The idea of marriage can be a daunting one: Spending the rest of your life with the same person… no matter what. Phew, that’s a big promise, especially for us girls with commitment issues. Therefore, it’s no surprise that we all get a little anxious when we ponder “is my boyfriend the right guy for me?” or “am I just wasting the best years of my life with this guy while Mr. Right is out there waiting for me?” Well, the truth is, the answer isn’t simple. Relationships are hard, they take a lot of work. As much as you or your partner may try, you’re never going to completely understand each other and the longer you stay together, the more rough times you’re likely to experience. But that’s not really what matters. What matters is the experiences you have together, the way you communicate, and your core values. Read below to find out if you and your boyfriend are meant to be.

20. You Keep The Communication Alive

When we become comfortable with our partners, we sometimes have a tendency to assume, “they get me,” or “they’ll understand,” without actually explaining our feelings or our day-to-day struggles. Communication is crucial in successful relationships. Therefore, taking the time to put down your cell phone and explain what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling that way, your thoughts, your fears, etc is necessary in keeping your relationship healthy. In lasting relationships, both partners take the time to relay their most intimate thoughts, no matter how hard it might be.

19. You Know How To Have Fun Together

When relationships are all work and no play, that’s a red flag. You enjoy just lounging around with your partner, laughing, and being silly. You make an effort to let go of whatever might be stressing you out, and let loose together. After a long day at work, you gather up the energy to crack a joke at dinner and try to make your partner laugh. Your partner doesn’t brush off your silliness, but instead reciprocates. When you’re together, tedious tasks become more enjoyable and you’re constantly creating new memories, even if you’re simply grocery shopping.

18. You Look Forward To Spending Time Together

If after three years, you still miss him whenever you walk out the door, you’re in great shape. No amount of time is enough with him. Why? Because you both feel good when you’re together and you bring out the best in one another. You know that there’s no one you’d rather be watching a movie next to or cleaning the house with. You still get butterflies whenever you make love and think about him on a daily basis. He feels the same way and never forgets to remind you how much he cares about you. Just having him nearby makes your day that much better.

17. He Makes You Feel Loved And Accepted

Sure, it’s great (and important) that he has his own independence and a life away from you, but he also makes you feel loved, accepted, and appreciates you for who you are. He doesn’t try to change you and does his best to understand you. On your worst days, he loves you just as much as he does on your best days. When you’re around groups of people, you’re just as (if not more) important to him as everyone else. If he’s career orientated, he makes time to show you that you’re just as important to him as any goals that he might have.

16. You Have An Equal Amount Of Give And Take

In relationships with an equal amount of give and take, both partners share their thoughts and feelings and both partners listen to each other. Around the house, both partner’s pitch in to get household chores done. Financially, you both contribute to paying for meals, rent, a mortgage, etc. You take on an equal amount of responsibility. That means, if you argue a lot, you take responsibility for your actions and he does too. If one person is constantly apologizing or if one person is always picking up the other person’s slack, there’s going to be problems down the road. Remember, it takes two to tango.

15. He Listens Without Judgement

We’ve all had thoughts and fears that are hard for us to share. Nonetheless, it’s important to put our emotions on the table in order to increase the bond between ourselves and our partner. A good partner makes us feel safe when we share our thoughts, not embarrassed. They accept us for who we are without judgement. He does his best to put himself in your shoes and walk a mile. You feel better after talking to him, not worse, and he appreciates that you felt comfortable enough to open up to him. When he puts his emotions on the table, you show him the same respect.

14. He Doesn’t Hold Your Past Against You

Did you have a little too much fun before you met him? Well, guess what, that was before you met him. He’s able to get over your past and move forward with you in the relationship. You both accept the past for what it was: a learning experience. He trusts that if you made mistakes in previous relationships, you’re not going to make them again with him. If he has a not so “clean” past, you accept it and trust that he’s not going to hurt you. Remember, everyone deserves a second chance. Innocent until proven guilty, people. The past is the past and no one’s perfect. Besides, perfect is boring anyway.

13. You Can Talk About Sensitive Subjects

You want to spice up your bedroom life? You should be able to convey your feelings to your partner about this without him thinking you’re dissatisfied with your intimate life as is. He doesn’t make you feel embarrassed about any needs or wants you might have. If he’s uncomfortable about an aspect of your relationship, you’re open to hearing about it. For example, if he’s been spending too much money taking you out to fancy dinners and wants to take it easy for a while, that’s great. Listen to him. He’s not saying that he doesn’t want to take you out, he’s saying it’s not a positive financial decision for him at the moment. A good listener can listen to someone without taking what they say personally, no matter how difficult the subject matter.

12. He Steps Up To The Plate

You’ve been in the relationship for a long time and you begin to wonder where it’s going. He doesn’t make you feel taken advantage of or make you wonder if he’ll ever fully commit to you. When the time’s right, you know that you’ll take the relationship to the next level. You don’t have a paralyzing fear that he’ll never propose or even move in with you. You’re not the one constantly taking care of every aspect of your relationship. He puts in his two cents and you both trust that together, you’ll do what’s right for one another.

