If your relationship is well on its way to being healthy and secure, you may notice that you and your partner do little things unconsciously that — when you take a closer look — can actually be a sign of
how deeply connected you are. You may start to work on problems before they get out of hand, take an interest in each other's hobbies, or create little rituals within your relationship, as a way of staying on the same page. And when you add it all up, it can show you much you "get" each other.
Don't worry, though, if these things don't ring a bell. It's always possible to
strengthen your relationship, and feel more in tune as a result. "The best way to deepen a connection with your partner is to spend meaningful, quality time together," Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. "Mindfully get to know your partner on a deeper level, trying your best to fully understand what makes [them] tick."
It may take some effort to
create a solid foundation, but the end result will be worth it. "Over time, you will start to get a stronger bond with your partner," Bennett says, "even to the point where you’ll intuitively know what your partner is thinking and feeling and how to react to various problems and issues." And the same will be true for them, too. Read on for some signs you're already on your way to forming a true connection, according to experts. 1 You Can Sense When Something's Wrong
Can you both sense when the other person isn't feeling their best, even if they haven't admitted it yet? "If you are
close to someone, you’ll often develop an intuitive sense of what that person needs in a given situation," Bennett says. "This is especially true if your partner is sad, angry, anxious and so on." You'll kind of just know.
Of course, it's fine if you also need to ask questions and have discussions, just to be sure. You can't, after all, expect each other to be actual mind readers. But if you both
make the relationship a priority, Bennett says it likely won't take long to get to the root of these emotions, so you can begin finding solutions. 2 You're Interested In Each Other's Hobbies
While it's always great to
have your own separate lives and interests, if you're feeling extra connected, you may naturally take an interest in each other's hobbies, as well.
"You find yourself exploring their interests or hobbies such as learning, planning, or seeking out experiences that you both can engage in together,"
psychotherapist Yael Katzman, MA, LMFT, tells Bustle. Doing so will not only make it easier to spend more time together, but it will also allow you to get to know each other on an even deeper level. 3 You Have A Million Inside Jokes
You and your partner will likely have a multitude of inside jokes, simply because you share the same sense of humor, spend a lot of time together, and make similar observations.
But it can also be a sign of a deep connection, as well as a habit that will keep you two together years down the line. As Bennett says, having "an appreciation of each other’s humor can create a fun environment where [you] can genuinely laugh together." Laughing together cane even
strengthen your connection, over time. 4 You Encourage Each Other To Branch Out
Even if you spend a lot of time together, it's a sign you're deeply connected if you're also cool with
spending time apart — and especially so if you actually encourage it.
As Bennett says, this stems from the sense of trust you have in the relationship. Thanks to that strong foundation, you both feel secure knowing nothing bad will come from spending time apart, and that doing so is
actually a good thing. 5 You Both Lean In During Tough Times
While some couples shut down during tough times, you and your partner might notice you actually feel
closer whenever life gets rocky.
"For truly connected couples, they have learned that pain will not divide them,"
couples specialist Melody Li, LMFT, tells Bustle. "In fact, pain can be a source of valuable information that can deepen and strengthen the relationship. So connected partners may find themselves taking interest and leaning into their partner’s pain, with compassion, rather than leaning out, ignoring, or minimizing." 6 They're The First Person You Call (And Vice Versa)
Whether it's good or bad, is your partner the first person you call with big news? And are you the first person they ring? If so, it's clear "they are your person to lean on and you are their person,"
psychotherapist Dr. Jennifer Howard, tells Bustle. And really, what could be a better sign of a deep connection? 7 You've Created Relationship Rituals
"Healthy couples establish boundaries and 'off-time' rules for themselves to protect their emotional connection moments," Steve Dziedzic, relationship expert, and founder and CEO of
Lasting, tells Bustle. So if you focus on each other and do meaningful things, consider yourselves in a good spot.
If that's not the case, though, it's always something you can work. "In your relationship, you get to create rituals that
foster emotional connection, which are called 'connection rituals,'" Dziedzic says. This might include having tech-free nights, giving each other a hug before work, or making a point to eat dinner together more often. Little moments like these add up to create a stronger connection, and a healthier relationship overall. 8 You Aren't Afraid To Have Tough Conversations
"One signifier of safety and belonging is that partners are willing to engage in uncomfortable conversations well before problems arise," Li says. So if you two hash it out — in a healthy way — before problems snowball, go ahead and pat yourselves on the back.
While it may not always be easy, Li says getting to a place where you can start — and stay in — uncomfortable conversations, is the best way to resolve your issues. And it can even make you feel closer as a result.
9 You Give Each Other The Benefit Of The Doubt
If you two are super connected, you may find that you give each other the benefit of the doubt, instead of jumping to hasty conclusions, name-calling, or other toxic reactions.
"When [a] relationship is in a positive place, we tend to assume the best of our partner and look for reasons outside of our partner's character to explain negative outcomes,"
couples therapist Laura Heck, tells Bustle. "Giving your partner the benefit of the doubt is a subtle but powerful sign you are truly connected."
Of course, these little habits won't always guarantee that a relationship will be healthy. It'll still take work to stay connected, and keep things heading in a positive direction. But if you notice you unconsciously do these things for each other, it's
definitely a good sign.