The Simple Test Can Tell If Your Relationship Will Last, According To Research

Research conducted by psychologists Drs. Julie and John Gottman found there is one particular behavior that reveals the strength of a relationship.

couple Vera Arsic / Pexels

Does your relationship have what it takes to go the distance? According to psychologists and researchers Drs. Julie and John Gottman, there might just be a test that can help you find out.

It's called the bird test, and how your partner reacts can offer you a glimpse into where your relationship is headed.



What is the bird test?

So, what's the bird test? TikToker Lyss Lyss, whose video the Gottmans themselves dueted, the bird test is, "A test to gauge if a relationship will be successful."


Contrary to popular belief, this test isn't solely restricted to romantic relationships. It can be applied to family and friends alike.

The bird test goes like this: You're walking with your partner and you spot a bird flying or pecking on a tree. When you point it out, how your partner responds can signify the longevity of your relationship.

According to the Gottman Institute, your partner may respond in three different ways:

  • Turning towards (acknowledging the bird)
  • Turning away (ignoring or missing the bird)
  • Turning against (rejecting the bird in an argumentative way)

How they respond can indicate where your relationship is headed. Do they turn away or turn against you? Chances are your relationship may not last forever.


But if they turn towards your bird, this is a great sign. This shows that you have a stable and healthy connection with your partner.

However, does this theory hold? Or is it just another meaningless TikTok trend?

RELATED: These 15 Questions Determine If Your Relationship Will Last, According To Science

The Research Behind The Bird Test

"Research by John Gottman and Robert Levenson shows that this theory holds," writes the Gottman Institute. In an observation facility, couples were asked how they met. They were then asked to recount a recent fight.

After this, couples were sent to live in an apartment for a week. During that week couples were recorded (with consent) to see how they interacted with each other.


Six years later researchers followed up and split these couples into two groups: the masters and the disasters.

The masters were happily married, whereas the disasters ended up breaking up. In certain instances, the disasters remained together, although unhappily.



Looking at the recordings they tried to determine what the masters had done differently. After a while, it dawned on them that accepting birds was the answer.


Gottman then formed the philosophy, “Healthy couples constantly make and accept bids to connect," writes the Gottman Insititute.

Understandably it may not seem like a big deal. Why should we pay attention to the insignificant things?

But as the Gottman Institute explains, turning toward leads to more trust, more emotional connection, and better sex.

When we turn away, it can lead to breaking up, as resentment tends to accumulate throughout the relationship. So, how can we better connect with our partners? How do we form a healthier relationship?

RELATED: These 7 Ridiculously Simple Compatibility Tests Will Reveal If Your Love Will Last

Ways To Start Paying More Attention

Want to better connect with your significant other? Better start paying more attention! Integrative therapist Andrew Davidson notes a couple of suggestions worth considering.


The first suggestion is to turn off your devices. Phones can be major distractions that make it difficult to stay focused. So, when you're with your partner, consider switching them off.

If turning off your phones isn't practical, try setting aside specific times during the day that are technology-free. Create a schedule that suits you both and dedicate that time to converse with one another.

Next, "Share time with your partner," says Davidson. How can you expect to pay attention to your partner if you never create the time to?


Whether it's cooking, cleaning, or working out, be sure to do it together. This creates newer experiences that allow for deeper bonds to form.

Also, be sure to pay attention when your partner is sad. If your partner is in a bad mood don't just ignore it. Ask them to share their burden, writes Davidson.

Discuss the situation and listen to their concerns. When they're finished find ways to show up and express appreciation to your partner.

Understanding the importance of connection allows you to create methods to help you build deeper and stronger bonds with your loved ones.

RELATED: 2 Simple Questions That Determine If Your Marriage Will Last

Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.