“I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.” ~ Lisa Kleypas
The modern dating pool can be treacherous and discouraging at best, especially when you’re a hopeless romantic. But when all that heartbreak and hard work leads you to someone who truly feels like a keeper, someone who’s in it for the long haul, it’s worth every moment of what it took to get there.
Love is an incredibly rewarding thing to experience, regardless of the risk involved in giving your heart to someone. I imagine true, lasting love is even better.
Everyone is different when it comes to how love is found and kept. There are people who never thought they’d end up together, but did and people who swore they’d never fall in love and then met someone they couldn’t live without. But regardless of your unique story, experience or relationship, if you’re dating someone who ticks all of the following boxes, you’re likely set for life.
1) You trust them completely.
It has been wisely stated that trust is the glue that holds relationships together. Without physical, emotional and moral trust, you’re ultimately headed for trouble. While some feelings of doubt and insecurity are normal, an excessive amount is a sign of instability and a lack of conviction in the relationship. Trust cultivates longevity.
2) You can be your ugliest, most authentic, vulnerable self around them.
Humans have a lot of different layers, many of which are never revealed to others. If your partner has seen, accepted and loved you at your best and worst, including the parts of you that appear embarrassing or unfavorable, you’re luckier than most.
3) Their actions speak louder than their words.
Words are meaningless without actions to match them. Lasting relationships are built upon the willingness and ability to remain true to your word and show how much you care in both little and big ways.
4) You’re on the same page about wants, needs and values.
A healthy amount of differences can spice up a relationship, but without some sense of mutual understanding about goals, desires and values, there can be a significant disconnect. Two people can’t happily and comfortably share a life if they want and believe in totally different things.
5) They’re your best friend.
Companionship is just as important, if not more important than romance. The greater the levels of connection, comfort and camaraderie, the better the relationship. Where there is lasting friendship, there is lasting love.
6) You feel like they’re not going anywhere.
Worrying about and waiting for the other shoe to drop is to be expected in almost any stage of infatuation, but if time and strength has deepened your belief that your partner wants nothing more than to be by your side, you’ve hit gold. Lasting relationships generally feel safe and comfortable.
7) You communicate and work through problems.
If you fix what’s awry instead of avoiding or running from it, you’re miles ahead of most couples. The ability to communicate and resolve conflict is vital to the success of any relationship.
8) You have fun and go on adventures together.
Relationships thrive and remain exciting and fresh when the need to grow and live boldly together comes into play. If there’s never a dull moment, you will never feel the need to seek something thrilling elsewhere.
9) You take care of each other.
Taking care of and looking out for each other creates a level of intimacy and respect that’s hard to break. Where there is unconditional support and protection, there is trust and comfort. Feeling loved and supported in such a way often creates a longstanding bond, ensuring that both partners are indeed in it for the long haul.
10) You can be independent and handle time apart.
Being able to handle and maintain independence and individuality is paramount in any relationship. If two people are strong and independent outside of a relationship, they will be even stronger and more resilient within it.
11) You can’t picture a future that doesn’t have them in it.
If you frequently find yourself planning a future that involves their presence and participation, you likely carry the belief that you’ll be happy having them around for awhile.
12) You’ve established a strong level of comfort.
If you feel comfortable talking to and being around your partner under any circumstance, you have something stable and special with them. Dating can be uncomfortable in general, so finding someone you’re completely at ease with is a treasure.
13) You’re both willing to commit.
Commitment or a lack of commitment is ultimately what makes or breaks a relationship. You must be willing to work through the hard times, resolve conflict, and actively choose to be with your partner on a daily basis. If you’re dating someone who thinks you’re awesome enough to do that, you should be good to go.
14) They accept the whole package.
We all have parts of us that are less favorable than others, but striving to love and accept people just as they are without trying to manipulate or change them is a beautiful and rare thing. If you have a quick temper, drive your partner crazy, or leave the cap off the toothpaste for the umpteenth time and they still think you’re the bee’s knees, their love is not conditional or selective.
15) Love is greater than pride.
Pride is a silent and sneaky relationship killer. It takes a lot of courage and grace to put your ego aside and choose compassion and understanding over the need to be right. Fighting fair and resolving conflict in a peaceful manner is imperative. If you can’t do this, the relationship will most likely be short indeed. Even if it’s not — even if the two of you decide you’re both in it for the long haul — it will surely be a rough ride.
16) They don’t take life too seriously.
Laughter enhances love and companionship. In a world full of challenges, the ability to be lighthearted and make each other laugh is wonderful.
17) You wholeheartedly support one another.
If your partner is your biggest fan, your leading motivator, and your strongest ally, you will always be able to count on them to help you become the best version of yourself. And at the end of the day, that’s what every relationship should be about – bringing out the best in each other.