Just because you are together doesn’t necessarily mean you should get married. Not all relationships end in marriage, or begin in marriage for that matter.
People come together for all kinds of different reasons. Some of those reasons are very selfish and cause the relationship to fall apart in short order.
Other reasons start out seemingly right and then the relationship turns sour and can’t be saved.
When people search for partners and finally find someone they could see themselves saying, “I do” with, it doesn’t mean they should.
Not everyone is cut out for marriage. If you are in a relationship and questioning whether or not he’s the one, you are not alone. It’s an age-old question that remains hard to answer.
But we’ve put together a list of qualities to look for in your guy before you decide to walk down the aisle.
Ultimately, you only have to consider one thing: do you want to marry this guy? The hardest part is being honest with yourself sometimes.
Is he the one? Here are 17 signs he might just be:
1. You’re not only in it for the sex
Every relationship starts out hot and heavy and you can’t keep your hands off each other. Every chance you get, you are in the bedroom.
But that doesn’t last. Every relationship goes through stages of intimacy and as time goes on, couples move away from the lust-filled stage to the companion stage.
While your sexual attraction to this person may change over time, you need to consider whether your companionship will change.
Are you only in it for the sex?
Are you just looking to get something from this person and not really thinking about a long-term relationship?
Attraction to your spouse is important, but so is the ability to navigate the changes in attraction over time.
People change their looks. We age. How will you feel about them 30 years from now?
2. You’re compatible
Not only is your take on attraction an important quality to consider, but so is your compatibility with this person. If all you have in common is good sex, that’s not enough to build a lasting realtionship on.
Do you like at least some of the same things? Do you enjoy the same foods? Can you watch the same movies together?
Are you able to get along with their friends and share experiences together?
If you are not compatible in any other way except in the bedroom, that is not a good recipe for a successful marriage.
Consider how you want your day-today life to look. Is this the person who can help give you that life?
3. You feel comfortable around him
How comfortable are you with this person? Are you still hiding things from him and not sharing parts of your life with him? Is he doing the same thing?
If you are hesitant to share aspects of your life for fear that he might judge you, or worse, leave you, then you are not ready to get married.
Having a piece of paper that says you are in it for the long-haul won’t mean anything if he finds out you were keeping big secrets from him.
If, however, you know you can be yourself, through thick and thin, and he doesn’t place blame for things you’ve done before, then he’s marriage material for sure.
He’s only thinking of the future even though he knows about your past? Keep him.
Also, one of the best ways to know whether he is the one is to see how he acts in stressful situations. Is he looking to protect you? Or is he only thinking about himself?
Tiffany Toombs, Relationship Expert, and Director at Blue Lotus Mind, told Bustle that “we learn most about a person when they are placed in stressful situations.”
4. He protects you
A good man always makes his partner feel safe, whether physically or emotionally.
Men should naturally feel protective over women. A study published in the Physiology & Behavior journal shows that male’s testosterone makes them feel protective over their mate’s safety and wellbeing.
Does your man protect you? Not just from physical harm, but does he make sure you’re okay when any negative situation arises?
This is an excellent sign that he could be the one.
There’s actually a fascinating new concept in relationship psychology that’s getting a lot of buzz at the moment. It goes to the heart of the riddle about why men fall in love—and who they fall in love with.
And it has everything to do with why men want to protect women. And why women actually have to enable this behavior. Because if he wants to protect you, then you need to let him.
Men want to step up to the plate for the woman in their lives and provide and protect her. In other words, men want to be your hero.
This is deeply rooted in male biology and hardwired into a man’s mind.
People are calling it the hero instinct. I wrote a detailed primer here about the concept.
The kicker is that a man won’t fall in love with you when he doesn’t feel like your hero. He will always feel that something is missing, which means he won’t commit to being in a loving relationship over the long haul.
He wants to see himself as a protector. As someone you genuinely want and need to have around. Not as an accessory, ‘best friend’, or ‘partner in crime’.
