If you and your partner are going through tough times, it may cause you to wonder if they really are your soulmate, or if things feel shaky because the relationship just isn't meant to be. And obviously, that's up to you to decide. If the rough patch is due to outside factors, it might be easier to weather it together. But even if your problems are stemming from within, it's still possible you're with "The One."
It can help to look for ways your relationship is healthy and strong — even when you're experiencing negative moments. "It's completely normal for every couple to experience ups and downs," Amica Graber, a relationship expert for the background checking site TruthFinder, tells Bustle. "Life is unpredictable, and we're all just human [...] But being 'soulmates' isn't about a relationship that's rosy all the time — that's unrealistic."
It's about recognizing you still love each other, even when things are difficult — while also being willing to work make the relationship even healthier. "A strong relationship will endure ups, downs, and everything in between. But eventually, return to a place of love and mutual respect," Graber says. Here are a few signs your partner is still your soulmate even though times are tough, according to experts.
You Still Want The Same Things
"A successful couple has aligned goals," Graber says. "If you're experiencing a rough patch but you still want the same things, your relationship will weather the storm. Problems arise when one party starts to develop a different vision for their ideal future than the one they once shared with their partner."
That doesn't mean you have to want the exact same things in life, but that your largest goals and most important values align. As long as you can agree on the big stuff, your partner may still be your soulmate.
You Bounce Back After An Argument
All couples argue, but it's how you handle these fights that can reveal what your relationship is really made of.
"A healthy relationship will experience fights, but won't resort to name-calling or engaging in toxic behaviors," Graber says. "If you can come away from an argument and find ways to grow from it and improve your communication, your relationship is on the right track."
You Still Want To Argue
This isn't to say you purposefully go looking for fights, but that you still have the desire to argue and fight for the relationship, if need be.
"Usually if you don’t even have the energy to argue anymore, or don’t care enough to argue, that is not a good sign," matchmaker Joann Cohen, tells Bustle. "Even if you are angry, that means that you still have strong feelings one way or the other." As long as the arguments refrain from toxic territory, of course.
You're Honest With Each Other
When times get tough, it's a great sign if your partner remains honest with you through it all, including saying what's on their mind, admitting what they're worried about, and so on.
"Honesty is of paramount importance in a relationship," Graber says. "Trust is the strongest foundation for a healthy relationship, whereas dishonesty can rot even the strongest relationship. As long as you are both honest with each other, the foundation of your relationship will remain strong."
You're Both Able To Apologize
Tough times often include arguments and potentially hurtful situations, so the fact you're able to apologize in a quick and healthy way indicates your relationship is still strong.
As Graber says, "Being able to apologize is critical in a healthy relationship. The ability to see a situation from your partner's perspective is very important. There will always come a time where one or both of you were in the wrong. Being able to say that you're sorry shows that you're willing to override your ego for the sake of your relationship."
And that will not only keep the relationship going, but it shows just how much it means to you both.
You Still Enjoy Each Other's Company
"Your partner is still ’The One’ if you still are connected at times, still have fun at times, still are attracted to each other at times, and both of you are open to learning more about loving yourselves and each other," relationship expert Dr. Margaret Paul, tells Bustle.
When a couple isn't meant to be, it's easy for them to let tough times drive them apart. But if you two are still happy, and are still able to find moments to enjoy each other's company, that's a great sign.
There's A Feeling Of Hope
All couples go through hard times. But it's soulmates who stay on the same team, while retaining a sense of hope, who stick together.
"Soulmates will keep each other focused on the growth that will occur from the pain rather than the pain itself," relationship counselor Monte Drenner, tells Bustle. "Your soulmate will help you not just go through the pain but also grow through the pain."
And if that's the case, you're probably both really good at forgiving each other, too. "Forgiveness is one of the things we need the most in a relationship yet one of the hardest things to give," Drenner says. But it's essential to keep a good thing going.
You Still Feel Secure
"When you have met your soulmate, you are comfortable being vulnerable, and are able to share the good, the bad, and the ugly about yourself," Justin Lavelle relationship expert and chief communications officer for PeopleLooker, tells Bustle.
So if you're still able to do so, even when things aren't particularly happy or smooth, there's hope. "Bottom line, [if] you can tell this person absolutely anything without fear of being judged or risking the relationship," they may still be your soulmate, Lavelle says.
There's A Sense Of Independence
Similarly, this partner of yours may be soulmate-material if "you don’t feel threatened by [their] need for some time alone or [to go] out with other friends," Lavelle says. It's a sign that you not only trust each other, but also respect each other's need for independence.
It's also a great sign if you feel comfortable asking each other for alone time, should you need it. It's not always obvious when someone needs space — and it can be unnerving to ask — but healthy, soulmate-y couples tend to feel comfortable doing it anyway.
They Always Have Your Back
"If your partner has your back and you can depend on them no matter what is going in your life or theirs, your relationship is solid," relationship expert and spiritual counselor, Davida Rappaport, tells Bustle. "Together you both can handle anything and that is something that is very special."
Knowing that they'll be there for you — even when life is being difficult — can be the thing that keeps you together. And a great sign that you are, in fact, with your soulmate.