Deciding who you want to be with is no walk in the park.
You should consider both what your head and heart have to say.
Also, it’s key not to overthink things, or you can risk your judgment becoming clouded.
You might create unrealistically high standards and end up going in circles, never truly meeting “the one.”
Generally speaking, if they are able to tick a few key traits off the box, then they’re a pretty safe bet.
In this article, I’ll take you through some of the major signs you’ve found the right partner.
Let’s get to it!
1) You have shared values and goals
Are you and your partner both devout, conservative Christians who dream of owning a house in the suburbs, having three kids, a yellow labrador, and a front lawn with a sizeable MAGA flag?
Or are you agnostics who want to perpetually travel the world, never reproduce, and spend your days sipping on artisanal coffee and craft beers, whilst discussing interpretations of War and Peace?
If you and your partner have similar life goals, dreams, and values, this often indicates compatibility.
Sure you can have your differences here and there, but when your core beliefs and goals are aligned, then that’s typically an emphatic green flag.
When you both want the same fundamental things in life, more or less, things have a way of working themselves out.
My ex and I were doomed to fail as a couple–something that actually took me years to realize.
She wanted a far more traditional route for us: family, big wedding, settling down in our hometown.
Looking back, I can say with certainty that not one of these things was on my radar.
I wanted to explore the world. I wanted to eat exotic food. I was unready and ill-prepared to be tied down by having a baby, and the costs that would incur as a result.
Towards the end, we both knew it was a matter of time before we moved on from each other.
Fortunately, for her, after the dissolution of our union, she was eventually able to find a man who did share her chief desires in life.
A bittersweet ending.
2) They are effective communicators
I hate to sound like a sappy relationship counselor here, but the cliche is true: honest communication is the bedrock of any functioning romantic relationship (or any relationship for that matter.)
When your partner is a good communicator, they provide a space where you can be vulnerable, and where you can express your inner feelings and thoughts comfortably.
When you are free to be open, to regularly feel heard and understood and to share a deep emotional connection, this is about as good as it gets.
So even when things get a little chippy, if your partner is a willing communicator, chances are, you’ll be able to talk things out.
This is ultimately a testament to their level of care and concern for the relationship.
Without proper communication, you’ll be like two headless chickens, trying in vain to make a relationship succeed, as resentment gradually builds.
In other words, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
So if you haven’t already, start talking!
3) There is mutual respect and support
When you opened up to your partner about wanting to pursue your dream of say, being a stage actor or winning a Nobel Prize, how did they react? Did they scoff or belittle you?
Or did their eyes light up, excited and animated by the prospect of you chasing your aspirations in life?
If it’s the latter, chances are, you’re with a good one.
Along with communication, any decent relationship cannot survive without mutual respect and support.
This means your partner respects your individuality and actively encourages your passions, regardless if they’re consistent with theirs or not.
As a partner, they get a sense of satisfaction and joy that their other half is doing what they want in life–and petty feelings like anger, jealousy, or cynicism don’t often get in the way of that.
4) They are trustworthy
When your partner establishes themselves as trustworthy, this sets a powerful precedent.
You don’t feel the incessant need to have to question or doubt your partner’s intentions or actions.
You know they have your back.
When you’re apart for lengthy durations, you can rest easy, trusting that your partner will do the right thing, regardless of whether you are there to witness it or not.
5) You have chemistry
When your relationship feels natural and easy, rather than rigid and forced, then consider yourself blessed.
Real talk: Some of the best older couples I’ve come across in my life seem to be constantly laughing, genuinely enjoying each other’s company–the type of positive energy that helps create an almost indestructible bond.
At the end of the day, once things like animalistic attraction start to fade, qualities like companionship and friendship are ultimately what will see you through.
We spoke about compatibility earlier in terms of values, but when you have compatible personalities, this is a whole new ballgame.
You can be opposites in terms of life goals, but if your interests, sense of humor, and overall personalities complement each other, then there’s always a shot at a successful romance.
6) They know how to fight fair
As you may have noticed, fights are a natural part of any relationship.
In fact, if you’re not having the occasional squabble or hiccup, I’d say that might even be cause for concern.
With fights and conflict being inevitable, it’s how we fight that will define our relationships in the long run.
This means that when altercations arise, your partner can work together diplomatically towards solutions rather than inflaming emotions.
Your partner doesn’t want to “win” an argument, they genuinely want you two to get along.
If they are regularly willing to compromise by putting their pride aside, avoiding hurling personal insults, finding common ground, and maturely working towards resolutions, these are all signs you’re with an evolved grown-up.
This level of stability is hard to come by.
Hold on to them tightly.
7) They are intimate
You don’t have to be engaging in hot, carnal sex 24/7 to be “intimate.”
In fact, intimacy doesn’t necessarily need to involve sex. I have a good friend who identifies as asexual yet is in a happy, fulfilling romantic relationship.
Intimacy can mean things like holding hands, cuddling, giving each other massages, and other forms of meaningful touching.
It also extends to the emotional: being able to pour out your soul to your partner and be fully vulnerable, without fear of being judged.
Intimacy is what separates the platonic from the truly romantic, the superficial from the deep and meaningful.
So if your partner is often willing to be intimate with you, on both a physical and emotional level, they may just be the right person for you.
8) They encourage your independence
When we project our personal insecurities and shortcomings onto our relationships, not only is this an unsustainable practice, but it’s also completely unfair to the other person involved.
I know a guy who has such a deep-seated fear of abandonment, that he tends to get overly controlling and possessive in his relationships, which invariably squashes any opportunities for true love to flourish.
Remember, control is where romance goes to die.
If your partner respects you as a living, breathing, autonomous human being, this is certainly a welcome sign.
You’re able to do your thing; and embrace your own space, individuality, and interests, without having to worry about upsetting fragile egos.
At the end of the day, a functioning healthy relationship means mutually encouraging each other’s personal growth and independence.
Your relationship should evolve with you; it shouldn’t stifle you with irrational insecurities and needy, possessive behaviors.
Now, just because your partner may not necessarily fulfill all of the above criteria at this very moment, doesn’t mean they never will.
If you haven’t communicated your issues with your partner, then your lack of fulfillment may be, at least partially, on you.
If there are issues that need addressing, then bite the bullet and address them.
The truth is, sometimes we don’t realize the behaviors we’re perpetuating until someone else can clearly point them out.
So if you feel they’re worth it, give them the opportunity to change and grow.
And if you notice some palpable changes after, then that’s a testament to their character as a person, and as a partner.
As the departed Irish playwright and critic George Bernard Shaw astutely put it:
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”