It ain't like the movies, honey.
You've heard it a million times: true love doesn't look like the movies. While that's a great thing, sometimes it's hard to see that the little idiosyncrasies in our relationships are very real signs of magical, lifelong love.
Here are a few clues that you've happened upon something special.
1. You fart in front of each other.
This isn't about being juvenile or silly (although taking time to be either of those things is relationship gold), but about being comfortable being your real, human self in front of someone else. There is no decorum with passing gas, no falseness or pretention, nothing to hide behind — just a weird/hilarious sound and a variety of potential odors.
The comfort of farting in front of someone you love without that person rejecting or judging you is directly proportionate to how real you're being in the relationship.
2. You accompany each other during unpleasant stuff.
Look, anybody can show up for the magical moments, but someone who loves you will hold your hand during the stuff neither of you want to do. And I don't mean metaphorically, either.
The difference in a partner saying, "I'm here for you" and physically being there for you is tremendous. Whether it's attending the funeral of an estranged relative, getting a scary medical procedure, or even something banal like a company party with coworkers you don't really like, a partner who loves you will join you for moral support when you ask without trying to weasel out of it.
3. You can argue constructively.
There's this awful belief that "loving couples fight" that needs to stop being repeated. Every couple disagrees, but a "fight" is way different than an "argument," people! One is destructive and the other doesn't have to be.
A loving couple is able to express their own individual views in a conflict and listen to what the other person has to say without undermining the issue at hand, hurling belligerent insults, or tearing apart the relationship as a whole. Even if tempers flare or feelings get hurt, a healthy argument maintains mutual respect while working toward a solution. That's what love looks like.
4. You love them even when it's not exciting.
The problem with a relationship starting very passionately is that, when that fire inevitably fizzles (or dips out for a bit), we start to wonder if we've fallen out of love. But the brand of love that is meant for a lifetime is the kind that endures mundane day-to-day interaction. The person who is "love of your life" material is still excited by you, loyal to you, and in love with you in the midst of boring, daily life stuff.
5. Sharing a space seems natural.
I'm not saying you have to move in with someone to know if they're "The One" (but it helps!), but seeing how you share a space together says a lot about your dynamic as a couple.
If you've been dating for a year, but he still gets weird about you touching his stuff or staying too long, that's a red flag that this might not be long-term material. Feeling at home at your partner's place without feeling compelled to change or "fix" everything says a lot about your relationship and your potential to build a home together.
6. You enjoy taking care of each other.
Too often, acts of care within a relationship are used as currency to be repaid or act as leverage to get something from the other. Only when caring for each other becomes second nature is it really love.
If your partner makes you dinner, helps you clean, or tends to an illness of yours without expecting something in return, you're off to a good start. If it's really love, you won't have to be reminded to do the same for him.
7. You aren't threatened by each other's successes.
I don't get couples who don't celebrate each other's strengths and victories. It's pitiful when someone's partner gets too wrapped up in his/her own insecure bullsh*t to be happy for this person they're claiming to love.
If you're with the right person, he or she won't waste a second feeling bad about themselves when you have reason to celebrate. A good partner knows that a win for you is a win for the relationship, too, and the love of your life won't hesitate to let you shine.
8. You don't enable bullsh*t in each other.
Everyone brings a little bit of baggage to the table, but the difference in a love that lasts and one that doesn't is how you both work with that baggage.
Loving someone means checking them on their destructive habits and setting down boundaries so you both can thrive. Someone who loves you will check you on your self-defeating behaviors and stand by you when you need to work through your issues. This type of intimacy is what real love is about.