I've been with my man for almost two years now, which, in the scheme of things, is not a long time. That said, we literally moved in after our second date and have seen each other pretty much every day since, so I'm starting to feel like I can say I know my partner pretty well. It's the little things, mostly, that make me realize I'm starting to really get who he is.
Whether you've been with someone one year or 10, one of the things that makes people compatible in the longterm is the fact that there is a mutual (often unspoken) understanding between them. The communication is good, but not everything has to be explained. You develop a shorthand of grunts and glances. A song, a hand-squeeze, or a food comes to symbolize a mood. You may even start to believe you're telepathic.
An important part of remaining happy in a longterm relationship is learning how to spot and appreciate the little things that make you good for each other — and to practice consistent gratitude for them. I know I feel grateful to be with my partner every day, but I could always tell him more often.
So, in the spirit of putting some love and gratitude out into the world and watching it spread, I've made this list of just some of the many little ways you know you really know your partner. Hopefully, all the items apply to the way they know you, too.
They Frequently Say Something Completely Off-Topic That You Were Just Thinking
Like, how did they know you were thinking about that song or that thing that happened last night at dinner?
...So, Naturally, You Know You're At Least Somewhat Telepathic With Each Other
I sometimes can swear we're having entire conversations in our heads.
You Can Sometimes Tell That They Just Pooped
That spring in their step, that little smile.
You Can Recognize Certain Gestures And Expressions From Childhood Photos
Sometimes, when he reaches his arms out to me on the couch, I flash to him as an adorable little boy. Is that weird?
You Have Expert Eye-Contact-Timing Around Family
You can lock eyes so quick your parents won't even know you're silently calling them nuts. You can even catch them in the rearview mirror if one of you is driving.
Their Favorite Animal Has Taken On A Special Meaning
My guy loves frenchies, and every time I see one when I'm walking around without him it's almost like they're my little guardian angels. This is one of those little things you also know you'd be haunted by if you ever broke up.
You Can Anticipate When They Need Some Space Before They Know They Need It
They might not even know they need some alone time or be acting grumpy, but that's because you know how to pace things. Time to go out or leave them to read.
...And When They Need Some Extra Loving
You can sense when some reassuring cuddles are in order without their needing to ask.
You Know Which Side Of The Bed They Prefer
And maybe you're nice like me and let them have it.
You Know Which Songs Are Worth A Hand-Squeeze
Do the hand-squeeze too often, and it loses its meaning. That's why you know which moments are worth it.
You Know When To Step In And Defend Them
When you're out with their old buddies or family and they're getting teased, you know when you should back them up as being better than they're getting credit for.
...And When It's Cool To Tease Them With Family And Friends
You'll walk that line happily, and you know how much teasing they like.
You Can Coordinate Your Bedtime Routine Wordlessly
You showering first tonight? No words needed to figure it out. You can do this dance drunk and in the dark if you have to. (And you have.)
If They're In A Mood, You Have A Surefire Way To Diffuse The Situation
For me, it's usually making a Grumpy Cat face.
You Know When They're Going To Be Hungover The Next Day Before They Do
Just keep handing them water.
...And You Definitely Know When They're Hangry Before They Do
That's for damn sure.
You Think You Know (Roughly) How Much Porn They Watch
Maybe you're kidding yourself, but most likely, you have an idea, and have even talked about it.
You Know Exactly What To Do Or Say If You Want Them To Come Right Then
But you rarely do, because you usually want more.
You Never Worry About Them Faking It (Like That Sh*t Would Ever Get Past You Anyway)
And you'd never consider faking it, either.
You Know Their Type — And When They're Trying To Be All Subtle About Checking Someone Out
Hopefully you can laugh about it. If you're really comfortable, you might even point someone out to them.
You Know Which Body Part(s) They're Most Self-Conscious About
You try to give them just the right amount of extra love.
.... And You Know When Their Confidence Is Lower Than Usual Without Their Saying So
You can tell when they're going through a phase of feeling out-of-shape or off their game, they don't need to say it. And you know how to help boost them up in a subtle way.
You Know What They'll Think Of People You Introduce Them To Before You Even Introduce Them
You knew right away which friends would be their favorites.
You Always Know What A Certain Touch On The Hand Or Back Means
There's the "I'm here" touch, the "I'm sorry touch," the "You know I love you, right?" touch, the "I'm proud to be with you" touch, the "I'm totally going to pounce on you later" touch, the "We need to leave this party soon" touch ....
You Believe You Know The Conditions Under Which They'd Thrive Creatively And Spiritually
I'm often convinced that if I could just get him to a secluded cabin he'd write the next great American novel. I try to get him to stop and smell the flowers, to lay down on the grass, and generally be less hard on himself. I know he's looking out for the ways he can push my soul, too.
You Keep A Running List In Your Head Of Potential Gifts Based On Their Offhand Comments
So many potential gifts, so little money to buy them.
You Know The Moments When They Need To Be Built Up
You reserve the pep talks wisely so that they actually hold weight, but you know just when to break them out.
... And When They Need A Kick In The Ass
You can get them on-track in one line, if you need to.
You Know Which Weird Snack To Pick Up That Will Make Them Feel Loved
It's a little way to say you care, even if you think eating frozen fruit is weird.
You Know When You Can Take Their Leftovers
You know when they're done and ready to share.
You Know When They're Going To Say You're Taking Their Spot
On the couch, the plane ... sometimes you'll try to get away with it anyway. You know you won't.
You Know When They're About To Get Their Period (Or Vice Versa)
OK, so I can't know when he's getting his period, but he sure can tell when mine is coming — sometimes before I realize.
You Know Which Messes You'll Probably Always Have To Clean Up
He's probably always going to leave clothes hanging over the laundry basket instead of inside it, and I'm always going to forget to close cabinets.
You Know Which (Very Specific) Mood They're In Based On The Music They Put On
He's feeling romantic and whimsical when he puts on bossanova, romantic and seductive when he puts on Marvin Gaye, like having people over or having quality time together when he puts on D'Angelo.
You Know When To Recommend Going Out Or Staying In
Sometimes they need that push to relax or be social, and you know how to make suggestions taking that into account. It's not just about what you feel like doing.
You Know What They're Going To Want To Order Off The Menu Before They Say It
And what you should split.
You Know What Their Favorite Outfit Of Yours Is
And when to break it out.
You Know Which Trends They Aren't A Fan Of
He's not a fan of high-waisted jeans, bold lipstick, or high heels. Sometimes I take that into consideration, sometimes I don't.
You Know When They're About To Get Into It With Someone Before It Even Happens
Just ... not right now ... OK?
You Can See Which Traits Came From Which Parents
Dad's punctuality, Mom's listening skills.
You Know When They're Taking Something Out On You And When They're Just Mad About Something Else
And you're usually patient about making it better, especially as you get to understand them more and more.
You Know The Things That Will Probably Never Change About Them
And if you're with them, hopefully those are things you can learn to accept and even love.
You Know When It's Crucial To Admit You Were Wrong, And When It's OK To Just Move On
You know when to apologize, and you also know when actions matter more.
You Know The Really Little Things That Make Them Feel Loved
Spontaneous-kiss-attacks, saying good morning before you check your phone, feeding them the last bite.
You Often Get An Eerie Sense That You've Known Them In Another Lifetime
Are you from the future, the past, or what?
You Have A Mutual Understanding About The Future That Doesn't Always Have To Be Talked About
...You Just Know They're There
... And That No Matter How Well You Know Them, They'll Find A Way To Keep Surprising You.
And you know they know you know that.