Look beyond love. Try not to lose your head, as well as your heart, when you're romantically involved. You can actually predict to some extent whether someone is likely to make a suitable life partner. Here are three great pointers that may help to guide you towards a more successful partnership, they may just save your relationship!

Communicating affection

Listen carefully Identify how your potential partner communicates. Also pay attention to how he or she handles sticky situations and painful emotions. Do you feel comfortable or threatened?

Look for true intimacy We're not talking about sex here, but about the closeness that comes from being able to share life's experiences – both good and bad. Are you happy to spend time with your partner when he or she is ill or not feeling good? Can you discuss problems and work through them together?

Observe the parents If you want an indication of how your beloved is likely to behave in a marriage, watch how his or her own family members relate to each other, especially the parents. What we learn about relationships as children, we often play out as adults.

Go for compromise If you're forever giving in, then you've got a problem. Compromise is one of the key elements of a healthy relationship.

Be wary Addictive behaviour, such as alcoholism, doesn't necessarily run in families, but it often does. Also watch out for a family history of depression or excessive anxiety.

 

Keep romance alive

Don't fall into the trap of taking your partner for granted; plan surprises from time to time. How about arranging to get home early and cook a special dinner, or reserve a table at a favourite restaurant, or even book a short break?

Don't forget birthdays and anniversaries – send flowers or chocolate to your partner's place of work or home. It also makes a good surprise, whether you have something to celebrate or not.

Learn how to give your partner a soothing foot or back massage at the end of a tiring day.

Make technology work for you with messages that say how you feel. Just don't go overboard with soppy Facebook updates or tweets as it may backfire.

Enjoy common rituals Studies show that couples with similar backgrounds and shared beliefs tend to have better marriages. Taking part in certain events and rituals, especially religious rituals, helps people to forge strong bonds.

 

Take ‘alone time’

Take advantage of nap time: who says that you always have to do the laundry or catch up on household chores while your two-year-old takes an afternoon nap?

A little hardware can make life easier. That means fitting a lock or even a simple gate hook to your bedroom door.

Arrange a ‘date night’ where your child stays overnight at the baby-sitter's home.

Want to know what love is? Read James Brown's wonderful article on what love might possibly be.

Find a companion with Reader's Digest Dating.

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