I know this might sound a bit silly. In this day and age, women don’t need someone to rescue them. They don’t need a ‘hero’ in their lives.
And I couldn’t agree more.
But here’s the ironic truth. Men do still need to be a hero. Because it’s built into our DNA to seek out relationships that allow us to feel like a protector.
If you would like to learn more about the hero instinct, check out this free online video by the relationship psychologist who coined the term. He provides a fascinating insight into this new concept.
Some ideas really are game changes. And for relationships, I think this is one of them.
5. There is respect between the two of you
Every relationship needs love and respect. You might think they go hand-in-hand but many people claim to love others without respecting them.
If you’ve ever met someone who has been abused by their spouse, yet they believe more than anything that they are loved, you know what we’re talking about.
Love and respect are not mutually exclusive and need to present at all times for a marriage to work.
“Love brings bliss to both types of relationships, but only if tempered by respect.” – Peter Gray Ph.D. in Psychology Today
6. You get along with his family
If you are considering whether or not you can marry this man, consider how you get along with his family and how you respect and interpret his history.
If you don’t get along with his family, this is going to be a problem down the road. It might be fine today because you are managing it, but do you really want to get tied up in something that is going to cause grief in your life.
As the saying goes, “you marry an entire family” and it’s true. The age-old horror story of mother-in-law troubles are very real for a lot of women.
If you already don’t get along with his family, it’s worth considering or reconsidering marriage. It doesn’t get easier just because you took a vow.
7. You see a similar future with each other.
When you talk about the future, you both acknowledge each other in it. It’s great if you see a future with him, but if he never talks about things like that with you, it might not be the right fit.
If he avoids talking about summer vacation because he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s not into it. If he’s all over planning out the next 5 summer vacations, marry the guy.
He thinks about you as much as you think about him and he wants to have you by his side, even if he doesn’t come out and say that. Actions speak louder than words.
8. You agree to disagree.
You don’t have to get along with this guy all the time to marry him.
And in fact, it’s better if you don’t agree on everything. Knowing that you can have an opinion about something that is totally different than his opinion is a strong point in your relationship.
If you are made to feel uncomfortable because you don’t think the same way he does, well that’s a good sign not to get married.
You are not supposed to be the same person, after all, you are supposed to compliment one another in life.
But complementary doesn’t mean that you have to always agree with him. If you are okay with not being on the same side of some issues, then he’s worthy of your hand.
9. You respect each other’s independence.
Even though you are in love with one another, you respect that you are two individuals with entire lives that existed before you found each other.
That means that you have jobs, friends and family who need you from time to time and whom you need.
You might have found one another but that doesn’t mean you never need time away from each other.
If your guy gives you lots of room to still live your life, but wants to be a part of that life, he’s a great partner.
If he wants you to give up everything you know and love and be with him only, run in the other direction as fast as you can.
10. You connect on a higher level.
It’s not just about great sex with the two of you, but a connection that you’ve never had with anyone else before. He says the same thing.
He feels close to you and feels like he can trust you with anything.
If you feel like you are just a stop on his weekend travels, that’s not good marriage material.
If he’s trying to figure out how to spend more time with you and is presented and accounted for when he is around, you should hang onto him.
11. You are kind and thoughtful toward one another.
Being in a relationship is about so much more than loving one another. Sometimes, love is not enough to keep a couple going.
If there is no respect or kindness in the relationship, then it won’t last long.
Even if you love him more than you’ve ever loved anything in your life, if he treats you like shit, there’s no point in carrying on the relationship.
It’s hard to walk away, of course, but so is allowing yourself to be treated like that. If, however, he loves and respects you, which are two different things, then he’s a keeper.
12. You make him feel essential
If he is ‘the one’, then you need to make him feel essential to you. Because for a man, feeling essential to a woman is often what separates “like” from “love”.
Don’t get me wrong, no doubt your guy loves your strength and abilities to be independent. But he still wants to feel wanted and useful — not dispensable!
