I think we can all safely agree that the relationship between Pam Beesly and Jim Halpert wrecked relationships for everyone everywhere, because they are too damn cute for this world and set all of our expectations for connection and partnership unattainably high. But it is high time that we pulled ourselves out of the gutter NBC left us in and dust ourselves off, because the truth is, relationships like that aren't purely fictional. You can find someone who clicks with you; in fact, I am of the belief that there are multiple people in this world that you will find are nearly perfect for you. I use "nearly perfect" because nothing in life is fully perfect, and it would be totally pointless and boring if it were. Relationships are meant to be tested. (Didn't Pam and Jim show us that toward the end? Okay, I'll stop talking about them. Maybe.)
What isn't difficult about relationships is identifying the little things that show how well suited you are to each other (literally as I am typing this, my parents are kissing behind me; happy holidays, everyone). Guys, if Ron Swanson found somebody to settle down with who was totally perfect for him, anybody can. Here are the ways you can tell that the person you are with might just be perfect for you:
They are the first person you want to call when you get good news
...and the first person you want to call when you get bad news
When you're with someone that special, news doesn't feel real until you share it with them, no matter what kind of news you get.
You care what your family thinks of them
In a perfect world, your family would love your S.O. forever and ever and see the good in everything that they do. Sometimes that isn't the case. But the mere fact that you care what your family thinks of them shows that you are invested in the relationship. And you'll find that over time, if your family doesn't like them right away, they will usually see what you see in them, too.
You think of them as your best friend
I think friendship truly is a prerequisite to a good relationship. It is one thing to click sexually, but quite another to be able to waste away endless hours and genuinely want to spend time with each other.
They can tell what mood you’re in before you open your mouth
Nay, before you even approach the car when they pick you up. And you know what mood they're in, too. There is just something in each other's body postures or expressions that you only can pick up on. Communication is so awesome that you literally can't hide your mood from them. And vice versa — you understand that they're upset or frustrated when anybody else wouldn't even be able to tell.
They can liberally make fun of you
And their jokes are always the cleverest, because they know your exact quirks.
You have your own separate identity outside of the relationship
You don't mind them spending time with their friends and they don't mind you spending time with yours. It's nice if friend groups converge and you can all hang out together, but even then you don't feel a powerful need to be near each other at all times.
You are proud to be seen with each other
I think we need to re-appropriate the term "Trophy Wife" to "Trophy People." We should all be proud of the person we are with. (Although actually that term promotes the objectification of other people, so maybe let's just not use it at all. But let's still be proud of each other.)
You are comfortable doing absolutely nothing together
I think more first dates should just be Netflix watching and cookies. The ultimate do-nothing, say-nothing, cuddling on the couch — and if you pass that crucial test, you may move your Monopoly figure further into the dating game and proceed with actual conversations and activities. Anybody can keep busy, but only with a very special someone will you feel comfortable doing nothing with.
You can fight with each other
Because you know that one fight is not a be-all, end-all. You are strong enough to know, even in the heat of the moment, that ultimately you will be able to work it out.
Talking about the future isn’t weird
It's not like you're planning the intricacies of your hypothetical wedding, but you both have a quiet assumption that this is a lasting thing, and that you can see a future in five years, ten years, or even forever. The specifics of "talking about the future" will always be different depending on how long you've been together and what your beliefs are on monogamy, but this is the important part: Neither of you gets weirded out talking about things like making plans for a concert a year from now, or helping out with their hypothetical niece or nephew. You're on the same page.
And neither is talking about the deep, scary stuff
They know your views about the things your mother warned you never to bring up: politics, religion, abortion, etc. They know the specific wacky requests you have for your funeral. They know that one dark secret that you have only ever told your family, if you've even told them. You can tell them anything and not fear their response.
You trust them completely
This is especially important when it comes to friends — there is no reason for you to be jealous of their friends or see them as potential threats to your relationship if you completely and openly trust your S.O., and know that they have that same trust in you in return.
They are always on your team
This can be as dumb as "liking" your lame-ass joke on Facebook, or supporting you in a new career move, even if it means there will be temporary distance between you guys. This means that they are in your corner even when you are wrong, either gently helping you figure out that you are wrong or supporting you when you are right. They don't speak ill of you to their friends, and you don't say anything bad about them, either (your business is nobody but each other's, anyway).
Images: NBC; Giphy (11)