9 signs you’re in a relationship with a true life partner, not just a significant other

There’s a vast difference between having a significant other and having a true life partner.

The distinction lies in depth. A significant other is someone you’re romantically involved with, but a true life partner? That’s someone who is not just part of your life, but an extension of you.

Being with a life partner means experiencing a connection that goes beyond surface level companionship. It’s about understanding, mutual growth, and most importantly, an unshakeable bond.

So how do you know if you’re lucky enough to be in a relationship with a true life partner? There are subtle signs that can clue you in.

Here are nine tell-tale signs to help you identify if your significant other is actually your true life partner.

1) They’re your biggest cheerleader

One of the most telling signs of a true life partner is their unwavering support for you.

We all have dreams, aspirations, and goals. But when you have a true life partner, they don’t just acknowledge these ambitions – they actively support and encourage them.

It’s not just about clapping from the sidelines. A life partner will stand by you through the ups and downs, the successes and failures. They are there to elevate you, inspire you, and push you towards becoming the best version of yourself.

Remember, it’s not just about having someone around. It’s about having someone who is genuinely invested in your personal and professional growth. That’s the sign of a true life partner.

2) They know you, inside and out

In a relationship with a true life partner, you’ll find an uncanny understanding that goes beyond surface level.

Take my own experience, for example. My partner and I have been together for a decade now. Over the years, we’ve grown to understand each other’s quirks, preferences, and moods. He knows I need quiet mornings to start my day off right, and I know he needs his evening run to unwind.

It’s not just about knowing each other’s habits or routines. It’s about understanding each other’s histories, fears, hopes, and dreams. It’s about being able to read one another even when words are not spoken.

This level of understanding doesn’t come overnight. It’s built over years of shared experiences and open communication. And it’s one of the most beautiful signs that your significant other is truly your life partner.

3) They fight fair

Disagreements are a natural part of any relationship. But with a true life partner, fights are not about winning or losing. They’re about understanding and resolving.

A study by the Gottman Institute found that couples who practice what they call ‘the soft startup‘—beginning disagreements or discussions with a gentle approach—are less likely to divorce. This means avoiding blame, criticism, and contempt, and instead focusing on your own feelings and needs.

Someone who genuinely cares for you will not use disagreements as an opportunity to tear you down. Instead, they will communicate their feelings honestly, listen to your point of view, and work towards a solution that’s best for both of you.

This ability to navigate conflicts healthily is a strong sign that your significant other is indeed your life partner.

4) They respect you as an individual

In a relationship with a true life partner, there’s no question of ownership or control. Your partner respects you as an individual, with your own thoughts, feelings, and interests.

They understand that even though you’re a team, you’re also unique individuals. They don’t try to change you or mold you into someone you’re not. Instead, they love and respect you for who you are, quirks and all.

A life partner gives you the freedom to be yourself without any fear of judgment or criticism. They celebrate your individuality and encourage your personal growth.

This mutual respect is a clear sign that your significant other is more than just that – they’re your true life partner.

5) They make sacrifices for you

A true life partner is someone who is willing to make sacrifices for you without keeping a score.

Perhaps they give up their Saturday morning sleep-in to help you with a project, or they pick up your favorite dessert on their way home even if it’s out of their way. These might seem like small gestures, but they are significant indications of their love and commitment.

Sacrifices aren’t always grand gestures. Often, they’re small acts of kindness and selflessness that show they prioritize your happiness and well-being.

When your significant other consistently puts your needs before theirs, it’s a strong sign you’ve found a genuine life partner.

6) They’re there during your darkest times

Life is a rollercoaster of highs and lows, and a true life partner is someone who sticks by your side through all of it.

When you face life’s toughest challenges, they don’t shy away. Instead, they stand beside you, offering their unwavering support and love. They become your rock, your safe haven, your source of comfort.

It’s during these difficult times that their commitment to you truly shines. They show you that no matter how dark the situation gets, you’re not alone.

Having someone who stands by you when the storms hit, someone who fights the battles with you, is an undeniable sign that you’re with a true life partner.

7) They listen to understand, not to respond

In my early years of dating, I used to think that a good conversation was all about witty comebacks and clever responses. But as I grew older, and thankfully wiser, I realized that the most meaningful conversations are those where you truly listen.

A true life partner listens to understand, not just to respond. They give you their undivided attention, valuing your words and feelings. They don’t interrupt or dismiss your thoughts but instead seek to understand your perspective.

This kind of active listening is a simple yet powerful act of love and respect. It’s a clear sign that you’re in a relationship with someone who genuinely values you and your thoughts.

8) They make you feel safe and secure

A true life partner provides a sense of safety and security that goes beyond the physical.

With them, you feel emotionally safe. You know you can express your deepest fears, share your wildest dreams, or reveal your darkest secrets, without the fear of being judged or ridiculed.

They create a safe space where you can be your most authentic self. A place where your vulnerabilities are not exploited but cherished and protected.

This emotional security is a sign of a deep and lasting connection, a sign that your significant other is indeed your life partner.

9) They’re committed to growing with you

The most important thing to understand about a true life partner is that they’re committed to growing with you.

Life is a journey, and it’s not always smooth sailing. There will be challenges, changes, and unexpected turns. But a true life partner is someone who is ready to navigate these with you, hand in hand.

They don’t fear change; instead, they embrace it as a part of life. They understand that growth—both individual and collective—is crucial for the relationship to thrive.

In the end, a life partner is not just someone who loves you but someone who chooses you, every single day. They choose to walk this journey with you, through thick and thin, for better or for worse. And that’s the most telling sign of all.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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