As anyone living in the age of huge divorce rates knows, a happy long-term couple is almost like a unicorn: If by some miracle you encounter it, you can’t stop staring, and you have a feeling no one will ever believe you when you tell them you saw it. The internet is filled with articles on how to decide when to end it, how to recognize when your relationship is toxic, codependent, one-sided, stagnant, or manipulative. But we don’t talk all that often about what defines a happy relationship. Picture this: You’re dating someone new. You’re waiting to begin feeling that toxic stagnant codependency. Where is it? Months go by. Still nothing. At some point in time a corner of your brain dares register the thought: Could this be one of those? Could I actually be happy? To help you answer that question, here are 8 different ways to know you’re in the right relationship.
How To Know You’re In The Right Relationship
1. You’re All In – There is no such thing as a part-time relationship. You are either in, or you’re out. In the right relationship, both partners will be fully committed to each other and to the relationship as a whole. That means sticking together through life’s challenges and handling them together, as a team.
2. You Maintain Your Identities – It’s important to maintain your identity and not lose yourself once you enter into a relationship. If that happens, you may find yourself being too self-sacrificial and essentially a doormat, not really happy in your situation, and unable to communicate it because you don’t even know what you want anymore.
3. You Trust Each Other – Trust. Is. Huge. Without trust there cannot be any of the other positive elements that bring a relationship together. If you don’t trust the person you’re with then you can’t be comfortable with them going out for a night without you, or spending time with friends, or maybe even going to work. You can’t be, and it will eat away at the foundation of your relationship like termites, until it eventually crumbles. Two people who are secure in their relationship will eventually have difficult conversations about difficult issues. If you avoid the “taboo” subjects for fear of offending each other, it may cause tension and allow important feelings to become repressed. The other half of this, of course, is that the conversation will be had calmly and respectfully with the other person’s feelings and opinions in mind.
4. You Argue – No, not often. And no, not harshly. But if you argue it’s a sign that you both have your own opinions and are strong enough to stick to them. This is a good thing. If there are no arguments at all, it could be a sign that somebody is hiding something, such as their feelings, or just not being honest about what they really think. They may feel like they are keeping the peace, but none of this is positive in the long run.
5. You Stop Hiding Your Flaws – Nobody is perfect. But if we are always trying to convince someone that we are, we will never be truly comfortable with them and they will never really get to know our true selves. In the right relationship, we are open about these things with each other and the best part is – they will still love and accept you for it.
6. You Accept Each Other’s Pasts – We all have a past. Often times, our pasts include other partners. When learning about someone or getting to know them, there will probably be important points in their life that include someone besides yourself. If you demonize their exes or refuse to hear about them, you’re cutting out much of their life. The present is all that matters. A healthy relationship will be open to all topics of discussion and realize that the past is in the past – now is what matters.
7. You Respect Each Other’s Differences – In a healthy relationship, both people will understand that the other has skills they do not. In what could be seen as a “power couple,” you operate like a well-oiled machine in both everyday activities and those rarer. Your personalities even each other off mingling at parties, and your different levels of organization and creativity help with keeping things in order.
8. Sometimes, You Don’t Communicate – Have you ever had a friend who you were able to sit in a room with and be silent, without it being awkward? Just doing your own thing or enjoying each other’s company? This is also an important part of a relationship – not having to speak all of the time, and sometimes just being together.