1. They hold you accountable. They respect you enough to know what behaviors are beneath you, and love you enough to call you out on them when necessary.
2. They give you honest feedback. They don’t placate. They aren’t under the illusion that being blindly, unconditionally approving of everything you do will make you love them more.
3. They give you time to do what you love, even if that’s working a 16-hour day or seeing your friends three times a week. They aren’t so selfish as to assume they are your only priority.
4. They respect your feelings even if they don’t understand them, or agree with them. They don’t invalidate your experiences just because they’re different from their own. They appreciate the things and people you love just because you love them.
5. They are your biggest supporter in public, and your most honest sounding board behind closed doors. In both cases, they are loving but straightforward, and never condescending. They tell you the truth – but never at the expense of insulting you.
6. They don’t find your gross stuff gross. Your bodily functions become acceptable, if not endearing, parts of human life. They also oddly always think you smell great. (Note: scent is also a great way to tell whether or not you’re actually attracted to/in love with someone. The nose doesn’t lie.)
7. They don’t think your imperfections are deal-breakers. They’re honestly willing to cope with your actual life issues because being with you is worth it to them.
8. They open up about the less flattering parts of their own lives. They’d rather you see them for who they really are and be honest than inflate themselves and have you fall in love with a person they’re only pretending to be.
9. They’re happy to do boring stuff with you. Cooking dinner, running errands, and driving in the car become incredible adventures when they’re around.
10. They aren’t afraid to hash out an argument when an argument needs to be had. They care a lot more about making sure your relationship is healthy than their ego being bruised a bit.
11. They get a little jealous when they hear about past relationships, or see someone checking you out. Never to the point that they’re aggressive or controlling, but a feeling of protectiveness definitely comes up (and you love it).
12. You’ve seen them mad, sad, frustrated, and everything in-between. They show you their full range of emotions, which is the healthiest thing that you can possibly do. If you’re only seeing them “happy” all of the time, they aren’t comfortable enough to be honest with you yet.
13. They not only want to take care of you when you’re sick, but are willing to clean up bodily fluids, check out weird bug bites/rashes and other unseemly things, because making sure that you’re healthy and safe is their top, if not only, priority.
14. They make you feel like staying home with them on a Friday is infinitely more fun than any kind of over-the-top fancy pants date that anyone else has tried to take you on.
15. They love you most when it’s necessary, not when it’s easy. They love you more in the moments that would otherwise push people away. They love you with actions, not promises. They show you that they love you by making your life better in every way, not just promising that they do and then stepping out when you need love most.