Men have a built in desire for something “greater” that goes beyond love or sex. It’s why men who seemingly have the “perfect girlfriend” are still unhappy and find themselves constantly searching for something else — or worst of all, someone else.
Simply put, men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel important, and to provide for the woman he cares about.
Relationship psychologist James Bauer calls it the hero instinct. I talked about this concept above.
As James argues, male desires are not complicated, just misunderstood. Instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior and this is especially true for how men approach their relationships.
So, when the hero instinct isn’t triggered, men are unlikely to commit to a relationship with any woman. He holds back because being in a relationship is a serious investment for him. And he won’t fully “invest” in you unless you give him a sense of meaning and purpose and make him feel essential.
How do you trigger this instinct in him? How do you give him a sense of meaning and purpose?
You don’t need to pretend to be anyone you’re not or play the “damsel in distress”. You don’t have to dilute your strength or independence in any way, shape or form.
In an authentic way, you simply have to show your man what you need and allow him to step up to fulfill it.
In his new video, James Bauer outlines several things you can do. He reveals phrases, texts and little requests that you can use right now to make him feel more essential to you.
By triggering this very natural male instinct, you’ll not only give him greater satisfaction but it will also help to rocket your relationship to the next level.
13. You feel like you can be yourself.
You don’t need to hide anything from him, but he respects your boundaries if there are parts of your life that you’d rather leave behind lock and key.
He tells you all the time how much he loves that he can be himself around you too. You get each other and what you both need from this relationship.
If you feel like you can just be you, ugly hair days and all, and there’s no expectation that you need to be another person when he’s around, he might be the one.
14. You feel safe with him.
He makes you feel like you could take on the world. He says and does the right things – but not according to the rest of the world – according to how you want to be loved.
He understands your needs and he is happy to take care of them for you. He’s not looking to make you into something you are not.
If you can just be yourself and don’t feel like you need to put on a show for him, he’s worth marrying.
He’s seen you at your worst and loved you through it. That’s love. And that’s what marriage is all about.
15. You want him to be happy.
Most importantly, the best sign that you should marry this guy is that you want him to be happy.
The idea of him marrying someone else breaks your heart, but if that is what would need to happen to make him happy, then you’d be on board with that.
Of course, you want him to be happy with you and adore his life with you so tell him that.
Tell him how happy you want him to be and that you want to be the one he shares that happy life with. There’s no need to hide your feelings. If you want to marry him, go for it.
16. He’ll Go Out of His Way for You
It doesn’t matter when you need, if you call him, he will come to you.
If you need advice, a ride, some help, or just a shoulder to cry on, he’ll find a way to get to you and make sure that everything is okay.
If a guy hasn’t said it yet, but is always there for you at a drop of a hat, he probably loves you, and he might even love you secretly.
17. He’s Not a Quitter
If you’ve had your first fight and he isn’t running for the hills, there’s a good chance he sees potential in this relationship and is already invested in making it work.
So give the guy some space and he’ll come to his senses that he loves you. Besides, if you already know, there’s no rush to get him to say it. He’ll come around.
If he is the one, what do you do next?
After reading about these 17 signs, hopefully you’ve realized that you’re with the one. Or at least a really great guy.
Now it’s time to make sure you have a loving, long lasting relationship with him.
However, after writing about relationships on Hack Spirit for many years, I think there is one crucial ingredient to relationship success that many women overlook:
Understanding how men think.
Getting your guy to open up and tell you what he’s really feeling can feel like an impossible task. And this can make building a loving relationship extremely difficult.
Let’s face it: Men see the world differently to you.
And this can make a deep passionate romantic relationship—something that men actually want deep down as well—difficult to achieve.
In my experience, the missing link in any relationship is never sex, communication or romantic dates. All these things are important, but they are rarely deal breakers when it comes to the success of a relationship.
The missing link is that you actually have to understand what men want from a relationship.
Relationship psychologist James Bauer’s new video will help you to really understand what makes men tick. He reveals the little known natural biological instinct that motivates men in romantic relationships and how you can trigger it in your guy.
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