You know the greatest thing about being in a relationship with someone else? Knowing that you are in the right relationship. There’s no better feeling than knowing that you got it right with the person you are with. With the right partner, you will find fulfillment, peace, and love the way God designed for you. Maybe you are single and waiting for the right person to come into your life, but you don’t know what things to look for. Or, perhaps you’re in a relationship now and you’re having some doubts. There are certainly red flags that come up that are signs that you should be running the opposite way from a partner. On the flip side, there are things that let you know that you’re with the right person and that the relationship has the potential to go the distance!
So here are a few ways to find out having the “right” relationship. But before I go on, I want to make it clear that the “right” relationship does not mean it will always be perfect. By “right” I mean you naturally love and enjoy each other for who you really are.
1. You make decisions jointly
You don’t call all the shots. Neither does your partner. From what movie to see to how many children to have, you make decisions together and listen to each other’s concerns and desires. Sure, this may mean you see Transformers on Saturday night. But on Sunday night, it’s your turn.
2. You spend time together doing things you both enjoy
It’s great to do what he likes. It’s great to do what she likes. But what’s even better is to find things you both like, and to do them together. It took us nearly four years of marriage to really find things that we both like, but we’re starting to hit a great stride with things like working out together, mountain biking, playing paintball (yep, she loved it!), and even writing together.
3. You completely trust your partner
We’ve all been in those relationships where we don’t really know what our partner is feeling, thinking, doing. And that not knowing leads up to snooping — going through your significant other’s texts, emails, Facebook messages. That may not feel like a warning sign, but it is definitely not a positive in any relationship. If you don’t feel the need to go through his/her stuff, then that means you two have built up a level of trust that lets you know how much your partner cares. You can say without any shred of doubt that he/she would NEVER hurt you and vice versa. That deep understanding will help you stick it out through the good times and the bad.
4. You can talk about anything openly
Open communication is a huge part of any successful relationship. You have to be able to talk about how you feel and what’s on your mind. You know you’re with someone worthwhile when there are no games being played. You don’t want to feel like you’re always walking on egg shells. Empathy is the most important word in any relationship. Both of you should feel like you can say what you mean and mean what you say.
5. No games are being played
Far too often, we make our relationships harder than they have to be. The difficulties started when… conversations became texting, feelings became subliminal, sex became a game, the word “love” fell out of context, trust faded as honesty waned, insecurities became a way of living, jealously became a habit, being hurt started to feel natural, and running away from it all became our solution. Stop running! Face these issues, fix the problems, communicate, appreciate, forgive and LOVE the people in your life who deserve it. And of course, if you feel like someone is playing games with you, speak up.
6. Expectations of perfection are strictly forbidden
Any relationship that’s real will not be perfect, but if you’re willing to work at it and open up, it could be everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Your best friends and your soul mate may be far from perfect, but they are a perfect fit for you. Give them a chance to show you. When you stop expecting the people you love to be a certain way, you can start to enjoy and appreciate them for who they are. What you need to remember is that every relationship has its problems, but what makes it perfect in the end is when you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, even when times are tough.
7. You have similar core values
Physical attraction is definitely where things start. But that’s not a good enough reason to date someone. Your core values should never be compromised. These are the things that make you who you are. Make a list of things that are important to you. Is fitness important to you? Do you value travel and spontaneity? Heck, do you want to get married and have kids down the road? The bottom line is that you have to be straight from the start, or at least as soon as you know what you want. Don’t beat around the bush. If someone gets scared and runs away because you were honest and set boundaries, that person wasn’t right for you anyway.
8. You’re able to keep the past in the past
Sure, you want to know all about her ex or are curious about how many people he slept with before meeting you. That’s totally normal. But once you know and have learned the basics, move on. Because while reliving the past can be fun and informative, it shouldn’t dictate your present. Being able to live in the moment is the key to a happy couple. Don’t rehash old fights. Don’t compare yourself to ex-girlfriends or -boyfriends. Connect with each other in the here and now so you can fully enjoy everything your partner has to offer. The best relationships are built on being able to appreciate and then let go of the past.
9. You know what your partner needs to feel loved
You may feel loved when your partner rubs your feet while you’re watching TV but your partner may feel loved when you bring him/her a cup of coffee in the morning; everyone has his or her own personal preferences when it comes to giving and receiving love. You know you’re with the right person when they’re able to share with you about what makes them feel loved and they desperately want to know what works for you. That communication and appreciation for each other’s different needs paves the way for a solid relationship.
10. You are intimate
Sex is an important part of healthy relationships, but it’s only one part, and it’s different than intimacy, which is less about physical satisfaction than about bonding, friendship, and familiarity. If you’re in a healthy relationship, you’ll feel connected—in and out of bed.
11. You share a passion for your future together
Ever met the guy who just isn’t interested in “settling down”? If you’re dating that guy, you’re doing yourself a disservice. In the right relationship both partners are enthusiastic about a future together. And while not everything lasts forever, partners who share a vision for what their future entails are in a much better position than partners who don’t, or worse, don’t even discuss the topic.
12. You enjoy doing even mundane tasks together
Grocery shopping is literally one of my favorite things to do with my wife. I take food seriously, and walking around in the grocery story planning our meals and trying new things is really fun. Even a day of errands and chores can be fun if you’re with the right person. Ask yourself this: Could you enjoy a day cleaning out the garage or attic with your partner? If the answer is yes, you’re in the right relationship.
There are many other telltale signs, but these are a few to get you started. Look over the list and do a relationship audit. Does your relationship show signs of being the right one? While these signs may not be universal, they are very telling as to whether or not your relationship even has the legs. Do yourself a favor and really observe your relationship with a keen eye. You may be surprised to find he or she really is the one. Or you may save yourself wasted years and a lot of heartache.