You know you are dating the right person if you can truly be yourself around them, they are happy when you’re happy and you share the same core values. You need to be able to truly be yourself around them and neither of you needs to be trying to change each other. There must be mutual trust and they need to be able to fit into your life by getting along with family and friends, as well as supporting your interests. Your partner should listen to you, you should be able to say what is on your mind and they should try to make you feel better when you feel sad. They should also have boundaries which you respect, and it should be easy to meet in the middle and find a compromise that you are both happy with. You should not still be on the lookout!
Dating is a complicated minefield. Even when you do find someone, it is hard to know if they are the right person for you. On paper they might seem perfect and tick all the boxes you ever wanted. But if you do not feel in your gut that they are ‘the one’ for you then aren’t you just settling? Since we only get one shot at this game of life, I believe no one should ever sell themselves short and settle for second best. In the long run, you will always come across someone you like more and then your relationship will be doomed.
To help you decide if your partner is the right one for you, here are 15 questions to ask yourself:
- Are you still on the lookout?
- Do you want to change them, or do they want to change you?
- Can you truly be yourself?
- Can you say what is on your mind?
- Do you have similar moral values and attitudes?
- Are they happy when you’re happy?
- Do they lift you up and make you feel good?
- Do your friends and family like them?
- Do you share interests, and do they support yours?
- Do they make you feel better when you’re upset?
- Do they have boundaries?
- Do you trust them?
- Do they listen to you?
- Can you find a compromise that you’re both happy with?
- Do they do little kind things for you?
Are you still on the lookout?
When you are out with them in a bar, are you proud to be seen with them? Or are you not wanting other people to see you together and are you still looking round to see who else is available? If you are then the person you are dating is definitely not ‘the one’ for you.
Do you want to change them, or do they want to change you?
Most of the time, nobody is changing! And if they do it needs to be because they want to themselves and not because you want them to do it. If you’re with a guy and you think ‘I like him but I wish he would get in better shape’ or he wants you to start climbing mountains when you hate the outdoors, then maybe you two just aren’t right for each other!
I was once in a long-term relationship with someone who had a child and did not want anymore. I knew I wanted children in the future, and I thought he would change his mind in time. Three and a half years later I realised that he would never change his mind and I had completely wasted my time.
Can you truly be yourself?
You don’t feel held back in any capacity. You can be the geek that still likes Star Wars or likes to collect stamps! You also don’t feel held back in a professional capacity. Your partner should be encouraging and celebrating your success and should not feel inadequate or as though they are being left behind. Find someone who is genuinely happy with their own life, then they will be authentically happy for you.
Can you say what is on your mind?
If something is on your mind you should feel as though you can say it without being judged by your partner. You should be able to expose every part of your personality and feel comfortable in doing so.
Do you have similar moral values and attitudes?
Whilst it is fine to have different interests and hobbies, if you are not on the same page with regards to your core values then you will hit some very stony ground. One of the main things I have in common with my husband is that we totally agree on what behaviours are admirable, what is rude, and what is completely unacceptable. I worked this out quickly with him, which helped me to avoid the dating disasters I have had in the past! I discovered he hated liars, game playing, and he is the most loyal person I have ever met. I knew this would make him good boyfriend material. It is important that you share these values because you are a team, and you need to make sure you are on the same page moving forwards with your relationship.
Are they happy when you’re happy?
When you genuinely place your partners happiness either on a par or above your own it is a good foundation for a long-lasting relationship. Compromise and prioritising are essential qualities for a contented relationship and things will run much smoother than when one person just pursues their own interests and happiness. My husband always says, ‘happy wife, happy life!’
Do they lift you up and make you feel good?
The right person for you will reassure you, pay you compliments and tell you how great you are! They will empower you to be your most self-assured and confident. They will also compliment your appearance and make you feel fabulous. If they question you or make negative remarks that aren’t constructive then get rid and find someone who makes you feel wonderful!
