When you first start dating someone, you're guaranteed to be filled with all kinds of uncertainties. Like, when are we going to see each other again? Are they really into me? Is this going to turn into a relationship or is this just a casual thing? As time goes on, these uncertainties should fade away. But if you're still uncertain about things in your relationship by your first anniversary, experts say your partner may not be "The One."
"The first year of a relationship is experimental," Brian Jory, PhD, relationship therapist and author of Cupid on Trial, tells Bustle. "It’s learning about yourself and how you feel in the relationship." For instance, are you compatible? Do they bring out the best in you or the worst?
For the most part, many concerns you have in that first year of your relationship can be alleviated through time spent together and communication. Seeing your partner in different situations, going through your first fight, and just asking your partner deeper questions can help you discover whether you're with the right person or not.
But if you've been together for a year and you're still uncertain about these following things, experts say your partner may not be the one for you after all.
Whether You Really Trust Your Partner Or Not
"By your first anniversary you should know that your partner is absolutely honest and transparent with you," Dr. Jory says. "No games, half-truths, exaggerations, missing facts, secrets or deceptions." Honesty is important. When there's honesty, there's trust. If you're not completely sure that you can trust your partner by one year, they may not be "The One."
How Compatible You Are Sexually
After one year, you should know that the sex between you feels good for both parties. As Dr. Jory says, "Great sex doesn’t make a great relationship, but good sex is essential." If the sex isn't good, Dr. Jory says it isn't the end of the world but there may be some miscommunication happening. Problems in the bedroom can typically be solved through being open and honest. By one year, you should know things like what your partner likes, dislikes, and maybe even what they fantasize about — they should also know these things about you. But if you haven't had those talks or you're not completely comfortable sharing those things, you may not be with the right one.
How Committed Your Partner Is To Making Things Work
"By their nature, relationships have ebbs and flows and it is important to be on the same page in terms of committing to ride the proverbial ‘wave,'" Florrie Barron, LMSW, staff therapist at Blanton-Peale Counseling Center tells Bustle. If you don't know for sure if your partner will stick around or fight for the relationship when things get tough, it's hard to say for sure that your relationship will last.
How Compatible You Really Are
"It's not really possible to establish a healthy relationship by bypassing the uncertainty phase," licensed clinical psychologist, Nicole Issa, Psy.D., tells Bustle. "So it's important to take your time to figure out if this is 'The One,' and discover together over time if you are compatible." One year is a good amount of time to discover if your partner shares the same values and goals for the future as you do. If you're questioning your compatbility by your first anniversary, you may need to think about whether this is the right relationship for you and if you want to move forward.
Whether Or Not Your Partner Knows The Real You
By your first anniversary, you should likely feel completely comfortable with your partner. "You should feel like you can tell them anything and there aren't any secrets kept from one another," Anna Morgenstern, dating and relationship coach, tells Bustle. If you don't feel comfortable expressing your true feelings or if you feel like you have to hide something about yourself from your partner, they're definitely not "The One."
If You See Them In Your Life Five Years From Now
By your first year together, Morgenstern says that you should be able to envision a future with them. "If you're still uncertain sit down and write it out," she says. What are you so unsure about? It is something small like your partner being a little messy or is it something bigger like a history of cheating? Regardless, think about whether or not this is something you can move past. "Once you know what's really important to you in a relationship, it will be easier to identify red flags," she says.
Feeling uncertainty in your relationship is completely common. But as eharmony's chief of advice Jeannie Assimos tells Bustle, "If you've been dating for six months, and start to uncover major red flags, cut your losses. It takes about that long to really see multiple sides to a person."
It is better to discover you're not really meant to be sooner rather than later. That way, you can find someone you are completely certain about.