The subtle (and not-so-subtle) signs you should look out for.
Life is short, or so the saying goes.
It’s true life can feel short if you’re happy, healthy, pursuing your passions, and partnered with the right person. But if you happen to be in an unhappy relationship, or simply with the wrong person, life can feel quite long. With a true partner by your side, you can work through life’s inevitable obstacles and storms. With an unsupportive or incompatible partner, these obstacles can seem insurmountable.
Do you think you’ve found the right woman? Here are nine things to check to be sure you’re right.
1. Do you trust each other?
Trust is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to consider when deciding if you have found the right partner. If you don’t trust each other completely, you might as well walk away right now. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
It will never get easier than it is in the beginning of a relationship. You should both be honest with each other because you have mutual respect. If you find yourself worrying when she goes out with her friends or calling to ask where she is, there is no trust there.
2. Do you have compatible lifestyles?
Are you a vegan and your partner is a meat eater, or vice versa? Do you love to hike every Sunday and your partner would rather stay in to watch movies? While neither of these lifestyles is inherently better than the other, having vastly different ideas of how to live your lives will ultimately spell trouble.
This isn’t really a matter of learning how to split your Saturdays. This is a matter of core beliefs and values that are not aligned. You’ll be much better off choosing a partner who shares your lifestyle.
3. Do you learn from each other?
Life is a massive journey—and that journey is a lot more interesting and enjoyable if you share it with someone who can teach you new things. You don’t need to be with a professor for your partner to open your eyes to new ways of thinking or to teach you how to cook a killer cheesecake. Couples who learn from one another have more to talk about and a more diverse life.
4. Do you have similar financial beliefs?
They say your economic and religious backgrounds are the two most important contributors to compatibility. If you are a saver and your wife or girlfriend is a spender (or vice versa), it’s not necessarily a deal breaker. In fact, it may be better to have two different views of money than to have two crazy spenders or two penny-pinchers; but you shouldn’t be on opposite sides of the spectrum.
Make sure you can talk openly about money in a respectful way and that you can work together to save for the important things in life.
5. Do you laugh together?
You don’t need to find a comedian, but a sense of humor can go a long way toward a happy relationship. If you’re with the right woman, she’ll be able to cheer you up when you’re having a crappy day, and she’ll be able to let the little things go.
Couples who have been married for decades frequently cite a sense of humor as the secret ingredient to a happy marriage.
6. Do you want the same things?
Have you discussed your long-term goals? When you are with the right woman, your goals will align. You will both lean into the other to create a shared vision for your future.
If you have some variations in your vision, that’s okay. But if one of you is unwilling to bend on your dreams to compromise for the other, then that’s a problem.
7. Is it easy?
So often, you hear songs or watch movies that glamorize the rocky beginning of a relationship. Maybe it’s filled with drama and passion. It can be tempting to view this crazy drama as a sign that you’re just so in love. But really, it’s a sign that you should probably walk away.
If the beginning of a relationship is difficult, the rest of it will only be worse. The right woman will make your life easier. You will enjoy your time together, you will talk openly, and you won’t ever feel that “love/hate” dynamic.
8. Do you get along with each other’s friends and families?
Your friends and family aren’t going anywhere. How is the dynamic between your girlfriend and your mom, or between her and your best friend? While it’s okay for them to not be best friends, no good can come from your mom hating your girlfriend (or vice versa). Your friends and family have stood by your side for a long time. If your girlfriend clashes with them, it’s going to be a very rocky relationship.
The same is true of your relationship with her friends. If you think her best friend is the worst, it’ll eventually cause a problem.
9. Do you love her exactly as she is?
People don’t change. Or rather, they are capable of change, but only when they decide to change on their own terms.
If you love your girlfriend a lot but wish she was smarter, kinder, less chatty, more tidy, etc., then that dissatisfaction will only grow. This doesn’t mean you have to love every single annoying habit, but it does mean you have to accept it and be able to live with it forever. Likewise, she should feel the same about your quirks and habits.
When you find the right woman, everything else in your life will become easier. If you have problems at work, she’ll walk you through them. If you want to make some big life changes, she’ll support you. If you experience a tragedy, she will let you cry on her shoulder. The right partner makes the entire journey of life a lot less rocky. So, choose your partner wisely. It is easily the most important decision you will ever make.
This article was originally published at MeetMindful. Reprinted with permission from the author.