In movies, star-crossed lovers spot each other from across a crowded room and fall madly and unendingly in love. They meet and instantly know they are right for each other. Hollywood, it seems, is a big fan of the whole ‘love at first sight’ idea.
In reality, however, things aren’t always that simple. There are definitely couples out there who claim to have had similar, love-strikes-like-lightning kind of moments, of course. But the vast majority of us will have to make do with getting to know someone slowly, dating for a while, and eventually having to consider where the relationship is going and maybe even have some awkward conversations in order to figure that out.
So, how do you know if someone is right for you?
They Make You Confident
When you’re surrounded by people who really love you, be they friends, family, or partners, confidence often comes much more easily than it otherwise would. Supportive words and genuine belief in you from your partner can make all the difference as you take on the challenges of life.
In the same way as people often let loose with friends, allowing themselves to enjoy a night out more or give a sport their all, so too should a good partner give you the confidence to take positive steps in your personal and professional lives, even if they might be scary.
Partners who don’t offer you that kind of support or, even worse, actively attack your confidence on a regular basis, are almost certainly not right for you. A lack of supportiveness can be a sign of less-than-ideal amounts of interest and commitment in the relationship. Constant berating and nit-picking, reducing someone’s confidence and making them feel small, is indicative of an abusive relationship.
Love and support should always go hand in hand. If the person you’re dating doesn’t support you and give you the confidence to live life to the fullest, then that might well be a sign that the love is lacking in the relationship too.
You Trust Them
Trust and communication are absolutely vital to making a relationship work. Without those key components, the foundations for a long-term relationship simply cannot be built strong enough. As a result, trust in the earlier stages of dating is a great indicator of what might be coming and if the person you are with is the right one for you.
Trusting your partner is about more than believing they won’t cheat on your or run away with all your money. Big, life-changing, heart-breaking events like that are part of the trust package, but there’s much more besides.
Day-to-day trust in you partner is what really makes a relationship right for you. You need to be confident and comfortable that your partner will support you when you need it, pull their weight in whatever needs doing, and generally act with your best interests, and the interests of the relationship, in mind.
More than that, you also have to be able to trust each other enough to talk, openly and regularly, about everything in your lives, especially if it pertains to the relationship or each other. Honesty and trust are fundamental to all kinds of relationships, and romantic entanglements and dating are no different.
If you find yourself feeling nervous when your partner goes out because you think they might cheat, or even if you just don’t feel comfortable opening up to them about your concerns and struggles, then that might be a pretty good sign that they just aren’t the right person for you to be dating.
You’re Not Embarrassed By Them, Nor Them By You
Introducing a partner to friends and family is a great litmus test for any relationship. Over years of knowing people, we become very good at predicting how they will get on with people or react to certain kinds of behaviours. Most of us know, for example, whether our parents will like our partner even before we’ve introduced them, don’t we?
When the time comes to start making these all-important introductions, take note of how you feel. If the idea of presenting your partner to your loved ones makes you overly nervous or even embarrassed, that could be a sign that things may not be heading for the long-term.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, though. There are many reasons why someone might feel nervous or embarrassed when making these kinds of introductions. However, there is a key and important difference between being embarrassed by a situation and embarrassed by a person. Finding the whole ceremony of meeting the parents a bit uncomfortable is understandable. Being embarrassed by your partner because you know they will behave inappropriately or rudely is quite another matter.
They Make You Happy
In the end, the right person for you will be the one that makes you happy. There are an infinite number of ways in which relationships can differ from each other, but the underlying factor in successful, long-term partnerships should always be the same – Happiness.
It’s natural to wonder about how a relationship is working or if your current partner is right for you. Considerations like that are how problems in a relationship can be solved or, if that’s not possible, how negative relationships come to an end. However, if you find yourself asking this question over and over again, then that in itself might be a sign of how things are going.
In the end, the only thing you have to ask yourself is this – Am I happy with this person?
And that is a question only you can answer.