Life would be so much easier if you could instantly know, without a doubt, whether or not the
person you’re dating is right for you. It would save time, and anxiety, and hours of second-guessing. But since life is never that straight forward, all you can really do is look for signs you’ve met your soulmate.
That said — and here’s where things get tricky — you can be in a great relationship, mesh well with your partner, tick all the boxes, and still have
second thoughts hit you out of nowhere. For instance, you might be six months into your relationship when you realize things have gotten “comfortable.” If you’re used to drama, the comfort might strike you as weird — and you might even worry the initial spark has faded.
How To Give Your Partner Space When You Live Together
Annie Wright, LMFT, a licensed psychotherapist , tells Bustle, having second thoughts is totally common. “Contrary to what Disney movies, rom-coms, and most pop songs teach us,” she says, “love and being with the ‘right’ partner doesn’t always look like fireworks or being completely certain about the other.”
Instead, it’s possible you’ll experience moments of ambivalence, doubt, or even boredom, which is why it’s important to know, Wright says, that it doesn’t necessarily mean
your relationship is wrong. Here, 20 signs your partner is right one for you, even if you’ve been questioning your relationship.
It’s Easy To Be Around Them
One of the most important feelings to look for, when assessing if a partner is right for you, is comfort.
“If you have a sense of ease in being with this person — you’re not often on edge, hyper-vigilant, waiting for a fight, or feeling neglected — that is a good sign,”
Virginia Williamson, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle.
It doesn’t mean you won’t have occasional arguments or moments of tension. It just means the overall vibe feels relaxed and natural.
Branching off of that, you know it’s OK to be yourself. You feel free to say what’s on your mind, to bring up tough topics, to let your hair down — because you know they won’t pass judgment or love you any less.
There Are Moments Of Excitement
Don’t expect to be laughing 24/7, but do look for those moments of excitement — like when you greet each other happily after being apart all day.
“If you still feel excited to be with this person when you have something planned, or just coming back together after time spent working or attending to other endeavors, that is also a sign that you are in the right place,” Williamson says. “Not every day has to or will be filled with passion, but there should still be some excitement about spending time together.”
Your Personalities Are Complementary
While two fiery people can make it work, and two laidback folks can get along, chances are you’re a great “match” if your personalities complement each other.
So take a second to think. Are they outgoing, while you’re reserved? Are they thoughtful, while you’re quick to find solutions to problems?
You’re likely with the right person if “your differences bring balance to each other’s lives,” relationship expert
Amber Artis, tells Bustle.
You Share The Same Values
Do you share similar worldviews, and have similar thoughts, morals, values, and beliefs? If so, you’re on the right track,
Saudia L. Twine, PhD, LPC, LLMFT, a marriage therapist and relationship coach, tells Bustle. These things are so much more important than shared hobbies or interests, because they mean you’re heading in the same direction in life.
You Stay On The Same “Team” When Arguing
Relationships tend to fall apart when partners view each other as enemies during fights instead of looking for signs that you stay on the same team, so to speak — even when they’re super mad.
If you and your partner are meant to be, Twine says, you’ll likely notice that you work through conflict, voice concerns, and reach a resolution. You argue, but come out on the other side with new boundaries and a better understanding of each other.
“At some point in a relationship, everyone might wonder if they’re settling or if they can do better,”
Samantha Daniels, a dating expert and founder of Samantha’s Table Matchmaking, tells Bustle.
But if you trust your partner wholeheartedly, they’re likely a really good match for you. Your relationship may not be as hot at it was on day one, but if you have a “strong foundation of trust,” Daniels says, you can’t really ask for anything more.
You Actually “Hear” Each Other
Being vulnerable, having good communication, and listening are three keys to a solid relationship.
Basically, “when you voice your concerns, your partner listens, causing you to feel heard and understood,” Twine says. And vice versa.
It also helps prevent small problems from becoming big ones, which is important if you want to stick together.
Your Partner Passes “The Airport Test”
Here’s an interesting test: Imagine that your second thoughts actually lead you to
break up with your significant other. Next, imagine dropping them off at an airport, knowing that you’ll never see or hear from them again.
“Deeply imagine this and pay attention to the physical sensations that arise in your body,” Wright says. Do you feel sad? Devastated? Or do you feel relieved, happy, or completely ambivalent?
“When we imagine a future that doesn’t involve this person, we collect clues about how we authentically feel ,” she says. If you feel sad/devastated, chances are your love is the real deal, and you’d still like to create a life together.
