So, you’re in a relationship and you’ve managed to make it past the honeymoon phase when you’re both loved up and living on cloud nine…
Now you’ve hit reality, you might start wondering if your relationship is progressing as it should.
This is completely normal and something I’ve also gone through!
So, in this article, I’ll share 12 signs you’re growing together as a couple so you can get a bit of peace of mind!
1) You’re learning how to communicate effectively
Remember the days when “talk” was just a four-letter word?
Now you’ve both realized what it takes for effective communication to happen!
You’re better at listening to each other without interrupting, and you get to the heart of the issue instead of skirting around the edges.
In my own relationship, for example, I’d get home from a long day at work and if I were even a tad moody, my boyfriend would assume I was mad at him.
You guessed it – a fight would ensue and we’d both go to bed pissed off.
But now, if one of us has had a bad day, we’ve learned to talk about how we’re feeling rather than take it out on the other person.
This stops the other person from getting the wrong end of the stick…and wow, what a difference it’s made to our relationship!
2) You’re dealing with conflict better
And if you’re growing together as a couple and your communication has improved, you’ll probably find you’re both dealing with conflict better too!
At the start of your relationship, you’re still figuring each other out. We’ve all got different ways of dealing with conflict, and sometimes they can clash.
But now you’re learning how the other person works, and adjusting to one other.
Now, when one of you wants to go hiking for the weekend and the other wants to go to a museum, rather than turn it into a battle of wills, you’ve learned to compromise!
Trust me, this is a major sign of growth!
3) You’ve become a “we”
It’s normal at the start of a relationship to still think primarily of yourself…
“I love this restaurant.”
“I want to go to Australia for a two-month trip.”
But if you’re growing together as a couple, you start to consider what the other person enjoys just as much as yourself.
Let me be clear though – it’s not about forgetting who you are or what you want to do.
It’s about making space for the other person and wanting to ensure they’re involved in your plans….after all, this is the person you’re potentially going to spend the rest of your life with!
So, if you’ve both got comfortable with the word “we”, you’re heading in the right direction!
4) You respect each other’s space
Today my boyfriend went to a big family party, but I chose to stay home and have a quiet Sunday.
Two years ago, he probably would have gotten into a huff, and I’d have given in and agreed to go even though I didn’t want to – this was our “unhealthy” stage when we didn’t respect each other’s space.
But now, when I tell my partner I won’t be joining him, he understands. He may not agree, but he won’t pressure me or make me feel bad for making my own decisions!
So, what about your relationship?
If you’re able to enjoy time together and apart, it signifies your relationship is getting stronger day by day – you’re growing together and creating a healthy relationship!
5) You’re no longer afraid to be vulnerable with each other
Another sign of growth is when you can reveal your innermost fears and insecurities to each other…without judgment or ridicule from the other person!
This is a must for any relationship to level up…
If you can apologize when you mess up, talk about your feelings and bare your heart to one another, it shows you’re starting to develop a deep trust.
Put it this way:
Vulnerability is no longer a scary word in your relationship. In fact, it’s something you embrace and use as a tool to understand each other better!
6) You cheer each other on
Another sign you’re growing together is if you can cheer each other on (instead of competing against each other!).
For example, when I got a promotion at work, I wasn’t sure how my boyfriend would act (he was between jobs)…I thought he might feel threatened, jealous, or resentful.
But he was so happy for me, probably more excited than I was!
Wanting the absolute best for your partner is a huge sign that your relationship is developing and progressing in the right direction…
After all, we all want our partner to be our number-one fan!
And when one does well, it benefits the relationship, something most people tend to forget.
7) You’ve cultivated shared interests
Do you and your partner have similar interests that allow you to spend quality time together?
While it’s important to keep your sense of individuality and have your own things going on, having shared hobbies and interests will increase your bond as a couple.
And it’s a sign of growth when you both commit to doing things together…
- Signing up for a class together to learn something new
- Making the effort to go for a walk together every evening
- Embracing your foodie natures and exploring new cuisines
The point is, you’re doing it together!
These memories will last for a lifetime and will keep your connection strong long after the honeymoon phase wears off.
8) You trust each other
Think back to the start of your relationship, how much did you trust your partner and vice versa?
What about now?
If you’ve noticed a big improvement in your trust levels, this is another great sign you’re growing together as a couple!
Case in point:
Whenever I used to see another girl’s name pop up on my boyfriend’s phone, I’d instantly get suspicious. I’d either confront him (and then we’d argue over nothing) or I’d keep it bottled up and suffer in silence.
Now I know I don’t even have to worry about it. It’ll either be a colleague or a friend, but I trust him to behave appropriately with other women.
It’s taken a while to get to this point, but open communication has really helped!
9) Your family and friends notice
Now, I would normally say that no one really knows what goes on in a relationship except for the two people involved…
But in this case, I’ll make an exception. If your family and friends have commented on how happy you both seem, it’s another sign of growth!
The truth is, our loved ones know us pretty well. And they can usually tell if things are going well for us or not, no matter how much we try to hide it.
So, if they’ve picked up on the happy vibes emanating from you guys, take it as a good sign that things are looking as good on the outside as they feel on the inside!
10) You feel more secure in your relationship
It’s normal at the start of a relationship to wonder what the future holds and whether your relationship will withstand the ups and downs of life.
But if you’re starting to feel secure and confident in your relationship, it’s a sign you’re growing together and forming a stable foundation.
I personally started feeling this way around the four-year mark – I stopped thinking we were gonna break up every time we argued, and I started having more faith in the relationship.
The bottom line is:
If you feel like your relationship insecurities are slowly melting away, it shows that your bond is deepening day by day!
11) You can laugh together
You’re on a road trip for the weekend, but you keep getting lost.
At the start of your relationship, you might have ended up arguing over who isn’t following the GPS correctly (in other words, playing the blame game).
But now, you laugh about it. You even take selfies and talk about how you’ll look back on this day in the future and remember it as an epic adventure!
This is another sign of growth because you’re learning how to look at the big picture instead of getting into a huff over every little thing.
Not to mention, folks, if you can laugh with your partner, you’re winning at life.
12) You’re excited about the future
And finally, if you’re excited and making plans for the future, you’re certainly growing together as a couple!
This shows that you want to invest in each other and build a life together.
All your hard work to get to this point is paying off, but don’t relax just yet!
Relationships take work, and even as a secure, stable couple, you’ll still encounter hurdles that’ll challenge you both.
But, if you can both continue respecting each other and focusing on the big picture (which is building a healthy relationship) there’s no reason you can’t make it work.
And if you relate to most of the points in the article, congrats!
Your relationship is progressing nicely, you’re growing as a couple, and you should be proud of yourselves!
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