When it comes to discovering whether or not you and your partner are meant to be, you may end up constantly examining your time together for clues. Still,
spending time apart in a relationship is a given, and you may wonder how your understanding of the relationship can grow, even when you and your partner aren’t in the same place. According to relationship experts, there’s a lot to learn from time apart.
“The way a partner acts when apart certainly provides insight into a relationship,” David Bennett, certified counselor and relationship expert with
Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. “At the very least it will tell you your partner's attachment style ([which can] help determine whether both partners are on the same page), and it offers insight into how each person views the relationship. Also, how each partner behaves when apart can provide important clues about how close the relationship really is.” So keep an eye on your partner’s communication and emotions when you’re not physically together — you may learn a lot.
And keep in mind that finding it difficult to go through these periods of time does not necessarily mean a kiss of death for your relationship.
“Not everyone has to be good at separation, especially since it tends to draw out anxiety in some,” Rabbi Mark Wildes, relationship expert, couples counselor, and author of tells Bustle. “The values that are built in a relationship, like trust and communication, are what distance really tests.” You can look to certain clues to really start to unpack where the relationship is headed. Beyond the Instant
Here are seven
signs your partner’s your soulmate, based on how they act when you’re apart.
They're Good At Expressing How Much They Miss You
It's one thing to miss some one, and a completely different thing to be able to express it. If you've found a partner who both misses you and shares their feelings, you've got a really good thing going on.
“Saying ‘I miss you’ means the world to people, especially in relationships," Samantha Daniels, Dating Expert and Founder of
Samantha’s Table Matchmaking, tells Bustle. "You want to know you are valued and cared for so hearing those words from your partner means a lot." Sometimes, it's not just an "I miss you" that does the trick. A partner who texts "good morning," or "good night," or someone who brings back a gift that made them think of you, is also likely quite loving and caring.
Scheduling calls is, of course, practical, but if your partner is instead inclined to call you just because they feel like it and have a free minute, that's can be a sign of a special connection too. Communication doesn't have to be constant or long to be meaningful, as long as you are both present when talking,
love and life coach Veronica Grant tells Bustle. So don't freak out if your partner's communication style is more off-the-cuff.
“If your partner knows when you have downtime to talk to them on the phone and calls you for a quick chat, then this may be a sign that you and your partner are meant to be," Daniels says. "This shows that even when apart, your partner is interested in what you are doing and wants to hear your voice." Enjoy those little check-ins throughout the day, and don't stress about requiring a certain amount of time on a video call each week you're apart. Your connection can likely weather the time apart.
It Essentially Feels The Same Whether You're Together Or Apart
Obviously, being away from your partner means accepting the reality of missing them, and even going through some tough patches and
moments of awkward communication. But if, in essence, your time apart feels the same as your time together, you two likely have a very strong bond.
“[It's a good sign if] distance makes the heart grow fonder, but the relationship is still the same," Rabbi Mark Wildes, relationship expert, couples counselor, and author of
tells Bustle. "You may miss them and their presence, but love transcends distance and so you carry the other person in your heart whether you’re with them or not." In a relationship that's meant-to-be, you can lead independent lives together and apart, and share a bond wherever you happen to be geographically. Beyond the Instant
They Understand The Little Things You Need
Your soulmate won't neglect even the smallest things that are important to you when you're apart.
“[A good partner knows] that at nighttime, you like to curl up with a book for an hour to unwind and might not check your phone," Rabbi Wildes says. "[Or that] somehow they just know you need at least three to four short FaceTimes to feel [their] love. Small acts that show your partner understands you on a deep level could show that your relationship is meant to last." Beyond
love language, these acts of understanding show that your partner is looking out for you on a deeper level.
They're Actually Excited To Keep In Touch
When you're apart, your partner should look forward to checking in with you, not begrudgingly pick up the phone — even if they're doing it because they know it's what makes you happy.
“[A good partner will] keep you updated because they want to," Bennett says. "I'm not a huge fan of relationships where both people are constantly checking up on each other in a Sherlock Holmes way. That's just being controlling. However, if your partner updates you some about what's going on when [you're] apart, even to say something nice like 'hope you're having fun! I'm still over at x's place,' that's a sign you have a caring and courteous partner.” Good communication will be less about expectation and more about finding ways to show love.
Being apart shouldn't lead your partner down a path of neediness. If it does, they likely aren't your soulmate.
“[Good partners] aren't needy when they are apart from you," Bennett says. "The healthiest
attachment style is 'secure attachment' which means you enjoy being with someone, but don't absolutely need them to feel complete and happy ... If your partner can spend time apart from you without being needy, controlling, or checking up on you, that's a sign of a healthy view of you and your relationship." You want them to miss you when you're apart, and keep you posted on their day and be curious about yours, but you don't want them to expect codependence. On the other hand, it's also not a great sign if they find being apart too easy. You want to strike a balance.
They Trust You, And Vice-Versa
The most important aspect of maintaining a loving bond while apart is sharing trust. “[In a good relationship,] there's a deep level of trust," Grant says. "Whether [they're] going on a night out with [their] buddies or you're going away for a weekend, when you're apart, you don't worry about your partner cheating on you or doing anything they're not supposed to. Neither one of you feel the need to constantly be checking on each other, nor is there the fear that one or both partners are up to no good." That kind of innate trust in one another is what will most strongly indicate a good future together.
In the end, it is a combination of how your partner acts when you're together and you're apart that will indicate whether or not they're your soulmate. But, since most relationships do go through periods of physical distance, it is helpful to know what the healthiest, most loving, distance looks like. If your partner shows they love you in all of these ways, it's a really good sign.