Relationships can be windy roads full of challenges. You will be hard tested to find a couple who do not experience turmoil, and this can be a part of knowing someone so deeply. The depth of a relationship can be challenging, but when everything is right we know it is worth it. It is worth it because our lover brings us joy, rapture, and growth, and because they compliment our being. A relationship between two humans is very complex and unique, and so not something to be objectified. Each couple has their own way of being, and their own way of complimenting each other, even if this looks absurd to outsiders. Having said that there are some sure signs you’re in the right relationship:
- The Time You Spend Together is Valuable.
In a modern society, where relationships can occur miles apart, across entire continents even, aswell as in close proximity, the amount of time spent with a significant other can vary greatly. What is really important is that the time spent together is valuable, that it means something to you. Whether it is meal times at home in the evenings, weekends back together, or conversations online, if the time is enjoyed and looked forward to, it it probably a sign you’re in the right relationship.
- You Listen to Each Other.
“Each” and “other” are the key words here. Communication is a two way process which involves both input and output. You have to be able to listen to your partner, and they must be able to listen to you. Some people communicate through words, others through feelings, images, touch. Learning to read each other is part of getting closer. When you feel you can talk, and listen to your partner, it is a sign the dynamic is balanced. This is especially important when you feel you need to talk about something which is bothering you, or which you need emotional support for.
- You Can Work Through Problems Together.
Problems always arise. To think otherwise is to live in a dream world of unrealistic expectations. In our own individual lives problems arise, so of course they arise when one gets close to another. As we find out more about our partners we come to know all sides of them, and this can conflict with our initial expectations and image. They will have to go through the same process. Friction begins to arise and the couple must come to accept each other’s differences. It is at this make-or-break point, after the “honey-moon” period, when you will know whether the relationship is right. If you can work through problems and come out stronger, you are on a long-lasting road.
- You Respect Each Other’s Individuality and Boundaries.
Everyone is different. And why would you want a partner that is the same as you anyway, is that not a little ego-centric? When we come to accept each other’s differences then we respect the individuality of the other, as well as being a “couple.” We allow each other freedom, instead of constraining each other. When we are in a strong relationship we admire the individuality of the other, and they admire traits in us. We may still have common interests, but it makes us happy to see the other do what they love, and they equally support us in our life. Our boundaries are a big part of our individuality; they define our edges. A good relationship pushes those boundaries, but never aggressively. Boundaries can include the amount of space that you need away from each other, which long-term couples come to realize the importance of sooner or later.
- You Learn and Grow Together.
A really good relationship always gives everyone involved something to learn, and something to teach. If we are open with each other, and allow for each other’s individuality, then we can always share with our partner. We can learn about ourselves and the other, about the relationship, and about each other’s interests. The relationship itself becomes dynamic, and you do not expect each other to remain in a static state. You want the other to change, to grow, and to express. You feel your partner allows this space for freedom too.
- You Can Be With Each Other in Any Mood.
When you first begin dating someone you might only want to show them your most energetic and positive sides. They might do the same. You show each other a sort of projected self-image in modern dating. Over time you cannot pretend to be that enchanting and amazing all the time. In a good relationship you can be comfortable around each other even when you are tired, grumpy, or sad. Very often our partner can elevate us from this state, or at the very least there is tolerance, and understanding.
- The Relationship is Based On Love.
Okay, so love is a very difficult emotion to pin down with words. Everyone has their own idea of what love means; trust, passion, admiration, respect, happiness, comfort, spontaneity, freedom, beauty. We could conjure up endless words, but ultimately we are talking about a feeling. When you are in love with your’ partner it makes you feel happy. There might be conflict and argument sometimes but there is always underlying joy and subliminal ecstasy. Our partner makes us smile and laugh, and touches us with meaning. They know us better than anyone and they even know the parts of us that we cannot accept in ourselves. When a relationship is based on love it is a sure sign it is right for you.
We should not expect too much of relationships. I think that is a trap that many people fall for. We want our partner to fulfill every element of our existence, as if they are suddenly responsible for our happiness. We are responsible for our own happiness but our relationship should help to nurture it, and should nurture it in the other. Long-term relationships grow over time. They need reseeding and watering, pruning and trimming. The right relationship, and one that will last, understands this, and becomes a continuous dynamic journey; a journey of love.