1. You are happy doing nothing with them. You could spend your free time sitting side-by-side on the couch reading separate books, or taking a nap with your head on their lap, and you would say that you had a good day. You don’t need to be out on the town partying to enjoy their company.
2. You show your love in more ways than sex. You hold hands. You cuddle. You buy their favorite cereal without being asked. You do the dishes when it’s their turn. You introduce them to family members, friends, and coworkers. You show them that you love them in a million different ways every single day.
3. You are actively working toward building a life together. You are both trying your hardest to save money for a house, for a car, for a vacation. You aren’t just talking about the future you want to have together. You are actively trying to turn that future into a reality.
4. You make decisions as a team. You involve each other in the most mundane decisions. What color tile should the new counters have? What brand of dog food would be the healthiest for the pets? How much detergent should be poured into the washer?
5. You deal with your drama on your own. When you have a fight, you don’t call up your mother or your best friend to complain about the relationship. You sit down and talk things out respectfully. There is no name calling, no screaming, no unnecessary drama.
6. You split your responsibilities as evenly as you can. You both make money. You both cook and clean. You both listen to each other. You both surprise each other with little things whenever you can. You both try hard to keep the relationship strong.
7. You are fully committed to each other. You aren’t on any dating apps. You aren’t flirting with anyone at work. You aren’t wondering what life would be like if you were with someone else. You are with the only person you want to be with.
8. You are taking things at a sensible pace. You aren’t letting your excitement convince you to move too fast and make a mistake. You aren’t letting your fears convince you to move too slow and miss out on a good thing. Your relationship is progressing at a pace that you are both comfortable with.
9. You are there for each other during dark days. You have helped each other through the deaths of family members, through hospital visits, through job losses. You are each other’s rock.
10. You agree on what your future looks like. You both feel the same way about having children. About adopting pets. About allowing friends to stay the night. About spending the holidays with one side of the family. You have discussed big (and small) things that could cause real conflict in the future and are on the same page about them all.
11. You solve your issues as soon as possible. When you discover that you aren’t on the same page about something, you don’t push it to the back of your head to worry about later. You don’t let the problem fester. You don’t let your emotions build up. You work together to come up with a compromise that will benefit both of you.
12. You understand that love is hard work — but you are willing to put in that work. You realize that your person is never going to be perfect and that your relationship is never going to be perfect. But that hasn’t stopped you from putting in effort. That hasn’t stopped you from loving them with every part of your heart.