You Can’t Pinpoint What’s “Wrong”
If your partner is great, but you still feel like something’s wrong, consider the storyline in your head. “Thoughts […] strongly influence how we interpret behaviors of others and our expectations,”
Dr. Danielle Forshee, a clinical psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, tells Bustle.
For instance, you may think to yourself, “My partner doesn’t put a ton of effort into romance anymore. Our relationship is on the decline.” But when you actually look at reality, you instantly spot all the ways they’re loving and caring.
That’s why, as Forshee says, it’s always important to check yourself, as your thoughts may not be consistent with what’s actually going on.
You Feel The Chemistry
Even if you’re having a moment of doubt, consider whether you still feel chemistry — or an easy, breezy positivity — more often than not.
“This chemistry is an intangible quality that is often hard to measure,”
Nicholas Hardy, LCSW, a psychotherapist, tells Bustle. “But you know it when it is there, as well as when it is not there.”
Your Doubts Come And Go
Again, everyone in a relationship will experience moments of doubt, or feel frustrated, tired, or cranky.
But you don’t need to worry about the state of your relationship unless you’re
literally lying awake at night consumed with negativity.
“Too much questioning could allude to deeper problems in the relationship,” Hardy says. So unless you can’t stop weighing the pros and cons, you’re probably OK.
Your Friends Are All About It
While you’ll always want to trust your own assessment of a relationship — since you and your partner are the only ones in it, after all — getting an outside perspective can come in handy as a sort of second opinion.
If well-intentioned individuals — like close friends and family — are supportive and happy for you, Hardy says, you’re likely with the right person.
Ask yourself, “do I feel safe and respected?”
“This is a big one,”
Salina Schmidgall, M.Ed, PLPC, NCC, a mental health therapist, tells Bustle. “If you don’t feel either of these you aren’t the right person.”
Your Partner Is The First Person You Call
If you get a promotion, adopt a puppy, or just generally have a great day, who’s the first person you call with the news? If it’s your partner, Schmidgall says, that’s a good same.
And the same is true with bad news. If your partner is one of the first people you call, it not only shows you value them, but that they’re a source of comfort. And that really is invaluable.
You Feel Like The Best Version Of Yourself
Do you like who you are around your partner? And do they encourage you to be better?
If they’re happy with who you are right now, but also boost you up and help you reach goals, you’ve struck gold,
Cathy Sullivan-Windt, PhD, a licensed psychologist, tells Bustle.
You Like Their Friends
“There is some truth to the statement that the people one chooses to surround themselves with says a lot about a person,”
Sullivan-Windt says. “It doesn’t mean you have to share hobbies with your significant other’s friends but it is important that they are people you respect at a minimum — and ideally people you’d like to spend time with, too.”
You’d Definitely Ask For A Second Date
Pretend you’re on a first date with your partner but ask yourself, “Would I want to date them, knowing everything I know now?”
“If it’s a yes, then it’s a very good sign,” relationship expert
Adam LoDolce, tells Bustle.
There might not be a definitive answer when it comes to whether or not your partner is right for you. So instead of writing pro/con lists or looking for signs, check in with yourself.
“When people say ‘when you know you know’ it really is the case,” Schmidgall says. “It’s really a matter of trusting our own judgement and listening to our gut. Your body tells you a lot about what’s going on with you — listen to it.”
You’re Willing To Work On The Relationship
“There’s a natural ebb and flow to relationships,” Daniels says. So even if you
are going through a tough time, or having doubts, consider your reaction to it all.
If you’re still willing to put in the work to make your relationship last, and are willing to find solutions to problems because the effort feels worth it, your partner truly may be “The One.”
still unsure, however, “talk to them about your concerns and fears and see if you can work through things together,” she says. When you’re happily together years from now, you’ll be glad you did.
Annie Wright, LMFT, licensed psychotherapist
Virginia Williamson, LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist
Amber Artis, relationship expert
Saudia L. Twine, PhD, LPC, LLMFT, marriage therapist and relationship coach
Samantha Daniels, dating expert
Rosalind Sedacca, CLC, dating and relationship coach
Nicholas Hardy, LCSW, psychotherapist
Salina Schmidgall, M.Ed, PLPC, NCC, mental health therapist
Cathy Sullivan-Windt, PhD, licensed psychologist
Dr. Danielle Forshee, clinical psychologist and licensed clinical social worker
Adam LoDolce, relationship expert