Do your friends and family like them?
You need to be in a relationship with someone who gets along with the other important people in your life, otherwise you will exist as a twosome and never be able to socialise with family and friends. My dad absolutely loves my husband, he was the first boyfriend I ever had that he liked so it is heart-warming that they get along so well.
Do you share interests, and do they support yours?
It is beneficial to have some mutual interests that you share so that you can spend quality time together doing something that you both really enjoy. My husband and I’s main things that we have in common is working out and cooking and eating nice food! We don’t have loads in common to be honest but that’s ok because it gives us plenty to talk about. I think it is more important that you support one another rather than have the same interests. My husband’s main passion is Liverpool football club and I certainly didn’t support them when I met him; but it was in the marriage vows apparently so now I must! I am more than happy to support him with this and he sometimes will even go abroad to watch them and leave me with the kids but I’m fine with it, I knew when I met him that it was his ‘thing’ and besides it makes him so happy which is great. I love netball and he has always supported me continuing to train and play.
Do they make you feel better when you’re upset?
You want to be with someone who is in tune with your feelings and can tell when you are sad and upset. When we feel emotional, we need a compassionate partner who will offer us a chat and a hug. The physical touch of your partner and a listening ear when we feel sad can make all the difference to how we feel.
It always makes me feel so much better when I share my problems with my husband; sometimes he just tells me I am overthinking it or being too emotional (quite a lot at the moment because I am pregnant and hormonal). A problem shared is a problem halved and I always feel like a weight has been lifted by discussing things with him.
How someone behaves when you are feeling down is a good indication of the type of person that they are. Clear signs that the person that you’re dating is not right for you is if they criticise you for feeling sad and tell you that you’re completely overreacting in an unempathetic manner without trying to make you feel better. No matter what the issue is the fact remains that you feel sad about it so your partner should want to make you feel better. It speaks volumes about how much they like you too.
Do they have boundaries?
No one wants to date a push over because it screams no self-respect, and it is not attractive. When people have boundaries in the way they expect to be treated and will not tolerate bad behaviour it shows that they have dignity, self-esteem, and that they love and care for themselves as everyone should. Having boundaries and being able to communicate when you aren’t happy stops a build-up of resentment over time. It also enables healthy conflict whereby you can both learn about the other person and adapt in your ways, so you don’t upset the other. A healthy relationship is not built on change, but compromise is always needed to make it run as smoothly as possible.
An important boundary that I have in my relationship is that my husband never checks my phone, and I would never check his either. It is an invasion of privacy and there should be mutual trust.
Do you trust them?
Trust is such a huge part of a relationship. If you don’t feel like the one, you’re dating is being honest with you or you discover them telling lies early on, this does not bode well for the future. It will lead to feelings of insecurity and self-doubt too which is a lot of negativity that nobody needs in their life. If there is no trust there is no future, fact!
Do they listen to you?
A good partner needs to show genuine interest in your life and wants to hear how your day has gone. They listen attentively and remember what you have told them because they care. On the other hand, if they don’t pay much attention to what you have to say, don’t ask you how you are or how your day was, then these are clear signs that this person is not right for you.
Can you find a compromise that you’re both happy with?
When you are in a relationship there will always be things that you do not agree on, which is totally normal. What is an indicator on how well suited you are is how easy it is to meet in the middle and find a solution that you’re both happy with? If its quite an easy negotiation, then you know you’re on to a good thing.
Alternatively, if its world war three to fight for a compromise that you are happy with, this may be an indication of how all of your negotiations will go and do you really want to be in a relationship that is this difficult to navigate through? Probably not.
Do they do little kind things for you?
You don’t have to spend a lot of money or make grand gestures to be romantic. They say it’s the small things that matter the most! Like a cup of tea in bed, giving you the toast that isn’t quite as burnt, or sharing their favourite chocolate bar with you. If the one you are dating does small but meaningful gestures, it’s a sign that they deeply care for you.
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