5 Ways to Know You’ve Found the Right Partner — and 5 Things to Do If You Haven’t
Let’s break this down.
While there’s no foolproof formula for knowing if you’ve found your one true love, there are some general signs that you’re with the right person. In order for you to be truly at peace in your relationship, it’s important to evaluate your partner against the following criteria.
If these five things are true, then you’ve picked the right partner for you:
You feel good around them.
When you’re around your partner, you should feel good about yourself. Ideally, you’re happy and confident when you’re around them. You don’t feel self-conscious, less than or worried about being good enough for them. A relationship, after all, should lift you up and add value to your life, not bring you down. Your partner should be your biggest cheerleader, and you theirs.
You’re on the same page.
You know where you stand in terms of your relationship—or if you haven’t chosen to define the relationship with a label you’re totally fine with the ambiguity. When you’re with the right person, you understand the nature of your relationship (whether it’s serious or casual, for instance) and you are in agreement with your partner about what you want out of your union.
Another sign that you’re aligned? You’re not constantly wondering where things are going or what the future holds because you’ve talked with your partner honestly about what your respective expectations are.
You trust each other.
A good relationship requires trust. If you don’t have faith in each other, your relationship will not survive the long haul. You and your partner should have full confidence in each other’s loyalty to your relationship.
When your partner goes out with friends without you, you’re not worried about them straying or betraying you. When you go out with your own crew, your partner respects your autonomy and doesn’t require you to constantly check in to reassure them. The right partner makes you feel secure (and vice versa) even when you’re not with each other.
You communicate well—and fight fair.
Communication is key for a strong relationship. When you’re with the right partner you can voice your wants and desires clearly without feeling anxious or needy. You are both willing to be vulnerable and share your feelings without fear of judgment.
Every relationship has its conflicts so take a moment to evaluate if your fighting style seems healthy to you. When you disagree, you might lose your cool momentarily, but you can always come back to a place of respect and empathy to work things out. You’re able to talk things through, even when it’s hard to do so.
You can be your true self around them.
Finally, when you’re found the right partner you can really be you around that person. You can put your quirks and idiosyncrasies on full display without worrying about your partner thinking you’re too weird or just too much in general.
You don’t need to act cool, play games or be hard to get. You can just exist as yourself and accept your partner for themselves in return. True partnership is only possible when both people don’t feel like they have to pretend to be different from who they really are.
So, does your partner measure up to the above standards? If not, here’s what you can do about it:
Have the talk
If you think your relationship, or your partner, is lacking in one of the above areas, it’s time to have that conversation. Don’t let doubts fester. And don’t just assume that things will change on their own. All relationships take work and the ones that appear effortless likely got that way from a lot of emotional heavy lifting.
Whether your issue is trust, communication or not being on the same page about the trajectory of your relationship, be the one to initiate a talk. This gives you and your partner the opportunity to create a stronger, healthier relationship.
Work on your issues
Give yourselves time to build toward a better bond. Change isn’t always easy, especially if your issues stem from ingrained patterns of behavior or core beliefs. For instance, if your partner has a hard time communicating their feelings, they may need to work on this skill for a long while before seeing any progress or they may need to speak with a therapist to get to the root cause.
Now, it’s up to you regarding how long you’re willing to wait. Some issues can be worked through, while others can’t.
Consider parting ways
If the issues in your relationship run too deep, it may be time to break up. While this may feel overwhelming and sad, sometimes parting ways is the kindest thing you can do for each other in the long run. The more time you spend with someone who’s not quite right for you, the longer you’re missing out on being with your ideal partner.
Reevaluate what you’re looking for in a partner
Each relationship is a learning experience. Being newly single is the best time to think about what you really want—and need—in a romantic partner. Make an old fashioned list and outline the qualities that are must-haves and nice-to-haves. Also write down your deal breakers.
When you have a clear vision in your mind about what you’re looking for it’s much easier to find. Take a look at your online dating profile, or make one, to be sure that it reflects your revised standards.
Be more discerning
Don’t buy into the notion that you need to find someone ASAP lest you end up alone forever. No matter what age or stage of life you are in, you are worthy of an incredible love story. Know this deep in your bones.
Be up front with potential partners about what you’re looking for and know what you’re not willing to compromise on. This helps you weed out the people who would not make good partners for you and enables you to keep your options open for those who will.