We’re all looking for “the one”.
That person who will be by our side through thick and thin. Someone we can count on. The one who makes life feel complete.
But how do you know when you’ve found it?
Here are some clear signs your relationship makes you feel genuinely complete in life.
1) There are no “what ifs”
In my very first long-term relationship, I periodically would go through phases where I would question things.
I would wonder if this was how it was supposed to feel. I would wonder if we were a strong enough match. I would secretly wonder if I could find someone better.
And this led to plenty of “what ifs” in my mind…
“What if there is someone else I could be happier with”
“What if we’re not right for each other”
“What if I shouldn’t be feeling this way”
Those what-ifs are doubts.
Whilst all relationships can be struck down by doubt at some time or another, they shouldn’t be a constant feature.
When you truly know that you are exactly where you ought to be, all of those doubts melt away. Your wandering eye subsides.
They are replaced with a quiet confidence that this relationship is right.
2) Your relationship feels effortless most of the time
Okay, let’s start with a caveat to clarify:
All relationships require work. It’s never a bed of roses all the time.
But generally speaking, your relationship feels calm and steady.
Way too many people mistake disruption for passion.
Sure, relationship arguments and drama can stir up strong emotions. Maybe it feels like that helps to keep things interesting.
But it also does serious damage. It’s a stressful state to live in and it puts a strain on any connection.
When you’re with the right person you don’t need to create these cycles of fallouts and makeups to stay interested in one another.
Being together isn’t a struggle, it just flows.
That helps to ensure you can both feel safe within the relationship.
3) You feel safe and secure
Long-term relationships only survive when they are built on steady ground.
To some people, steady seems boring. They want thrills and excitement.
It’s not to say that committed relationships can’t still have that, they can. But they also need to be a sanctuary where you can feel safe.
Without security, we cannot build trust.
A life partner is someone we can rely on. Someone who is consistent and shows up for up. Not just once, but time and time again.
They make us their priority and we can tell through their actions. That’s how we know that they have our back.
4) You’re out of the honeymoon phase
Sometimes it’s better to let whirlwind romances die down before we decide whether it’s really for keeps.
Because Mother Nature has her ways to ensure we get swept off our feet.
All those hormones that fly around in the early stages can create strong emotions. But will you still feel the same once they subside?
On the other side of the honeymoon phase is the real couple stage.
It’s an important test of the strength of your feelings.
You no longer have the artificial euphoric high to fall back on, as life returns closer to normal.
By this stage, you have already learned each other’s quirks and flaws and you still decide to stay.
It’s a sign that your love is built upon firmer foundations, like shared values and visions for the future.
5) Your bigger values align
Our values are what we hold most dear in life.
They are the fundamental beliefs that guide our actions and determine our attitude toward things in life.
Because they are so key to how we live our lives it’s very difficult to build a relationship with someone who has completely different values.
When we have a similar take on life, things like communication, conflict resolution, and decision-making are so much more straightforward.
It means that you’re both heading in the same direction, and that’s vital if you want to build a future together.
6) You’re looking forward to the future together
I think one of the complications that has arisen from the era of modern dating is this illusion of endless choice.
It seems to have created a lot of window shopping. But we’re not always so ready to make a purchase.
That’s why it means something if you are both sold on your relationship.
You are committed and ready to create a life together.
You often talk about what that future may look like. You make plans together that pave the way for it.
Whilst it’s important to live in the present, a committed couple also looks to the future together.
7) You get a kick out of doing the little things together
I knew my partner was the one for me not from feeling butterflies or fireworks. It was far more humble than that.
It was after spending the day together running errands.
We have such a nice time together doing the most mundane things. And the reality is that life can be pretty mundane sometimes.
That’s why if you manage to find someone who makes those things magical, you’re on to a winner.
It doesn’t matter what you do, you create your fun.
Whether you are sitting around watching Netflix, cleaning up the yard, or preparing dinner — you just enjoy being together.
8) You know yourself well
It often takes a certain amount of life experience before we get to truly know ourselves.
We usually have to do the inner work to improve our self-awareness first.
That way we can better identify our needs and wants in a relationship. We’re also more likely to avoid the pitfalls of going after the “wrong type”.
Our selection is based on a more well-rounded and mature set of criteria than simply “they’re hot” and “I’m really into them”.
Having a greater grasp of your own thoughts, feelings, and actions improves your relationships.
It makes you more open, better at communicating, and clearer on your boundaries.
It also puts you in a better position to try to understand and appreciate your partner’s feelings too.
All of which makes for a much happier and more successful relationship.
9) They inspire you to be a better person
Growth is a really important aspect of any relationship because it’s a fundamentally important aspect of life itself.
We do not stay the same, so our relationships and our partners must grow alongside us.
After all, you know what they say, if something isn’t growing, it’s dying.
My favorite thing about my partner is his kindness. It inspires me every day to try to be a better person.
His patience and warmth towards others remind me of the type of person I want to be.
His qualities are ones that I look up to. And I know he similarly admires things in me.
It means that together we appreciate, encourage, and support one another.
Rather than bring out the worst in each other, you should be with someone who brings out the best in you.
10) Your partner is just one piece of the puzzle in an already full and fulfilling life
There’s a danger whenever we talk about someone completing us:
We may end up trying to pass the buck of responsibility for our lives onto someone else.
It happens more than we care to admit. Who can blame us when we’re brought up on fairytales of “happily ever after” and Hollywood rom coms.
They lead us to believe all of life will fall into place just as soon as we bag the right partner.
But sadly, that’s not how it works in reality.
The expectations you place on one another in a relationship have to be reasonable and realistic.
All too often people end up disappointing themselves because they are waiting for their partner to make them happy.
Of course, your other half should bring joy, fun, and warmth to your life, otherwise, what’s the point?
But that’s not the same as them being responsible for you.
It’s always down to us to create a life that feels rewarding.
That means still pursuing your own ambitions, plans, and growth and not expecting love to be the only source of meaning in your life.
A great relationship should be an important piece of our life, but never the whole picture.