No matter how close two people are, they are always two separate entities with their own unique qualities. The space between you and the other allows each individual to maintain their own identity and integrity. Personal growth and growth together with others comes when we learn to live and love the uniqueness of another as we would liking for ourselves.
In a healthy relationship, the right partner loves everyone, not just a few, but all of them. But before going into detail about how you know you’re with the right person, it’s important to identify the essential qualities of a good relationship.
Trust is absolute. We learn to trust our past relationships. If we’re lucky, these have been largely positive and we feel safe with those we trust. Trust implies reliability, stability and consistency. Being trustworthy implies openness and a willingness to listen. Things are as they are and there are no hidden plans or deceit.
Commitment is a promise to others to fully and intimately share our lives and ourselves. It is a promise to dedicate our full attention, time and energy. Engagement is only for those who have proven to be able to stay for the long haul and are ready, willing and able to share with us.
Communication is the healthiest way to signify that we transmit our emotions, feelings and beliefs in the most satisfactory way, with a common purpose. When we communicate freely, we feel safe to express ourselves fully in an environment that supports, accepts, and loves us; which is largely free from judgment, criticism, restraint, and anger.
So, in what ways can you translate these basic principles into behaviors that highlight these qualities and indicate that you are with the right person?
1. You can be who you are
I’m sure everyone knows relationships where one partner is dominant, seems to need more attention, and will manipulate to get what they need. When you’re with the right person, you feel comfortable being yourself. You are equal partners. While you’re still trying to be respectful, you don’t have to walk on eggshells, worry about your actions, or watch your words so they don’t offend your partner.
2. You share the same or similar values
They have the same basic principles and ideas about life and are on the same page about what they want to achieve in their life together. They spend time exploring what they both enjoy. You share similar goals and have a vision for the future.
3. You can be yourself
It’s quite different from “you can be who you are” even though they may seem the same. While you may share many things in common, you are still very different unique people and your goal is to maintain that distinct identity outside of the relationship. You may have interests outside of the relationship that you don’t share. Sure, you’ll bring who you are and all the gifts and talents you have to offer to the relationship, but there’s plenty of room for that. In other words, you respect differences and how they enhance the relationship.
4. Your relationship is a work in progress.
Things change and so do relationships. The right person understands this and is willing to work to keep the relationship satisfying. It really is the only way to face life’s challenges together. At the same time, it’s important to laugh together, even when things are really hard.
5. You trust your partner with all your heart and soul.
The right person has proven time and time again to be trustworthy, honest, principled, and fully present. She’s upfront and honest about who she is, she never makes you doubt her, and she’s not reserved. Their character speaks for itself: all you have to do is look at your partner’s relationships outside of your own to see how that person treats other people.
It can take a long time to find the right person. You may need to go through some “learning experiences” to see how it feels to be in an intimate relationship and to understand the complexities of living with another person throughout your life. It can also take time to learn more about yourself, who you are, what you need, and what you aspire to. After doing this personal development work, it will probably be much easier to identify the right person once they introduce themselves.