There is a certain kind of pressure associated with finding the one. It’s one of the reasons people are dating around so much these days (because they want to make sure that they are settling down with the “perfect” person) or why some people avoid family get-togethers (because they don’t want to be asked again if they’ve met someone special). Dating can be a lot of fun, but as you get older, even if you’re not in a hurry to get married, it’s not uncommon to start wondering when or if you will ever find your forever person.
To be really honest though, I don’t really believe that you necessarily find your person, I think someone, eventually, becomes that person to you without you really noticing at all. It’s a subtle “I think I’d like to be with this person forever” feeling that kind of just shows up slowly and naturally, and I think that is a feeling more special than any sort of rom-com love-at-first sight meet-cute.
The person that you decide to build a life with doesn’t always come riding in on a white horse. Instead, you might start to realize little things that just feel really right about your relationship. Take away all the flashy soulmate stuff, and consider the nine signs your partner is the one that we are sharing ahead.
1. Talking about the future doesn’t feel like a lot of pressure
Have you ever dated someone who invited you to something a few months out and you felt a little awkward and uneasy about it? Like you didn’t want to commit to anything with them for next week, let alone for three months from now? That’s a telltale sign that the person you’re with probably isn’t your forever person. Talking about the future with someone you’re with should feel natural—like you wouldn’t imagine it any other way. There isn’t any apprehension surrounding plans or events even five years from now because you feel confident in the lasting power of your relationship.
2. You share the same values and life goals
It’s important to be with someone who is a little different than you so they can challenge you, teach you new things, and push you outside of your comfort zone; however, at the same time, you want to be with someone who shares your values and has life goals that align with yours. For example, family is really important to me (both spending time with mine and building one in the future), and I knew that I wanted to spend my life with someone who shared the same values and goals for the future. When you have those things in common, you experience less friction, and navigating life together becomes a little easier.
3. You can communicate honestly and openly without fear of being judged
You know when you’re with your best girlfriends, and you (hopefully) feel totally comfortable telling them something that’s a litttttle… awkward or out there? That same feeling should be present with your partner. They should be your safe space where you can say absolutely anything, be brutally honest, and still not fear that they will judge you or hold it against you. And they should also feel comfortable being honest with you and knowing that you’re a no-judgment zone.
4. You are partners and friends
There is truth to the saying “You should marry your best friend.” You should not only love your forever person, but you should like them too! You should like spending time with them, get excited to make plans with them, laugh with them, and be able to joke around and tease each other. One of the best signs your partner is the one is when you genuinely enjoy being around them so much, both romantically and as a very best friend.
5. You argue fairly and respect each other’s opinions
Not everything is going to be perfect all the time, and that’s totally normal and OK. In fact, I’d be worried if there were never any bumps in the road in a relationship. As you navigate through tough circumstances and arguments, you learn more about each other and how to handle conflict, and you take those lessons with you to help your relationship in the future. When you argue with your person, it shouldn’t be on a battlefield. Instead, one of the signs your partner is the one is being able to respect each other and argue fairly for the health and sake of your relationship. And if you can do this especially when you have really opposing opinions, it makes all the difference in the lasting power of your relationship.
6. You fit in seamlessly with each other’s families
I think we can all agree that the “meet the family” stage of a relationship is intimidating. You want your partner to like your family and you want your family to like your partner, because if they don’t, that can be especially problematic. Now, this isn’t a hard and fast rule—you can be with someone who doesn’t exactly blend in and they can still be right for you—but when they do and you’re getting the sneaky feeling that your family loves your partner more than they love you, you’ve got a keeper.
7. Trusting them is easy
Let me preface this by saying that I believe that trust is earned; you don’t just get trust when you pass GO. As you begin a relationship with someone, it becomes pretty easy to tell whether or not you feel comfortable trusting them. Read: your gut tells you whether or not this person is safe to trust. If you feel uneasy with your partner at any point in time, listen to that feeling because if you’re going to spend your life with someone and commit to them, there should be no question at all that they are trustworthy, loyal, and respectful.
8. You can lean on each other for support
There is one question that my partner and I use when either of us needs support, and that is “Do you want to be helped, heard, or hugged?” We use this to gauge how to support one another, how to make them feel better, and how to be the best partner we can be at any given time. You and your partner should always feel confident that you are each other’s biggest supporter—and yes, sometimes it’s even during the times when you don’t necessarily agree with them.
9. No matter how long you’ve been together, you still get excited to see them
I don’t want you to think that every waking second you spend with “the one” will make you feel giddy and excited—because let’s face it, sometimes you just want them to go watch TV in the other room. But you should get excited for date night, miss them when you’re schedules get too busy and you haven’t connected, can’t wait for them to get home from a work trip, and get the urge to do something so special for them just because. You will feel like the love you have for them burns like a candle that’s never going to go out.