Dating and relationships always start out pretty well, but then either shoot rapidly downhill, or uncontrollably flourish. I’ve seen so many people settle into relationships and marriages they are unhappy in because it seems like the right thing to do. But, I’ve also seen the real-deal. I’ve witnessed true love. For the longest time, I hadn’t believed in it, but after many trials (and errors) it started to make sense.
Remember those downhill vs. flourishing relationships I mentioned? Yeah, my current story is of the latter. It’s been insane watching the development of this healthy, incredible relationship when all I had known was terrible, dysfunctional ones. Let me tell you, it’s been quite the adventure.
After my last breakup, I had been chatting with a colleague of mine. She is literally one of the most brilliant women I know, and I truly admire her. She had known me for a year at this point, and had watched me go from miserable girlfriend, to distraught ex-girlfriend, to free and adventurous single girl. I think I had literally lost hope in love at this point, just for the record.
She and I were hanging in the employee lounge one morning after a huddle with our team. Relationships somehow came up, and she began to tell me about her marriage. She and her spouse had been married for over 30 years. Because of how highly she spoke of her spouse, it was clear their love for one another was very strong. Once she had finished sharing her story, I immediately asked her how she and her spouse had managed to stay happy for so many years. I also asked how often she felt happy in her relationship.
She began to explain that marriage can be difficult, but the most important thing is to be open and honest with your partner. She then added, “I’m happy 90% of the time. If you can be in a relationship with someone and be happy 90% of the time, you’ve probably found the one…”
I looked at her in silence. Completely baffled. Be happy 90% of the time? Umm, what? I couldn’t fathom how this was even a possibility, let alone a life that someone was living. Could this be real? Was this just an unbelievably lucky couple with a beautiful love story? Or is this what love is actually supposed to be like? I honestly had the most difficult time comprehending this information; it was completely and utterly foreign.
So I continued to go on dates, still not believing that the 90/10 rule was legit. Now, however, I get it. I can tell you from personal experience that the 90/10 rule does exist. I hadn’t understood it because I didn’t believe it was possible…not until I found myself immersed in that spectacular 90%.
I sometimes still pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. Because of my past relationships, I never thought I would find myself in this very situation…but here I am. Every person has different needs and standards in a relationship, but these are the 8 factors that can significantly contribute to that joyous 90%:
You always consider one another, make decisions together, and share a deep love. Even when away from one another, you still feel very connected and like a relevant part of each others lives. You know that neither of you would do anything that would potentially jeopardize your relationship.
Wanting to Make Memories
I’m the type of person who likes my space and appreciates doing things solo, as many millennials probably do, but I’ve never wanted to include any one person in nearly all activities I engage in. Big or small. Being with your other half is so exciting and enjoyable that you want to experience life, travel, and laughter together. You always want them by your side to share the joy…
No matter what, no matter how far apart, you are always your partner’s priority. This is definitely a rare quality and should be extremely valued, and NOT taken for granted. NOTE: This should be reciprocal.
Can’t stop, won’t stop…
Babe’s on your brain, and you can’t stop thinking about them—the out of sight, out of mind concept no longer exists. They’re literally always on your mind.
Your partner is your best friend—they’re who you want to tell about your day, and text when something super funny happens—they just make everything more fun. Whether it’s sword fighting with pirate hats on in the middle of a store, or playing T-Rex in front of the bathroom mirror, there’s no one else you’d rather do it with.
Love, Love, Love
Your friends and family love your partner—they fit right in, just as if they were always there. Their family and friends probably feel the same way about you too. It just works.
They’ve got your back
No matter what it is that you’re doing, your partner is your biggest fan and your strongest support. They’re always there to stand by you, regardless of the situation. Seriously, it’s bomb-dot-com.
Your partner loves you for you, exactly as you are. Silly, sad, or sappy. They appreciate your flaws, and love you more because of them. They get your weirdness, and are happy to immerse themselves in your joyful chaos. You’re their fave person EVER, and they wouldn’t change a thing about your quirky insanity.
A love like this is rare, and sometimes life throws lots of curveballs at you. But when you find it, man, is it worth the wait. It will be worth the wait…