Love doesn’t mirror the movies. Love is unique and personal. And it’s more than okay to have your own love story. Maybe it didn’t take you a big life event to realize you were with “the one.” Maybe you knew from the beginning because you’ve never been treated with such kindness and respect. Maybe it was those morning “I love you” texts that made you realize you had something special. Or maybe it was those butterflies that flew into your heart and never went away.
“Picking the right person for the right reasons at the right time is an art form.” – Dr. Barton Goldsmith. Ever wondered why nearly half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce? Relationship experts are all too quick to point out why married couples split – information that may or may not make a difference for someone seeking to avoid the “Big D.” Something that’s far less discussed is the vetting process known as dating. The word “vetting” may sound callous when describing dating, but isn’t that REALLY what it is?
Sure, dating can be (and should be) a fun, non-committal, “this may or may not happen” type of thing; but for most people, a date is a potential partner. It’s too easy to say, “you should wait for this, this, and this before committing yourself.” While such a statement may be well-intentioned, it’s pretty much worthless unless you provide some substance; in other words, why “this, this, and this” may be important attributes to look for in a partner. Every person is different and looks for different things (really complicated, we know.) We don’t pretend to be relationship experts – we are not. We don’t provide “one size fits all” advice – and we won’t do so here.
“An objective mindset” is not a particularly $exy or exciting thing to recommend for daters. (And, remember, it is only a recommendation.) BUT, when it comes to relationships, objectivity is underrated. Practicality is underrated. Cohesiveness is underrated. Here are the things that you should always look for in your partner.
Meeting “the one” doesn’t always look like a romantic comedy. Your meet likely didn’t happen as you were almost hit by a car, and your soon-to-be lover pushed you out of the way. You probably have never chased after your partner in the pouring rain to stop them from leaving you. And most likely, no one has ever stood outside your window with a boom box, singing at the top of his or her lungs. Probably because no one even has a boom box anymore.
Knowing that you’re with a great person is one thing. But knowing you’ve met “the one,” the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, is on another level. Here are the signs you’ve hit that level.
1. Similar life goals
You know you’ve met your better half when you want to walk similar paths in this thing we call life. Maybe both of you have different fantasies of where you want to travel, or what kind of dog you’ll want to have. But when it comes down to the major things, like deciding whether you want to get married and/or have children, you two are holding the same deck of cards. And you both are holding the winning hand.
2. You can be your real self with him/her
With your love, you can show all the sides of you. The good, the bad and the “I’m hungover and haven’t showered in 3 days” ugly. It’s easy to be you with your person. You don’t feel like you have to hide your silly side, or quiet your personality down because your partner loves those special qualities about you. Nobody is perfect. You know you’ve met “the one” when he or she knows this and loves you for your imperfections.
3. Be Wary Of Someone Who Wants To Get Married Yesterday
Alright, if you’re on a first date and the word “married” escapes your date’s lips once, it should be a wrap. (Minus the obvious exceptions, like marriage being a topic of discussion.) Most people rushing to get married make it fairly obvious during the first date or two. Odds are that they’re going to be a pain to date, much less marry.
4. Someone Who Can Make You Smile And Laugh
A sense of humor is so very powerful – and a shared sense of humor is even more so. Finding someone who can get you to smile and laugh on a bad day deserves some consideration. Humor can overcome many of life’s toughest obstacles; not to mention, laughter brings lots of fun to a relationship.
5. You can work through things in a healthy way
It doesn’t matter that you and your mate fight, it’s how you fight that makes all the difference. You know you’ve met your match when working through an argument doesn’t feel like putting a Rubik’s Cube back together. You two can get through anything together, and knowing that makes you feel safe and secure.
6. Somone Who You Can Talk To
As a relationship progresses, this quality becomes more important than anything else. If you can’t have a good conversation with your partner, no matter the circumstances, it’s going to be a rough ride.
7. You feel like the luckiest person in the world
When you both feel like the luckiest person in the world to have found one other, you’re on the right path. The strongest and happiest of couples feel in awe of their partner. They see his or her great qualities and uniqueness, and feel incredibly grateful. Your Instagram feed is probably filled with a lot of this: #blessed
8. Anywhere is exciting for you two
You don’t have to be at Disneyland or at the best local bar in town to be having the time of your life with your significant other. Excitement can happen in your own living room with each other. Some of the best dates you two have had together were those nights you both stayed up late, finishing that whole bottle of wine and just talking.
9. Somone Who Can Abstain From Lust
The Strong physical attraction has a way of creating tunnel vision – we pay less attention to what someone says and does. Resisting this strong sense of magnetism and being tactful and respectful is a great sign.
10. You both are committed to the relationship
A companion you want for life is a person who is committed to you and the relationship. So if you have found a man or woman that is willing to always put in the effort to have a happy and healthy relationship, you have probably found “the one” for you.
11. You know deep down inside
You’ve figured out that you’ve met “the one” because you feel it in your heart. But, you also feel it in your gut as well. We have our intuitions for a reason, and your intuition is telling you you’ve made the right choice.
12. Your friends and family see how happy you are
Sadly, everyone isn’t lucky enough to have supportive family and friends when it comes to relationships. But putting all that aside, you know you’re entirely happy when the closest people around you can see you beaming from a mile away. Your family and friends couldn’t be happier for you, and some of them are probably a little envious of the love you have found.
13. He or she makes you want to be bette
A good partner is one that accepts you for who you are. A great partner, on the other hand, accepts you and loves you for who you are, but also pushes you to be your best. You know you’ve met the ultimate better half when they make youwant to be better.
14. Someone Who Is Compassionate, Kind And Loving
Sort of a no-brainer here, but plenty of folks have ended up with someone who exhibits zero of these traits. Do yourself a favor and observe how the person interacts with strangers. This is often a good indication of their character.