I met my husband almost 12 years ago in the summer of 2005.
I was 17 years old and had very strong opinions about falling in love young. It wasn’t for me. Oh, no. I was going to be single and “find myself” and have an apartment with friends. I was going to move to the city and have my heart broken and break hearts. Love? What was the rush!? Why did everyone want to fall in love so badly?
And then…I met Michael.
Now, mind you, I’m not about to tell you a love-at-first-sight story here. Even my husband knows that’s not how it was. He teases me to this day because I told him I didn’t know if I really liked him a lot right off the bat. Remember that I told you I wasn’t exactly looking for love at the time. But, that all changes pretty quickly once I got to know him. 10 months later, we moved in together a few weeks after I graduated high school.
In our 12 years together, Michael and I have gone through a lot. We’ve gone from high school to college to career. We’ve grown up in front of each other’s eye and come into our own together. Sometimes it feels like we aren’t even the same people we were back when we first started dating. Every year our relationship has been able to grow and get better and better. Every year it’s hard to believe you can love someone more…and then you do. Michael is my husband, but even more than that, he’s my best friend. In every cliche sense of the phrase, he is “the one,” for me.
Today I’m going to break down some of the ways to know if someone might be “the one.” This isn’t meant to be any kind of perfect algorithm. Everyone is different and no relationship is the same. These are just some notes I think I’d consider if I were talking to my best friend telling them what I’d want them to have in their perfect person.
You laugh together
This seems so trite… but spending forever with a person is a really long time. If you don’t have fun together then that’s going to make it a lot harder. Find someone who makes you laugh and you have a good time being with no matter what. Michael and I can have a blast whether we’re spending the night out in NYC or just going grocery shopping together.
He fits into the life you have now and the life you want to have in the future
I think many people are skewed slightly in what they look for in a partner because they are looking for someone who fits them perfectly right now. The fact of the matter is, you’re going to grow and change over time. You want to find someone who matches you now and fits where you want to be in the future as well.
When Michael and I were early in our relationship it was so easy for me to choose to be with him over the chance to live the single life because I knew he was what I wanted for my lifetime. Look for someone who you can be with now, who you can have a family with (if you want to have a family), and who you will still want to be with once the kids have grown and moved away.
He allows you to grow
Michael has always encouraged me to grow as a person. He is just as invested in my goals and aspirations as I am and helps me work to achieve them. You want to find someone who encourages you to follow your dreams and challenges you to be a better person.
Find someone who is just invested in your goals and dreams as you are. Click To Tweet
You work together to resolve arguments
Every relationship is going to have its arguments – it’s inevitable. Once you’ve been with someone for awhile, the two of you will quickly learn the things that can lead to these arguments. If you’ve found someone who is a good match for you, instead of creating more drama around each argument you’ll both actively work to resolve your arguments. It means taking the time to try to understand where the person is coming from and being able to tell them what is actually making you upset (as opposed to what might have started the argument in the first place).
You’re not trying to change one another
While people will grow and better themselves over time, you can’t ever change a person. If you’re in a relationship thinking you’re going to change something about someone and then they’ll be perfect…you might want to re-evaluate. You need to be able to love someone enough that you can even accept the flaws and things that might drive you crazy about that person. While you can try to help your significant other break bad habits, grow as a person, or develop new skills…you can’t ever be in it thinking you’re going to change who they are. You both need to accept one another for who you are now and who you’re working on growing to be.
You both understand that you have to work at it
Anyone who thinks that the perfect relationship is easy is fooling themselves. A good relationship takes work and time. Like I mentioned above, some of it requires being able to put yourself in the right frame of mind to compromise or work together to solve an argument. Other times it just means actively working towards growing the relationship you want to have. It means making time for “date nights,” or going out of your way to do something nice for them just because. It means being able to put their feelings ahead of your own sometimes, and knowing they’ll do the same for you.
Anyone who thinks that the perfect relationship is easy is fooling themselves. A good relationship takes work and time. Click To Tweet
You don’t compare your relationships to others
If there is anything I’ve learned about relationships it’s that no two are the same. Some couples spend every minute together and others like to have their own time apart. Some are very affectionate and some are not at all. At first, you assume every good relationship should be the same…but it’s just not the way it is. People are all different, it’s why we all spend so much time trying to find that perfect person for us. It’s crazy to think every successful relationship runs the same way! Don’t compare your relationship style to those of your friends and families. While it’s obviously OK to aspire to good qualities in the relationships around you, remember your relationship is unique to the two of you, and that’s OK.
It's crazy to think every successful relationship runs the same way! Don't compare your relationship style to others. Click To Tweet