I’m a firm believer in developing a strong relationship with yourself and that everyone has the ability to be incredible alone! That said, the right relationship has the capacity to improve your quality of life. While we all have the potential to enact change on our own with enough discipline and willpower, the right relationships can bring out the best in us. But how do you know you’re in the right relationship with someone who can have this effect on you? When we’re in the honeymoon phase of a new relationship, it can be hard to know for sure.
In other words, Mr. Right Now might seem like Mr. Right, but over time it will become abundantly clear that what you have together may not be sustainable. You might be extremely physically and sexually attracted to them. You may find them charming and witty. You may become enamored by everything that they say and do. But the early days of our relationships are obfuscated by a haze of endorphins and dopamine. We can be lulled into seeing things in our new beau that aren’t there. And over time, the signs can add up that the relationship is actually falling apart.
Why can the wrong relationship can feel so right?
When we’re in the early stages of a relationship, we have the opportunity to redefine ourselves through the prism of how the other person sees us. This means that, whether consciously or not, we’re making an effort to be our “best selves” for our new partners. And if we’re doing this, there’s a pretty good chance that they’re doing it too.
And while this can help you to put your best foot forward, you may find that one or both of you is (at least to some extent) putting on an act. And the facade inevitably drops with time and familiarity. As such, the wrong relationship can feel right for months. Especially when we’re getting validation from our new S.O. in the form of gifts, “love bombing” and lots of attention in the bedroom.
All of this can lull us into surrendering control of the relationship, and our futures, to someone who reveals themselves to be very different to the person we thought we were in a relationship with.
So, how can you tell that you’re in the right relationship?
The signs aren’t always as obvious as you think. It’s not always measured by how many times they tell you that they love you, the considerate things they do, or even the glowing things their friends and family say about you. Often, the signs of a good relationship actually feel troublesome to us. The right person will always tell us the truth rather than what they think we want to hear. And we’re not always here for that.
For that reason, here are some 7 unexpected signs that you’re in the right relationship:
1. They’ll Call You Out On Your BS.
You’re a liar. But that’s okay. We all are. That doesn’t mean we’re willfully or maliciously deceptive. But it does mean that we can willfully omit the truth. Even to ourselves. Especially to ourselves! The right person isn’t someone who tells you that you’re in the right all the time. The right person is someone who calls you out on your BS when they know that you’re deluding yourself.
They’ll let you know if you’ve unintentionally said something hurtful or offensive to them or anyone else. They’ll never do it in a spiteful or malicious way. They’ll never do it in a way that makes you feel bad about yourself. They’ll do it in a way that reminds you who you want to be, and how they can help you to become that person.
2. If Something’s Wrong, They Won’t Sugar Coat It.
Deep down, we all want to be told that everything’s okay. Even if it isn’t. And when you’re in a relationship, there’s a fine line between reassuring and enabling. And if you have lapsed into behaviors that are damaging your mind, body or wellbeing, your partner owes it to you to bring it to your attention. This might include severely unhealthy habits, like drinking too much or realizing that you’re dependent on substances that you’ve always sworn were recreational. It’s one thing for your partner to be able to tell you that you have a problem. It takes someone really special to admit that you both have a problem, and that you should check into couples rehabs.
If something’s wrong, they won’t shame you or bully you into mending your ways. But they won’t sugar coat it either. They’ll show you that things need to change, and help you to enact changes in a positive way.
3. They Remind You to get in Touch With Your Friends.
Some people are naturally possessive when it comes to relationships. But a healthy relationship acknowledges the importance of others to keep you happy and socially well adjusted. As such, they’ll actively encourage you to maintain an open line of communication with your friends and make time for them as much as possible. Even if they’re less than crazy about your friends, they’ll still make the effort and plan social gatherings that you can attend together or separately. Because they know and respect how much your friends mean to you.
4. They’re Open and Honest About Their Needs.
If there’s one thing we could all do with a little less of in our relationships, it’s guesswork. Nobody wants to feel as though they’re being penalized for not being able to read their partner’s mind. But so often it can feel as though that’s exactly what we have to do to maintain a harmonious relationship. When you ask what’s wrong, the right partner isn’t the one who sighs and says “nothing” or “I can’t believe you have to ask”. The right partner is the kind of person who is open and honest about their needs and feelings. They won’t make you feel like you have to read their mind, but at the same time, they also won’t put their own wellbeing on hold to accommodate yours.
Yes, every couple needs to be considerate, but when you put someone else’s needs before your own all the time, it can lead to bitterness and resentment in the relationship. And this can slowly erode the bind you share over time.
You also owe it to your partner to be forthcoming as possible so that you don’t find yourself muttering “No, it’s fine!” through gritted teeth. It’s not selfish to be open and honest about what you want. In fact, it should be considered a common courtesy.
5. They’ll Admit When They’re Out of Their Depth.
Sure it’s great to have a partner who’s smart, well-traveled and well-read. But it’s even better to be with someone who acknowledges when they don’t have all the answers. Especially when it comes to your relationship.
You should value someone who admits that the two of you need a helping hand either in the form of relationship counselling or relying on others to look after your home or kids when they know that you need some quality time together. While we all like to consider ourselves resourceful and self-reliant, someone who claims to have all the answers can actually hold us back in our relationships.
6. They Appreciate The Importance Of Spending Time Apart.
The right special someone understands that spending time apart really can be as beneficial to the relationship as the time you spend together. It’s not just a cliche, it’s a scientific fact that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
They won’t try and monopolize your time, nor will they view you with mistrust and suspicion when you want to spend a little time alone or with your friends. One of the key signs of a healthy relationship is that both participants are secure enough in the relationship to enjoy and afford quality time apart to enrich the time you spend together.
7. You Fight, But You Do It Right.
Arguments are perfectly natural, and are actually a beneficial part of any relationship. Don’t let anybody tell you different! If a couple doesn’t argue, they either agree on everything (which is impossible), or one partner or both in that relationship spend every day stewing in a soup of resentment, anger and repression.
When you and your beau argue, you both try to keep your voices level, you remain calm, you listen to one another and you admit when you’re in the wrong. Which is 1000% healthier than pushing your feelings deep down and never arguing at all.
I hope these unexpected signs you’re in a relationship help you when you’re seeing someone new!