Start living your happily ever after.
Our culture tends to have a fairytale vision of what marriage should really be. Couples often enter into a marriage having had more discussion about the type of cake they want for their wedding rather than a conversation about their commitment and values.
So how do you know if you've found the one? Here are six signs that this could truly be your "happily ever after":
1. You know what qualities you want in a mate, and what is and isn't acceptable.
Take the time that's needed to get to know your partner. Dating is a process of learning about one another and seeing how your partner handles situations — the good, the bad and the ugly. How he interacts with and treats the waitress in a restaurant, family members, his friends and you are all good indicators of who he really is.
If he's judgmental toward everyone, that judgmental attitude will eventually be directed toward you. Don't minimize or rationalize when he displays qualities that you aren't willing to live with.
Way too many women say they started a relationship thinking a particular quality of their husband/boyfriend they didn't like would improve after they got married. This is rarely the case, and in this situation the relationship only got worse. Remember: the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
2. You know that infatuation ends and you won't really "see" your partner until passing that stage.
The chemicals in your brain are actually altered during this period (the honeymoon phase), which is why the saying "love is blind" is very accurate. When under the spell of infatuation, the flaws of our partner are often unseen.
Everyone has parts to them that you will love and parts that will be a source of frustration. It's only a matter of time before you begin to see and experience the frustrating parts. Be honest with yourself, and asses if you and your partner are able to overcome and work through conflict and frustration in a way that you're both respected.
3. You recognize that you're in a relationship for the right reasons, not just for companionship.
If you're in the relationship because you're too fearful of being alone or because you worry that you won't meet "Mr. Right," this is definitely not your prince charming. Settling isn't going to pay off in the long-run.
4. You both treat each other equally.
If your partner allows you to be who you are, supports you in your endeavors and seeks a partnership, and you reciprocate that attitude, this could be a good match. Loving someone is about being selfless and being willing to put your own agenda aside so you can hear, see and understand the other; it isn't a feeling, but an act. The feelings wear off, but the behaviors and level of commitment are what keep a relationship strong.
5. You don't have a sense of co-dependency, control or jealousy.
A relationship will not end with happily ever after if a partner portrays these qualities or behaviors.
6. You show each other mutual respect and compassion.
You and your partner should have a commitment to one another to communicate and resolve conflicts as they arise. No one can get through life without conflict, and it's important that your man is able to communicate in a loving manner with a sincere concern for what's best for you. If you feel that this is true for you and your partner, then you may just have found your prince.
Ultimately, it's important to pay attention to your own intuition. Know what it is you want in a partnership and make sure that you and your prince share the same values and beliefs.