People say that any and all relationships require work and can be a bit of a balancing act. Matters of equality and trust make for a great foundation, but it's always nice to know that your significant other cares about you just as much as you care about them. In fact, there are plenty of signs your partner supports you and always will. After all, everyone deserves to feel validated, respected, and encouraged by their partner.
But every once and a while, the green-eyed monster can rear its ugly head and cause you to second guess the status of your relationship. With things like super happy couples filling up your news feed and endless tweets about #relationshipgoals, it's no surprise you might find yourself wondering from time to time if the support train goes both ways between you and your SO.
Thankfully, both experience and input from experts have found that there are many solid indicators that can show you just how invested your partner truly is and if they're in it for the long haul, too. There's nothing wrong with wanting some reassurance, so check out some of these top signs that your partner supports you and always will.
1. You Can Talk Openly
A recent study published in Communication Research found that conversation is key when it comes to determining if your partner is supportive or note. The research showed that, "partners engaged in either neutral listening or supportive communication were associated with greater emotional improvement." So if your SO is just as content to listen to you whether you're venting or rejoicing, you know they're going to support you rain or shine.
2. You Don't Hold Back
In talking to my friends who are in healthy, long-term relationships, one of the main points they all mention is that they don't have to hide their successes. In fact, that was a common reason for previous relationships coming to an end. So if you can share your accomplishments and successes without fear of your partner resenting you, then they are definitely on your support team.
3. They Bring Out Your Best
Do you ever have those moments when you truly feel like you are a better person solely for having your partner in your life? It turns out there's a scientific reason for that. According to Scientific American, research has shown, "this occurs when the person is forgiving of their partner’s weaknesses and tends to focus more on the strengths that their partner values." The fact that your partner would go to such great lengths to bring out your best shows just how much they truly care.
4. They're Like Coaches
Just like a coach at a ball game or a hype man on stage, a supportive partner cares about getting you excited. Even better, their encouragement is contagious and you end up getting just as amped as they are. Dr. Joel Wong shared his research with The American Psychological Association, "the confidence expressed by significant others was more important than their own mastery experiences in building self-efficacy and self-confidence."
5. They Don't Bail
This might seem obvious, but it's still important nonetheless. Whether things are rough financially, emotionally, or otherwise, if your partner continues to stick it out with you and focuses on finding healthy ways to improve the situation, you can bet they are the definition of supportive.
6. They Don't Patronize
When things head south or get boring, it can be easy to want to blame someone else or take your frustrations out on them. But supportive partners don't patronize; they focus on improvement instead. "Their first response to an uninteresting situation is to try to make it more meaningful by using their own resources," Dr. Randi Gunther, a clinical psychologist, told Psychology Today. "They eagerly look for any way to make connections and won't patronize."
7. They're Considerate—Even When They're Upset
Having a supportive partner doesn't mean you never argue; it just means that your issues are handled in a constructive way. Dr. John Gottman told Business Insider that, "in really good relationships, people are very gentle with the way they come on about a conflict." He went on to tell them, "they don't bare their fangs and leap in there; they're very considerate."
8. You Can Compromise
Differences in opinion are bound to come up in any relationship. It's how you and your partner are able to keep things fair that determines how supportive you both are. According to the counseling services at Campbell University, a supportive partner knows your feelings are just as valid as theirs, "you don’t have to agree in order to respect your partner and to understand differences in opinion."
9. You Can Be Independent
A misconception about supportive partners is that they are somehow clingy or in permanent cheer mode. Yet I've found that the best and most healthy way two people can be in a relationship is when each person has the space and freedom to pursue their own activities and maintains a strong sense of independence. So if you and your SO are chill with each person doing their own thing, they're definitely supportive.