1. You encourage their personal growth.
“Changing” gets such a bad reputation. We hurl it around as if it’s an insult: You’ve changed! You’re not the guy I fell in love with! We act as if it’s some horrible sin. AGH! CHANGE! When the truth is, we’re all ALWAYS changing. Your partner is no different, and you know that. You don’t expect them to stay stuck the same exact person you first started dating. But you grow together, not apart.
2. They naturally fit into your long-term plans.
When you imagine the blueprint of your life, it’s never a question that your partner is part of that vision. Neither of you are afraid to discuss it, either. It’s not some intense 5-year plan set in stone, you just both know what you want. And right now? It’s each other. And you don’t foresee that changing.
3. You’re not concerned about “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”
Actually, you could like the show, who cares? That’s not my business. Kardashians just seemed more timely than the Joneses. What I mean is that your relationship isn’t for the sake of show. Monday isn’t simply about your #MCM. Not that there is anything wrong with your love making a few splashes on social media, but it’s not what you really care about. Or where you get validation. You aren’t in it for the heart-emojis from strangers or friends cooing over how #relationshipgoals the two of you are. None of that matters, really. And you know it.
4. You know how to be alone.
Some people have serious issues with being alone. It’s a natural tendency, as a human, to want company. We’re pack animals. I get it, I do. But it can be so easy to replace this fear of solitude with just…constantly being with someone. So you know your love isn’t a side effect of this because you’ve learned how to be alone. You aren’t just with your partner because, to quote Drake, you hate sleeping alone. You’re with them because you love them.
5. You’re not harboring any ill will towards exes.
It’s all fun and games to be like: “Lolz, I hate my ex!” But in the most ideal and healthiest situation, there wouldn’t be any left-over negative feelings. You’re not cyberstalking them. You’re not still in love, or hoping their life falls apart. You don’t care. You wish them the best, genuinely. You’re not worried about the past, you’re too busy cherishing the present.
6. Being with them feels like home.
You know that moment when you get home from a long vacation, flop onto your bed, and it’s the most comforting-relieving-Oh-My-God-finally feeling to ever exist ever? That’s how you feel when you see your significant other. You can be a thousand miles away from your place of residence, but with them? You’re home.
7. You fully trust in one another.
Being vulnerable with someone is terrifying. That’s why we call it “falling” in love. It can feel like diving head first from a skyscraper. But loving someone, for every bit of who they are, is a bit like the bouncing trampoline firefighters put out for people to land on. They’ve got you. It’s okay to open up. You won’t hit the concrete.
8. You don’t compare the relationship.
Okay, so Katie and Dan say sweet dreams every night. And Greg and Dustin have traveled the world together. Cool. That’s wonderful for them. But it doesn’t change your personal dynamic. You’re not in competition with any couple. And you never try to be.
9. You don’t worry if someone “better” is out there.
First, let me say this: ALL. HUMAN. BEINGS. FANTASIZE. This is normal. If you tell me you have never ONCE had a sex dream about someone other than your current partner, this is what I have to say to you:
But just because you can find other people attractive doesn’t mean you’re sitting around wondering if you should secretly activate Tinder. There are actually billions of probably wonderful, intelligent, good-looking humans roaming around, but it doesn’t matter to you. You’ve got your person.