1. You make concrete plans, not just hypotheticals. You actually commit to doing things together. You take vacations. You meet the family. You show up when you say you will. Your relationship is one of actions, not just words.
2. You have arguments, but they’re always resolved in a healthy manner. Fighting is completely normal. People get hurt feelings and sometimes take things out on each other. If you spend a ton of time with someone, wires are bound to get crossed one day. What matters is how you work through your fights. You don’t sweep them under the rug, but you also resort to yelling matches. You’re both willing to apologize and genuinely care about resolving any issues.
3. You care about the people your partner cares about. And vice versa. You like their friends. They like yours. Your partner blends in perfectly with the people who already had important roles in your life.
4. You encourage each other to try new things. You WANT each other to flourish and thrive. You’re excited watching them pursue new passions and never feel threatened if they start broadening their interests.
5. You allow each other to grow. Everyone changes. You can grow together, while also respecting individual growth, or you can grow apart. You support beneficial growth and it shows in your relationship.
6. You have a common interest you can enjoy together. There’s something you can both regularly get together and do as a couple. And something you’re both super into – like rooting for a specific athletic team or cuddling up with wine and a Netflix original series.
7. You’re inspired by each other. Your significant other honestly makes you want to be a better person. You admire their strengths, just as they do yours.
8. You don’t use jealousy as a means to motivate (or upset) the other. Getting jealous is natural. Humans have weird emotions – jealousy being a prime example. But there’s a huge difference in the occasional jealousy (and recognizing it for what it is) and USING jealousy as a means to get what you want or punish the other person when you’re upset. When jealousy arises, you acknowledge it and let it pass instead of turning into something bigger than it is.
9. You’ve seen each other sick. Real relationships include the gross stuff. The food poisoning or sniffles and copious amounts of phlegm. Taking care of someone, and being taken care of, when people are gross and leaking fluids is the test of true, lasting love.