Not over-analyzing hiccups in your relationship is a struggle. Will that fight about the dishwasher be your downfall? Should you end things because they forgot your birthday? Instead of fixating on conflicts with your significant other, consider the mistakes your partner makes in year one that could actually indicate that you two are right for each other after all.
Hear me out. You might imagine the first year of a relationship as the "honeymoon phase," but 365 days is a long time. I'd be shocked if a single conflict didn't arise in that time period between you and your partner. As Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, a relationship and wellness coach, explains to Romper via email, "It is completely normal and natural for two people not to see eye to eye on everything." But she continued to say that "the most important thing is to fight fair so that there is not too much emotional messiness to clean up after" an argument, meaning you shouldn't just scream at your partner for no reason. Addressing issues with effective communication is the key. Indeed, a study conducted by the Guardian found that "couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship," demonstrating the importance of effective communication about difficult topics in romantic relationships.
Plus, you and your partner are still getting used to one another during your first trip around the sun, so there are bound to be some imperfect moments. Some mistakes are better than others, though, so read on for the slip-ups that indicate your partner is in it for the long haul.
They Smothered You
Personal space is important for everyone, but a partner who is really your soulmate might have forgotten about your need for alone time early in your relationship because they wanted to be around you so much. The desire to be together constantly is a natural when you're initially in love, and the excessive contact will probably fade with time. It's important to establish boundaries with your partner, but don't necessarily write them off if they texted you a bit too often during your first year together.
They Got A Little Jealous (Emphasis On Little)
Everything is okay in moderation, including jealousy. While a partner who is overly possessive can be a red flag, "Jealousy is a perfectly natural human emotion. We tend to demonize it or see it as embarrassing," Melamed explains. The emotion usually stems from a fear you could lose your partner, which could indicate your partner values your relationship when you're first together. But as Suzanne Degges-White, PhD wrote for Psychology Today, the constant reassurance a jealous partner requires can "become tiresome and draining for the object of the jealous feelings pretty quickly," and they can also feel "hemmed in and controlled." Address it with your partner if you're starting to feel boxed in by the relationship.
Your partner might have overwhelmed you in the early days of your relationship by telling you everything about themselves. Hearing their every thought could have been especially hard to get used to if you're a more private person. But as Jessica Meiman tells Romper, "long-term, healthy relationships foster intimacy, which invites and welcomes often uncomfortable conversations in order to work and talk through issues, and come out, together, on the other side." So your partner's willingness to be open with you, even if it was intense at the beginning, could indicate you'll be able to make your love last.
They Stopped Dressing Up For You
Some people show their affection through effort into their physical appearance, but others don't think how they look indicates anything about their feelings. You may have thought your partner stopped caring about you when they showed up in sweats instead of something dressier to take you out three weeks in a row, but that might just be their way of saying they feel comfortable around you. Quick caveat: wearing sweatpants and not taking care of yourself are very different, though. As psychologist Piper Grant, Psy.D, MPH tells Bustle, "personal grooming is incredibly important not only for personal wellbeing, but also for the comfort of your significant other." Make sure you can spot the difference between a partner who feels like they can be themselves around you and one who doesn't care for themselves.
They Let Sex Fall To The Wayside
You might be wary if the hot and heavy phase of your relationship ended quickly, but it doesn't have to mean anything about you as a couple if your partner doesn't initiate sex much after the first few months. As Melamed explains, "Frequency of sex and the expectations are best determined by the couple," so as long as you're happy with your sex life, you don't have to worry. She adds that "maintaining the erotic spark is also a collaborative process," which is why open communication about sex (and everything else) is so important.
They Were Weird Around Your Friends
Fantasizing about your pals and your significant other immediately hitting it off is normal, but you shouldn't be alarmed if it takes them a little while to get used to each other or if your partner doesn't make the best first impression. Social anxiety could explain why your partner make a faux pas at an initial meeting with your loved ones according to Melamed, or they could be wary of how much your friends know about them. Make sure you're being open with your partner about how open you are with your friends to try to ease that transition.
They Were Brutally Honest
Your partner telling you an outfit that you're wearing isn't flattering might have led to a blowup in the moment, but their candor might mean they're trying to build trust in your relationship. As Barton Goldsmith, PhD wrote for Psychology Today, "knowing you can implicitly trust your mate allows you to be your best self," and honesty is a huge part of that. But there's a big difference between an honest partner and one who puts you down.
Bottom line, no one can be perfect all the time, even if they are perfect for you. But the one will make mistakes that you can forgive, and you'll never doubt their trust. It's up to you to decide if their mistakes are dealbreakers or not.