Though it's really impossible to say for certain what the one, true, correct way for everyone to be treated in relationships, there are a few guidelines of common decency you can follow if and when you ever find yourself questioning whether or not your relationship situation is normal, healthy, or even tolerable. Often when we fall in love and get swept away by someone, we just as easily sweep the little transgressions and relationship red flags under the rug as well. We blind ourselves to the things that tell us that someone is maybe not fully ready to be in a committed relationship, or lacks the ability to give us what we need. We tend to not heed quiet warnings until they're all but impossible to ignore, and really, that's why we end up in so many painfully wrong relationships: We don't have the foresight to differentiate what's a "challenge" in a relationship from what's actually a sign you're not being treated well.
That said, just as hard as it is to know when you aren't being treated the way you deserve, it's undeniably the easiest thing in the world to recognize when someone is loving you the way you need to be loved. So to save yourself even a little trouble, here are 10 little ways you'll know you're finally being treated the way you deserve, because sometimes what's easier than figuring out if something is wrong is figuring out whether or not it's right.
You’re never left wondering
When you're finally with someone who treats you the way you deserve, that person never leaves you guessing about what something they said means, or where you stand, or what’s coming next in the relationship. There’s never a point at which you can’t ask questions or receive answers regarding your own personal life. It's not a game, and they're not the gatekeepers of a fate you're waiting to uncover the truth about. They're certain about their intentions, and when they're not, they're honest with you about that too. Mixed signals that usually just indicate you've been placed comfortably on a back-burner cease to exist in this kind of relationship, and it's about time.
Your moments of vulnerability make you closer
Expressing what you’re struggling with becomes an intimate and grounding experience, not something you have to feel bad about, or suppress until you eventually implode. Your fears, concerns or emotions are not met with eye-rolls or condescending lectures about how you're "overreacting." Your feelings are taken seriously, because they take you seriously, and don't see your existence as something that either serves or inconveniences them.
You’re inspired to live your own life outside of the relationship
In the best relationships, you don’t desire to make that other person your whole life, and they don't want that either. They not only give you the space to maintain your life beyond the relationship, but they make you want to be as wholly yourself as possible. You don't walk away from a weekend together wanting to sink back into them for the rest of eternity. You're grateful to have had the time together, but you're ultimately ready to go live your life now too, knowing you have someone to come home to at the end of the day and tell all about it.
They don't ghost on you unexpectedly
Even if you can’t physically be together at all times (or if you don't want to), you’re never left wondering when you’ll next receive a text or call. You never have to wait any extended period of time to hear from them, and you certainly don't play a game of "who texted last doesn't have to text first." Nope, none of that. Why? Because they care too much about how you're doing and genuinely talking to you than to wait around and see if maybe you'll grace them with the time of day.
You make actual, solid, non-vague plans to hang out
The person who treats you right will always respect your time enough to show consideration when making plans. Date nights, weekend trips, Friday just to get pizza and hangout after work. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you’re serious about spending time together, so you plan for it in advance, and you stick to it. The spontaneous hangout happens, of course, but ultimately, you're set in how often you see each other, and try your best to give your undivided attention to them in that time.
You’re loved for more than your body
They express more interest in what you think, how you feel, what your personality is, than how you look...
...But your body is loved unconditionally, too
They see your body as the vessel that houses the person they love, not an indication of how worthy you are of their attention.
You want to bring them home to your family
Most people don't see this for the significance it holds, but if you’re proud and just want them to be as fully integrated into your life as possible, you know that you're with someone who treats you well, and by extension, will treat your family well too. It's often subconscious, so this is a good way to gauge how you really feel: Do you think they'd treat your parents or siblings or friend-family the way they deserve to be treated, too?
You’re not just listened to—you’re heard
They take what you have to say to heart. They adjust their behavior if you communicate something isn’t OK with you. They don't brush off your anxieties or concerns; They seriously evaluate them and try to see whether or not they can reassure you or make the relationship better by a compromising in one way or another. No one person is running the show here—you're both equally committed to making the other one as happy and comfortable as possible (and you both know that begins and ends with listening when you communicate, and acting accordingly).
You feel loved every single day
Even if you don’t have time for elaborate expressions of romance each day, just a simple touch, or look, or gesture says it all. Even if you don't have time to be together, and won't see them for the next few days, you don't have to be mentally consumed by them to carry the small, inner knowing that you are loved, and that there's somebody waiting to hear about whatever kind of day you had. And that's the mark of a truly good relationship: one that makes you want to be your best, but go home and tell them all about your trials and triumphs and struggles and successes regardless, because you know you're unconditionally supported, and loved.
Images: ABC; Giphy(8)