When you’re in the right relationship, everything is different. The sun shines brighter, your smiles are bigger, and even doing mundane chores becomes more enjoyable.
It’s good to have clear signs that you’re in the right relationship, and it’s also good to have tasks that you can work on to improve your relationship. Either way, read on for 10 telltale signs it’s the real deal.
1. You fight productively.
When you’re in the right relationship, fighting is never about winning. It’s not even about getting your point across (though sometimes it takes that ugly turn). A productive fight is about understanding the other person, finding common ground, compromising, and respecting each other throughout the process. If you end a fight feeling like you’ve won, you’re doing it wrong.
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 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.
4. You better your partner, and they better you.
My wife makes me better. Her academic pursuits inspired me to further my own. Her writing inspires me to write. My love for running inspired her to start. It’s a back and forth of improving one’s self through the inspiration of the other. We make each other better, and that’s a sure sign that we’re in the right relationship.
5. Your friends and family like you together.
One of the easiest ways to know if you’re in the right relationship is to pay attention to the feedback you get from friends and family. Assuming your friends and family want what is best for you, a lot of negative feedback is a bad sign. That doesn’t mean everyone will be enthusiastic about your relationship, but the overall sense you get should be positive.
6. You are able to disagree respectfully.
Some things you wont agree on. It happens. The right relationship isn’t about everything being perfect, but about partners maintaining a high level of respect when things don’t go perfectly. You can disagree. My wife and I disagree often. But what separates our disagreements from others I’ve seen is that we do it respectfully. There are no hurt feelings, no efforts to change the other person’s mind at all costs, nothing like that. We don’t need to agree on everything. And that’s an important realization, because we definitely don’t..
7. You’re attracted to your partner, mind, body, and spirit.
Sure, you’re attracted to them. That attraction is probably the first thing that motivated the pursuit of a relationship. But are you attracted to his mind? Are you attracted to her spirit? Is he the kind of person you could have conversations with years from now when you’re both old and wrinkly? Is she the kind of person whose joy will shine through when her face shows her age? You’re in the right relationship when you’re just as excited about the late night conversations as you are about what happens between the sheets.
8. You keep each other’s secrets.
Do you keep her secrets? Does she keep yours? Are you diligent about protecting your partner’s privacy? This is a small, but very important issue that signifies the level of respect and value you hold for your partner. You’re in the right relationship when you are impressed with how much your partner values protecting your secrets.
9. You make a good team.
Ever been in a kayak with your partner? That’s how I first realized my wife and I had some work to do with regards to being a good team. We couldn’t steer, we were super slow, and we complained a lot because we weren’t working together. We’ve since gotten much better. It’s a silly example, but there is value in it. If you and your partner are already making a good team, you’re in the right relationship.
10. You are compatible sexually.
This probably goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway! You aren’t always going to be on the same level. Sometimes you’ll want more, sometimes she will. Sometimes you’ll feel adventurous, sometimes he will. But, generally speaking, you should be compatible with your sexual interests and desires, in quality, quantity, style, and all other characteristics. If you’re a 3–4 times a week kind of person and your partner considers once a week a chore, you might need to reconsider the longevity of your relationship.