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*Disclaimer: I am SO not a relationship expert. While I am lucky enough to be engaged to J, we’ve definitely had our fair share of trials and tensions along the way. But I think between our own experiences and those of my best friends and family, there are a few key factors that I’ve gathered to be sticky points in relationships. Whether you’ve been casually dating someone for a few months or you’re married for a few years, hopefully this quick checklist will reinforce the great things going on between you and yours, or get you thinking about what you’ll want to prioritize in the future!
Your relationship might be fit to last if…
- You can’t go a day – heck, a half hour – without thinking about your SO. Whether you’re blissfully reminiscing on your first date or just hoping they’re having a great day at work, your subconscious is telling you there’s something majorly there if you can’t get them out of your head!
- You have a ridiculous amount of respect for one another. Respect extends beyond lust or love; it’s something more. Respect is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship. It determines how you treat one another when times get tough or when harder decisions are on the horizon. It’s the underlying key to ensuring that both parties feel loved at the deepest level and compelled to thrive in their individual endeavors, knowing that they have the respect, encouragement, and faith of the other.
- Trust is unceasing. This doesn’t – and sometimes, can’t – come immediately (or easily). But trust me here guys: sometimes, you’ve gotta be willing to take a leap of faith and believe wholeheartedly that you’ll be caught on the way down. Grant it, sometimes, people hurt us. Sometimes people don’t earn our trust because they don’t show us respect (remember numero dos?) and they bring us hurt. But once you’re dating someone more seriously and have the hard conversations and know each other through and through, it can be deadly to let your mistrust of the past or old relationship mishaps stand in the way of fully trusting your person. The hardest part about trust sometimes? Making it real. Having no doubt. Letting no thoughts of uncertainty enter your mind. Just. Believing. But if we can believe in our love and our person the way 4-year-old us believed in Santa Claus, that’s pretty magical.
- You prioritize both of your happiness levels, but at the end of the day, you put them first. Selflessness is one of the most pure, beautiful forms of love, I think. Being willing to put your own problems aside for a second to ensure that your person is content and thriving. The key? If your relationship is positioned to last, they’ll be doing the same, so you’ll always BOTH be taken care of.
- They’re the first person you want to talk to when something happens in your life. Whether you got a raise, passed an important test, tripped over the curb spilling coffee down the front of you or just felt on top of your you-know-what, your first instinct is to pick up your phone and call the name with heart and smiley emojis all next to it. You both want to share the best – and sometimes, the worst – events of your own lives with each other. This could be setting you up well to share your life with each other, as in put a ring on it, shack up and move up to wifey status.
- You’re complementary of each other (and complimentary). You know each other’s love language and speak it fluently, and you round each other out. You just go together, like a perfect balancing act, and through it all, you’re dolling out the genuine compliments about how friggin’ cute you think they are or how special they are in this big, crazy world. You each take the time to balance each other out while ensuring you’re feeling high on life.
- You share things. You share beliefs, values, morals, music, loves, dislikes, thoughts, ideas, bottles of wine and the pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
- Beyond being romantic, you’re goofy. You’re silly. You’re serious and contemplative. You are your full self and best self with one another, because at the end of the day, you are each other’s best friend. You are setting yourself up for success if you are unabashedly and unapologetically yourself.
I think this could turn into a book if I don’t curb it quickly, so I’ll leave it at that and open the floor to your thoughts.
But before that, just know that if you haven’t been in a relationship for a long time now or just aren’t at these points with your current person, it’s ok – don’t panic! Every relationship is different and moves at different paces, and that’s perfectly acceptable, normal, and good. Just keep staying true to yourself through it all!