11. You Push Each Other To Be Your Best Selves

While it’s easy to get in “honeymoon mode” and spend all your time watching movies or going out to eat, it’s important that you and your partner push each other to work hard and be productive. If you are more successful than him, he supports you. He’s not intimidated by your accomplishments and is proud when you do well. He doesn’t get jealous if you get promoted at work because he knows that you deserve it. By the way, the same goes for you. If your boyfriend spends a lot of time at work, don’t hold it against him. It’s admirable that he wants to be successful.

10. You Can Make Compromises

If you’re more outgoing and he’s a homebody, you don’t force him to leave the house whenever you’re feeling stir crazy. You take turns going out and staying in, depending on the occasion. If you’re a health nut and he wants to do a one day tour of all the best donut spots in the area, you happily go along for the ride. You understand what makes one another happy and do your best to be supportive. You don’t resent your partner for not being exactly like you or wanting to do the exact same things that you want to do all the time.

9. You’ve Built A Life Together

He’s let you into his friendship circles and you’ve let him into yours. Additionally, you have built a community of family and friends that know and love you each, equally. If you’re close with your family, he makes an effort to spend time with them and if he’s close with his, he invites you to family gatherings and appreciates the efforts you make to connect with his family.

8. You Want Similar Things In The Future

If you’ve been in the relationship for some time, you’ve talked openly about the future. You’ve discussed kids, marriage, career plans, and your financials. You trust each other enough to know that no matter what happens, you can have a future together that will make both of you happy. You don’t shy away from the tough and taboo aspects of your relationship and you are always honest about what you want in the long-term. This way, you have the comfortability of knowing there aren’t any crazy surprises coming your way in the future. I.E. Your partner never wanted to have kids and all you’ve ever wanted is a big family.

7. You Have Similar Interests

No, you don’t have to be the exact same person to have a successful relationship, but you do need to have some common ground. You have things that you both like doing together, you share common interests, and can have stimulating conversations about things that excite both of you. While opposites do attract, it’s important to show that you care about what your partner’s interested in. You invest quality time doing the things you both love and your bond gets stronger while you do these things. Together, you have activities or traditions that you hold sacred.

6. Honesty, Honesty, Honesty

Sure, games are fun- for high schoolers. As we age, we want someone we can depend on, not someone who plays games that lead to hurt feelings and petty arguments. If he’s feeling insecure, he talks to you about it instead of going out and blowing off steam with his friends, leaving you home to worry about what he’s doing or not doing. If you’re feeling insecure, you don’t intentionally try to make him jealous just to feel cared about. Neither of you start meaningless arguments just to “ignite passion.” You love and respect each other too much to hurt each other in such an immature way.

5. You Work Through Problems

If you’re constantly having the same fight or argument, you take the time to sit down, and sort out the issue. You don’t leave things “hanging” in the air and you’re always upfront about what’s bothering you. If you’re upset, you don’t pretend to be fine. If he’s angry, he doesn’t force a smile. When you talk through the issue, you do your best to listen to your partner, you cry your eyes out, you hug, make-up and move forward. You’re able to drop the subject once it’s resolved and neither of you bring up past issues in future arguments.

4. You Help Each Other Out When You Can

When he knows you have a crazy week at work and has some free time on his hands, he helps you out. He walks the dog an extra time for you, or does the grocery shopping. He shows he’s there for you when you need it and helps lighten your load, not add to it. He sees when you’re struggling and if he can, he helps- even if that means just a nice back massage at the end of the day. He doesn’t hold it against you because he knows that if the situation was reversed, you’d do the same for him.

3. You Go On Adventures

You take time to travel and make an effort to make every day with each other special. You want to see the world together (even if that means just a simple day trip). You both have a thirst for life and when you quench it together, your relationship grows. You both make keep the relationship alive by making it exiting and spontaneous. He comes up with fun, new ideas of things to do, and when you do the same, he’s on board. This way, the relationship never dulls and you’re always taking advantage of all life has to offer together.

2. You Don’t Try To Change Each Other

At the end of the day, we are who we are. Sure, we might have some bad habits that we can work to get rid of, but the core of who we are never truly changes. If he’s sensitive, he’s always going to be sensitive. If you’re a neat freak, you’re probably always going to be a neat freak. He accepts you for what you bring to the table and he’s patient with your habits that might bother him. You both embrace each other for who you are, not who you wish each other were.

  1. You Maintain Your Independence

Too often couples alienate themselves from their friends and families when they get into serious relationships. While it’s great that you want to spend all your time with your significant other, it’s important that each partner has enough alone time and is also able to maintain their relationships with their friends. Your identity doesn’t rely on your partner’s identity and vice versa. If you need space, you take it. If your partner needs space, you don’t feel neglected. You take pride in your independence and he does the same. After all, if you can’t function alone, how can you function together?

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