1. She tells it like it is. If you’re doing something wrong and you know it, she’ll be the first to tell you about it. She’s forthright about it, but not because she wants to be mean. She tells it like it is because she knows she has to, because she thinks it’s right, because she wants you to succeed, and because she knows that’s what needs to happen for the relationship to work.
2. She’s resourceful. She’s not afraid. She could get you out of a third-world prison. When faced with difficulty, she doesn’t back down. Instead, she’s resourceful — she works with what she’s got because she knows that that’s exactly what’s required.
3. She’s resilient. She wants to succeed, but she doesn’t let failure stop her from pursuing what she wants. Difficult situations don’t scare her into inaction. If she doesn’t succeed at first, she doesn’t become afraid.
4. She’s relentlessly interested. Maybe it’s a business, maybe it’s a hobby, maybe it’s a philosophy, maybe it’s a way of being. Maybe she’s relentlessly focused on maintaining your guys’ relationship. Whatever she’s interested in, you know it’s authentic: it comes from a deep place that you can’t fake. Her earnest dedication is a powerful force that can drive her — and you, sometimes — into uncharted, spectacular territory that you would have never encountered without her.
5. She knows that things can get tough, and she doesn’t withdraw when they do. Instead, she digs in, works her way through it, and comes out confident and better on the other side. This is one of the ways you know she’s the person you want on your team in a moment of crisis.
6. You can rely on her to get sh*t done. She isn’t flaky, and when she says she’ll do something for you, she’ll do it on time, better than anyone else can. She knows this, you know it, and she knows you know it. If you had a business, she’s the only person you’d trust to manage the operation. She’s the only person you know who you’d recommend for a job anywhere. No one else is as reliable as her.
7. She knows what is right and what is wrong, and she’s consistent about it. Her behavior isn’t dictated by the nearest impulse. Instead, she looks to herself for guidance. She looks within and follows what she knows to be true, even if you may not like it sometimes.
8. She doesn’t have separation anxiety. And you better not, either. She’s outgrown the need to constantly keep tabs on you, because she knows that she’s built a relationship with you that doesn’t rely on superficial crutches like that. Instead, she revels in the fact that there’s a foundation of mutual trust.
9. If she’s chosen you, you know it. You aren’t worried about her love for you. You can move on from that question. That insecurity is out of the way for you, and it enables you both to focus on building something amazing — a relationship, a life, a business, whatever — together. Whatever it might be, she establishes the necessary foundation of acceptance and love. The sky’s the limit from there.
10. She’s mindful. Understands compromise. Most of all, she’s realistic. If something bad happens, she doesn’t get caught up in denial. She accepts that it’s happened and works with it. If you’re in a disagreement with her, she knows that the best outcome is not maximum happiness for her, but maximum happiness for both of you, and that sometimes, that outcome requires compromise. In other words, she knows that the short-term gratification of winning an argument is less valuable than the long-term satisfaction that comes with mutual understanding and compromise.
11. She doesn’t allow you to be dependent on her. She doesn’t allow herself to be dependent on you. What she really needs from you is for you to be secure in yourself, and to support her when she asks for it. If anything, she needs you to be a confident enough person that doesn’t use her as a crutch. She can’t have that, because she knows it slows her down, she knows it slows you down, and she knows that that’s not what a healthy relationship looks like.
12. She maintains her appearance and dresses well, but isn’t concerned with fitting into a scene. She looks good and knows it, but doesn’t need the validation of a “look,” of fitting into some kind of fashion scene. Don’t get me wrong: she likes fashion, she enjoys playing dress up, and she wants you to like how she looks. But it’s not a key issue for her. It doesn’t concern her so much that it really dictates her behavior.
13. She gets upset for the right reasons, and you know it. She isn’t petty. If you’re in a disagreement with her, it’s because she’s defending what’s important to her — not because she’s being childish. She has a consistent stance on what she wants, and can clearly articulate any problem she might be having with you. If she’s mad at you, the reason isn’t mysterious: she’s forthright about it. She wants to work toward a solution on it.