Wouldn't it be nice if life played out like a movie? You could predict every twist and prepare accordingly. You'd also have an unrivaled sense of confidence, knowing that you were in exactly the right role. In reality, life rarely goes according to plan and a healthy dose of hesitancy keeps everyone on a fairly level playing field. But, if there were certain signs you're with the person you should be married to, wouldn't that ease your worries just a bit? Life may not follow a script, but at least there are ways to get hints that you're on the right path, with the right partner.
Whether you've already made your significant other your spouse and you're wondering if that was the right move or you're curious if you should continue to invest time in someone you hope will become your marital partner, there are actually quite a few clues that can point you in the right direction. It is helpful to note, however, that you should always listen to and trust your gut since you know yourself better than anyone else. With that said, it's perfectly normal to have moments of doubt and search for solid evidence. So if you're pondering your choice in partner, check out these signs that you're with the person to whom you should be married.
1. You Feel Heard
Small talk may seem, well, small. But communicating with your partner about little and big things is vital to your relationship. As marriage therapist Dr. Tina Tessina told The Huffington Post, you know you're with the right person if you have a partner, "who remembers what you say and builds on it later, and responds with empathy, sincerity, and caring." After all, if you're in this for the long haul, being able to carry a conversation is definitely a strong suit.
2. You Overcome Things Together
Whether it's the loss of a loved one, a health scare, or a financial setback, a strong marriage has to withstand the hard times to survive. Relationship expert Erica Curtis told Mic that when assessing your partnership, "consider the darker side of life and how you imagine the two of you might fair through it together." Chances are, if you can make it through the lows, then you'll soar during the highs.
3. You Aren't Embarassed
I'm not suggesting that you and your partner do away with dignity, but I strongly believe my husband and I have stayed together this long because we can be real with each other. Whether that means not having to hold it in after chili night or waking up far from flawless, knowing that your partner won't judge you for being you is solid marriage material.
4. You're Still Individuals
You know how some people say owners begin to look like their pets after a while? The same could be said for couples who only function as one unit. As psychiatrist Dr. Abigail Brenner told Psychology Today, "marriage may be a large piece of the whole pie that identifies who you are, but, you’re still who you are as an individual." If you and your partner are able to grow both together and as individuals, that's a strong indicator you're with the right person.
5. They Don't Bail
If every argument ends with your partner bailing, they might not be the one you should be married to. Relationship expert Dr. Jenn Berman told Women's Health, "it’s not that you don’t have conflict, it’s that he doesn’t run away when you do." Everyone gets into fights from time to time, and that's completely normal. But working through these tough moments together shows you're in a mature, healthy relationship.
6. They Want You To Win
Some of the most successful relationships I've seen are ones where the partners genuinely want each other to succeed. As it turns out, science backs my observation up. In a study published by Washington University in St. Louis, researchers found that most successful people, "emulate the good habits of their conscientious spouses, bringing traits such as diligence and reliability to their workplace challenges." Building each other up is truly is a win-win for any marriage or partnership.
7. You Trust Each Other
This may seem obvious, but it's still worth noting that trust plays a huge role in life. As relationship expert Dr. John Gottman told Inc., "trust is essential to healthy relationships." Whether you've made the commitment or are considering marriage, a foundation of mutual trust is a major sign that you've found "the one."
8. They're Emotionally Intelligent
Flirting and teasing can be fun in the beginning, but you'll need someone who can respond to your needs maturely if you hope the relationship will last. As Tessina told The Huffington Post, a significant other who, "is responsible, self-regulating, [and] emotionally responsive, is capable of being a supportive, fully participating partner." If the weight of processing emotional issues is equally balanced, you know you're with the person you should marry.
9. They Don't Bug You
It may sound silly, but if your partner's personality quirks or funny habits are endearing (not annoying), that's totally a good thing. According to a recent study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that loving and accepting your partner's idiosyncrasies was a key factor in couples who had successful, long-term relationships. But if leaving the toilet seat up still gets on your nerves, that's OK, too.