For some of us it can feel like we have spent forever looking for the perfect partner and waiting for the perfect relationship (neither of which exists, by the way). So once we are in a relationship, bringing with us all those expectations and preconceived notions we have – how do we know if we are in the right relationship?
Here are 3 indicators that you may be in the right relationship with the right person:
1. Praise and Appreciation. As a society, we place a lot of value on things like how much money we make, job titles, and physical appearance. As a result, it is easy to get caught up in making our self and our partner look good. Being proud of who we are with should come naturally, whatever it is they do and whoever it is they are, and without our trying to change them.
But what if your partner did not graduate from high school or really enjoys working at a job you do not like? What if your partner has put on some weight? When we are in the right relationship we are willing to accept things about them that we do not always prefer. We praise the positives about them and appreciate the person they are – not just in private, but also to family, friends, and anyone who will listen. And our partner should do the same about us.
2. No Complaining. Well, we all have some complaints about our partners – that is normal. It is how they are expressed that matters, and how often. If something is not right, we need to look at ourselves first to see what we can do to improve things before we place blame on our partner.
A complaint often means we care about an issue and want it resolved for the betterment of the person and relationship. However, we should have an open, honest discussion with our partner that is kept just between us, rather than complaining to others outside the relationship. Our goal needs to be to let our partner shine and build them up, not to bitch about them to others. We should get the same from our partner too.
3. Want the Best for Them. We should want what is best for our partners – even when it is not necessarily what we want. If taking a job in Australia is our partners next career move, and we really appreciate how much they love their work and know how much they want it, then we should not want them to miss out on that opportunity.
This is the ultimate in being the best partner we can be – sacrifice. Even if it means being temporarily separated, we do not heap on guilt or force them to do only what we want. Desiring for them to be successful, because their success is also our success as partners, is a sign of a good relationship.
When we are with the not-so-right person a lot of shortcomings in our self or partner will become evident. There can be a lack of appreciation of each other’s qualities or resentment of successes, there is more complaining and blaming than there is praising, and individual wants and needs are put first rather than the other partner’s or relationship’s.
There are no perfect relationships, and they all take work to be healthy. But when we are with the right person we want to become a better partner and our partner does too. And when both partners are willing to work at continually changing and improving themselves then you know you have got a keeper.
Author: Kurt Smith
Kurt Smith (LMFT, LPCC, AFC) is the Director at Guy Stuff Counseling (www.guystuffcounseling.com), a private counseling practice that specializes in counseling men and the women who love them.