1. No matter how much time passes between the last time you saw them and the next time you will see them, either way you can’t wait to see them again. You’re excited to hang out with them and you’re excited to play in their hair, to smell them, to hold their hand.
2. You’re mature enough to know that no relationship is ever perfect. It’s not always going to be good times. There will be fights, disagreements, miscommunications, and there might even be a lull in the relationship itself. But if you really love someone, you have to look past that stuff and think about the future. If you walk in on them sleeping with someone or they send a sex message meant for someone else, THAT’s a different story. No relationship is perfect, and real love will get you through all the hurdles.
3. They got you a teddy bear the first time you went on a date and you keep it on your bed and take it with you everywhere you go when you travel someplace new. When you get there, you take a picture of yourself with the bear and send it to your love so they know you’re thinking of them.
4. The moment you realize your relationship isn’t about sex. Your partner might have a porn addiction and they are going to masturbate without you. Relationship sex always dwindles because life happens. Stress happens. Erectile disfunction happens. Our relationships are held together by a lot of different things, and sex is only one of the adhesives.
5. When you know you fucked up royally you apologize for it, making sure your partner knows you care. Or if your partner is the one who fucks up, you express your anger and let them know what they did was wrong. But eventually, you remember that people are allowed to make mistakes — even big ones. Nobody is perfect.
6. You can already imagine a future together. You want them to be a part of your life, you want to share new things with them, you care for them. It’s hard for you to not imagine a future together.
7. You don’t feel jealous, either when they make new friends or when they talk about new people. You are secure enough in yourself that you don’t make them feel bad about wanting to hang out with their friends or even go out dancing. These are all things they did before they met you anyway, and you know they need the space to be with you but also without you sometimes.
8. When you spend hours in bed on Saturday night in a pool of potato chips, Coca-Cola and Sour Patch Kids, binge-watching your favorite Netflix shows. The world feels right.
9. You don’t question their every whereabout. You let them do the things they need to do, whether that’s take a temporary job away from you or going on a long work trip, all while understanding that the best way to be in a relationship is to be with someone who is their full self, all the time, and not someone they are pretending to be.
10. Seeing other couples makes you sad and you think about them immediately. Maybe you’re out at a restaurant or some other place, but as soon as you see another couple you feel warm inside, imagine that’s how you two look to other people.
11. Finally, understand that you are home. No matter what happens in the course of a relationship (save of course the absolute worst), you are home. Trust that they love you. Trust that they want to be with you.