To maintain a healthy relationship requires effort. After the initial period of infatuation, or the “honeymoon phase,” has passed, reality sets in, and you begin to get a more in-depth sense of who this person is and whether they are right for you.
But if you’ve never been in a long-term relationship before, it can be hard to recognise the signs.
Just how much effort should you put forth to ensure the happiness of another person? If your goals aren’t compatible, does that matter? And what if you have frequent disagreements?
After consulting with experts on romantic relationships, The Independent compiled a list of nine telltale indicators that the person you’re seeing is the one.
You and I can find a happy medium.
Relationship psychotherapist and host of the podcast The Sexual Wellness Sessions Kate Moyle says compromise is the key to a happy couple’s life together.
You can’t expect everyone’s needs to be met without a fight, so don’t expect everyone to always be on the same page with you.
One of the best measures of compatibility between two people is how well they can compromise and negotiate.
Finding common ground when you and your partner disagree is a sign that you two are meant to be together forever.
They boost your confidence.
According to relationship expert James Preece, when you’re with the right person, you’ll feel more comfortable being yourself.
They will reassure you, compliment you, and tell you how incredible you are, he says.
Leave behind any potential partners who make you second-guess your own ideas and appearance all the time.
If you’re with someone who truly cares about you, they want you to be happy and confident in yourself. In addition, “if you start to believe it too, then you are never going to need to question anything or doubt yourself,” Preece says.
They have excellent listening skills.
You can count on a good partner to listen to every word you say, no matter how dull you think it is.
It’s important for them to feel heard and listened to, says Moyle, even if it means spending an entire evening listening to them complain about their coworkers.
The ability to listen to one another and allow the other person to feel heard is a sign of respect, even if we don’t find the topic of conversation particularly interesting.
You share fundamental beliefs
No two people in a committed relationship need to share the same hobbies. In fact, it can be helpful to have vastly different ones; it gives you something to discuss.
However, Preece stresses the importance of making sure that your partner shares your long-term goals and values if you want to be in a committed relationship with them.
You need to be on the same page as a group, he tells the group. This requires that “you and your partner share a common set of values.”
It could be your outlook on having children, your ideal place to settle down, or just your general approach to life. If it’s significant to you, it ought to be significant to your partner as well.
When you disagree, you have productive conversations.
An argument between two people is not always a bad thing to happen in a relationship. In fact, according to Moyle, they can be crucial to the success of a business relationship if handled properly.
There’s no need for an argument in every conversation, she says. When you’re with the right person, however, sharing your opinions may not lead to a schism.
To paraphrase, “You should learn to validate each other’s perspectives even if as individuals they don’t match up.”
Moyle says this demonstrates your appreciation for one another’s uniqueness and serves as practise for handling the inevitable difficulties and crises that will arise in your relationship.
To those around you, you have no qualms about expressing exactly how you feel.
According to Preece, you can forget about being judged when you’re with the right person. Certainly there shouldn’t be.
“You should feel free to be yourself and show all sides of your personality,” he says.
To avoid internalising negative emotions, you tend to express them as soon as they arise.
In such a situation, “the best thing is that when it happens with someone who is good for you, they will be able to listen and help when you have a problem.”
They give you their complete focus.
Seeing someone scroll through Instagram while you’re having a conversation is the worst.
As Moyle puts it, “the right partner won’t do that.” “They will give their undivided attention to you, a gesture that is central to building rapport with others and indicative of the significance we place on our relationship with you.
Distractions from gadgets, screens, and alerts are ever-present. But focus is crucial for developing relationships that last.
They’re a huge hit with your loved ones.
If your friends and family get along well with the person you’re seeing, that’s a good sign.
Preece says that your friends and family are a good indicator of your character because they know you better than you do.
It’s natural for them to be wary of the people you start dating and protective of you.
You know you’ve picked a good partner if they are devoted to your significant other.
They help you out in little ways.
The size of a gesture is not necessary for it to be romantic. In fact, it is often the case that the smallest and most understated of actions are the ones with the greatest impact.
To show your love for your partner, “you don’t have to spend a lot of money or spoil them rotten,” Moyle says.
The simple act of making you a cup of tea in bed in the morning, making dinner when they know you’ve had a long day, or sending you a sweet message on your phone all add up.
A simple handshake can convey a lot of emotion. A partner who exhibits these behaviours is likely to care for you deeply.
[The following article was first published in July of the year 2020.]