have great chemistry, you completely enjoy being together, and your lives seem to blend well. However, there are some things that studies show greatly increases the chances for a long term union. 1) Life Goals– You want the same things in life. You envision a future that is similar. You can support each other’s vocational goals. 2) Values– Your values match. Values have to do with what you consider to be important and unimportant. Do you value work, financial independence, family, charity, a healthy lifestyle, having fun, honesty, and a relationship? 3) Communication– You are able to communicate your thoughts to each other and both of you can listen without judging. You are also able to resolve conflict. This is very important. 4) Beliefs– This involves your worldviews and will directly affect other areas of your lives. Religion and politics are two big ones. Having the same beliefs helps you to both be on the same team and it gives you things to talk about and pursue together. 5) Lifestyle Preferences– These are personal likes and dislikes. Do you prefer to spend a lot of time alone or with other people? Do you like to go to bed early or stay up late? Do you like to travel or are you a homebody? These are just a few of the preferences that need to be addressed. No two people are exactly alike. Just the differences between being a man and being a woman are enough to deal with at times. There will always be things in someone that we decide to overlook. However, these shouldn’t be big things that will cause the relationship to be highly conflictual or things that will make you want to change your partner.