A new study says that the kind of words you link to your partner indicate whether your relationship is on the rocks.
"A lot of people don't want to tell you if they're starting to feel less happy in their relationship," says Ronald D. Rogge, of the University of Rochester.
In the study, the researchers asked the volunteers to pick words flashing on a monitor, that they thought related to their partner.
They watched a monitor as three types of words were presented one at a time - good words (like peace, vacation, or sharing), bad words (such as death, tragedy, and criticizing), and partner-related words (names or traits).
Results showed that those who found it easy to associate their partner with bad things and difficult to associate the partner with good things were more likely to separate over the next year.
"It really is giving us a unique glimpse into how people were feeling about their partners - giving us information that they were unable or unwilling to report," says Rogge.
The research is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.