It’s common to feel doubt at the beginning of a relationship. You ask yourself if you are doing the right thing? Is this person who you need at this time? Are they too clingy or overbearing? Does he or she share your values? Do they have your best interests at heart? When doubt creeps in, your questions and second guessing are endless. What you need is a guide to point to the signs your partner is right for you.
Perhaps you have been in so many toxic relationships that you simply don’t recognize when a partner is right for you – or wrong, for that matter. And of course, determining if you are in a healthy relationship isn’t a question of ticking boxes. Yet, sometimes, we need a little external validation that we’re in the right track. That we aren’t overlooking something really obvious.
1. You Share Core Values
Core values such as fairness, kindness, ambition, respect and responsibility sound kind of dull, but it is really important that you and your lover share at least some core values. For example if you believe that showing you common respect is important, you are not going to feel comfortable if she makes fun of you constantly, even if she says she’s just playing.
You know when your partner shares similar core values with you. You feel instinctively that you are on the same wavelength. If there’s anything they do, or say which goes against your values, you will feel discomfort. Take that as a red flag.
2. You Trust Your Partner
If you feel distrust that your lover is lying, or keeping secrets, then again, that’s another red flag warning that he isn’t right for you. However, if you can tell him anything, discuss anything, share your feelings and concerns easily, it’s a definite sign he is right for you.
3. Honesty is Paramount
Along with trust, honesty is one of the foundations of a good relationship. A partner who lies easily to you is not to be trusted. If he or she can be honest with you, even when the truth is difficult is always worth a second chance.
4. You Give Each Other Space
Every individual needs their own space and time apart. If your partner insists that you do absolutely everything together, it’s a sign they might be needy. If you’re okay with this, then fine. But if you find yourself making excuses or attempting to justify why you need to be apart from them, it’s a sign all is not well. A partner who is happy to see you as an individual with a life of your own is a well-balanced person.
5. Disagreements Are Dealt With Sensibly
Every couple has occasional disagreements and fights. It would be unreal if you didn’t. If you find yourself having to go along with their viewpoint all the time, you could be caught up in an unhealthy relationship. Your perspective is as valid as theirs. A healthy relationship incorporates different viewpoints and works accordingly. Constant fighting, however, is a sign that you are struggling for power in the relationship. Consider if this is how you want it to be.
6. Encouragement and Kindness is Essential
Relationships work when each partner is encouraging of the other. Neither makes the other one feel less-than. Neither tries to undermine the other’s achievements. There is no jealousy when one seems to do better than the other. Instead, you help each other get to where you want to be. If one partner is studying, then the other must allow them to get on with it, and not insist on a date. If your lover is understanding and encouraging of your long-term goals, this is a good sign that they are right for you.
7. Discussion is Part of Your Relationship
They don’t make assumptions about the relationship; they are willing to discuss each stage of it. So, for example, if you are thinking of moving in together, your partner doesn’t just turn up on your doorstep with a trunk full of their possessions. You both talk about it first. While surprises are nice, there are some things (and what they are depends on the dynamics of the individual relationship) which must always be discussed first. It’s the grown-up thing to do.
8. Honoring Other Relationships
This is a biggie. Your new partner must honor your existing relationships with your friends and family. You may be happy to bring them into the family fold, or you might prefer to keep your personal relationship separate from family and friends until you are ready to integrate them. If your partner tries to prevent you seeing your friends, it’s a sign of problems to come. It may also indicate neediness in that they believe they should be enough for you. In a healthy relationship, other people matter, and your lover won’t try to manipulate you away from your family.
9. They Don’t Diss Their Ex
This is a tricky one. Often previous relationships have broken down because of an ex’s bad behavior and, of course, this will sometimes come up in conversation. However, if your current partner speaks abusively about their ex, it’s a warning sign. Firstly, they’re probably exaggerating, and secondly, they will talk about you in the same way if and when your relationship ends. Listen carefully, and if they give their ex credit where it’s due, that’s a sign they are well-balanced and reasonable. On the other hand, if they frequently tell you how wonderful their ex was, that’s also a warning sign.
10. No Nagging, Please
Okay, there might be a little bit of nagging. However, constant nit-picking is death to any relationship. It's as if all the love is stored in a tank, but endless nagging causes it to seep away like a dripping tap. If your partner nags you over the smallest things, know they are unlikely to stop. Having said that, it doesn’t mean either partner should be a doormat, running around picking up after the other one without complaint. Use your negotiating skills to work this one out. A partner who cares, will make the effort.
11. Be Friends
If you can call your lover your best friend, then that is one big sign your partner is right for you.
12. They Love You and You Love Them
After all is said and done, the single sign your partner is right for you is that they love you and you love them back. And if they truly love you, all the foregoing falls into place naturally.