1. The future isn’t an issue, but you’re also not talking 25 years down the line.
You know long, long-term commitment will have little to do with 2015 you, and most to do with 2025, 2035 you. You both know that things can change, but you’re excited to change with your partner.
2. Exes/one’s that got away have been addressed.
We’ve all been in that relationship where your partner sees his or her ex, and you see them look at that person in a way that they’ve never looked at you. We’ll always have feelings for the people who came before, but they need to be approached in some way. Mutual understandings about lingering exes erases a lot of potential doubt.
3. You have an inherent feel about what to do in a given night.
This is tough as a “category” that these lists make you do, but the idea is that you’ve been with each other long enough to know when a given plan isn’t the best plan for that night. Maybe it’s been a long week, and that reservation at that nice Italian Restaurant could wait — paling in comparison to take out and New Girl.
4. You have your own way of communicating — language breeds family.
In a college class, a Professor told us that establishing a unique “language” with a partner — both physical and verbal — is the key to intimacy. That Professor was very smart, and he appears to be correct here.
5. You have a solid, well rounded view of each other’s family situation, and support them.
It takes years to begin to understand the layers of complexity that goes into one’s family relationships. I think the key here is to always be your partner’s advocate — they know the waters better than you, and it’s always your job to support them.
6. “Down the line” decisions have been broached.
For instance, if you’re of different religions and one of you is adamant about raising your children on one faith. This stuff doesn’t necessarily need to be decided eight years prior, but it’s probably important that it’s at least acknowledged in some form.
7. If it needed to happen, long distance would be no question.
It would suck, but you’d make it work.
8. Texting/Social Media is never an issue.
Personally, one of my favorite parts of being in a long-term relationship is that I don’t have to analyze the latest instagram photo, or try and figure out the wording of a text. Your guys’ relationship is 100% real life, so the social media stuff is just a supplement.
9. Both parties are open and honest about finances.
I’m not gonna try and find statistics, but I’d guess that money problems are the demise of a significant chunk of long-term relationships. Try your best not to be that statistic.
10. You want to go to each other’s events.
Say my girlfriend is in a band, and she’s got a show 45 minutes across town at an inconvenient time. Say I’ve seen her play 5 times in the past two months. I still want to go. Nothing beats that.
11. You know what you guys want sexually.
Sexual preferences and wants of course evolve the longer you’re with someone, so this tends to be an ever-evolving physical conversation. While there will be times when it’s a bit stale, I think the key is that you’ve gotta just always want the other person.
12. You guys have spots that would be weird to go to if you broke up.
Breaking up would be terrible for a million reasons, among them being that you could never really order the #7 combination special in good conscience.
13. You guys could openly talk about insecurities and not so glamorous moments in the past, with the comfort that they’ll respect your vulnerability.
In so many words, you feel comfortable with telling them anything, in a way that strengthens both your mental well being, and trust in the other person.
14. You help and challenge each other to be better.
I think this is the best part of a serious relationship. You want to get that promotion for you, but your partner inspires you to work harder, and constantly present your best self to the world.
15. You can watch/view/discuss controversial topics, even if you don’t agree with them.
You have an utmost respect for their intellectual viewpoints.
16. Life would suck infinitely worse without them.
You’d be able to survive without them (you are an independent, fully-functional, individual), but man would that suck.