The very question "Am I with the right person?" implies that, on some level, you're having second thoughts. It'd be so nice to have a definitive answer and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that
your partner is "the one." Unfortunately, there’s not a giant green flag waving above your partner’s head when you first meet them, encouraging you to pursue the relationship. But since life and relationships are never that straightforward, doubts and worries are bound to arise. It’s normal for couples in long-term relationships to experience reservations at some point.
And yet, as
Annie Wright, LMFT, a licensed psychotherapist , tells Bustle, it doesn't necessarily mean you're destined for a breakup. "Contrary to what [movies] and most pop songs teach us," she says, "love and being with the 'right' partner doesn't always look like fireworks or being completely certain about the other."
It's likely you'll experience moments of ambivalence, boredom, and even doubt. This is especially true if you have a
history of toxic relationships, Sasha Jackson, MSW, LCSW, a licensed therapist, tells Bustle. "It’s important to explore if you're allowing past negative experiences to overshadow your current relationship," she says. "If this is the case, take time to talk to your partner about insecurities and seek therapy to help you overcome your past. This way you can have a healthy and happy relationship."
Reassessing the positives and negatives (even if there aren’t that many) of your relationship is very important, as it could help you figure out if you’re right for each other in the long run. Do you still connect as well as you did in the beginning on issues, opinions, and lifestyles? Do you see yourself still with them in the next five years as you pursue professional and personal growth?
Dr. Jaclyn Gulotta, PHD, LMHC, licensed mental health counselor, believes it’s helpful to reevaluate what’s important to you as well as what makes the relationship feel special. “If you find someone that still meets your personal relationship expectations even after being together for a while, then that may be the right person. Being in a relationship where you are able to find a compromise to each partner’s expectations is important for building a strong foundation,” Gulotta tells Bustle.
So, wondering how to know if you're with the right person? Here are 35 signs you are, even if you've been questioning your relationship.
1 It's Easy To Be Around Them
One of the most important feelings to look for, when assessing if a partner is right for you, is comfort. "If you have a sense of ease in being with this person — you're not often on edge, hyper-vigilant, waiting for a fight, or feeling neglected — that is a good sign,"
Virginia Williamson, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle.
It doesn't mean you won't have occasional arguments or moments of tension. It just means the overall vibe feels relaxed and natural.
2 You Can Be Yourself In The Relationship
Branching off of that, you know it's OK to be yourself. You feel free to say what's on your mind, to bring up tough topics, to let your hair down — because you know they won't pass judgment or love you any less. “Bending to impress a person or your partner is never a brilliant idea. Showing your true colors from the beginning is a fundamental aspect of a happy and healthy relationship,”
Barbara Santini, MSCI, psychologist and sex and relationship adviser, tells Bustle.
This also means they approach with love and understanding even when you aren't at your best, like when you're sick, in a bad mood, or closed off because you're going through a tough time.
3 You Still Get Excited
Even if you've been together for a long time, you'll still have
moments of excitement — like when you greet each other after being apart all day. It's all a sign you're in the right place and with the right person. As Williamson says, "Not every day has to or will be filled with passion, but there should still be some excitement about spending time together." 4 Your Personalities Are Complementary
They say opposites attract, but sometimes a really great match can be found in someone who complements you. So take a moment to assess. Are they outgoing, while you're reserved? Are they thoughtful, while you're quick to find solutions to problems? You're likely with the right person if "your differences bring balance to each other's lives," relationship expert
Amber Artis tells Bustle. 5 You Share The Same Values
Do you share similar worldviews and have similar thoughts, morals, values, and beliefs? If so, you're on the right track,
Saudia L. Twine, Ph.D., LPC, LLMFT, a marriage therapist and relationship coach, tells Bustle. While sharing hobbies and interests is great, these things are so much more important because they mean you're heading in the same direction in life. 6 You Stay On The Same "Team" When Arguing
Relationships tend to fall apart when partners view each other as
enemies during fights, instead of looking for ways to stay on the same team even when they’re both super mad. If you and your partner are a good match, Twine says, you'll notice that you work through conflict, voice your concerns, listen, and reach a resolution.
You argue, but it never gets vicious. And more importantly, you always come out on the other side with new boundaries and a better understanding of one another.
7 You Know They're Loyal
Think about how it feels when you call and your partner doesn't answer. Or send a text and they don't write back. Or they get home late from work. Do you assume the worst? Or know that everything's A-OK? Santini says
trust is the pillar of healthy relationships. “If you can easily trust each other in anything you do, this shows you are comfortable with each other,” Santini says.
While past relationship history can play into how easy it is to trust a partner, you're likely with the right person if a) you can talk about these insecurities and b) they're open and honest and willing to do whatever it takes to
develop trust in your relationship. 8 You Actually Hear Each Other
What this essentially means is that, when you voice your concerns, your partner actually listens, Twine says, and as a result you
feel heard and understood.
Listening to each other also prevents small problems from becoming bigger ones, which is important if you want to stick together.
9 You Can't Pinpoint What's Wrong
"Thoughts strongly influence how we interpret behaviors of others and our expectations,"
Dr. Danielle Forshee, a clinical psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, tells Bustle. So, take a second to evaluate this idea that something's "wrong" in your relationship.
For instance, you may think, "My partner doesn't put a ton of effort into romance anymore. Our relationship isn't good and they don't love me." But when you look at reality, it's easy to point out all the ways they're caring and sweet. That's why, as Forshee says, it's important to check in with yourself. Your thoughts may not be consistent with what's actually going on and may be what's causing unnecessary feelings of doubt.
10 You Feel The Chemistry
Even if you're having a moment of doubt, consider whether you still
feel chemistry — aka, that easy, breezy, flirty, fun positivity — more often than not.
"This chemistry is an intangible quality that is often hard to measure,"
Nicholas Hardy, LCSW, a psychotherapist, tells Bustle. "But you know it when it is there, as well as when it is not there." It's OK if you're going through a rough patch. All couples do, at times. But if that chemistry is there, it's yet another sign you're a good match. 11 Your Doubts Come And Go Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images
Consider whether these doubts are fleeting or if they stick around. As Hardy says, "Too much questioning could allude to deeper problems in the relationship." You'll want to trust your gut and take a closer look to figure out why you feel the way you do.
But if the doubt only pops up once in a blue moon and doesn't feel very strong, chances are you're doing OK.
12 You Are Respected
Keep an eye out on the daily — as well as in moments when disrespect might be on full display, like during an argument — and ask yourself, "Do I feel safe? Do I feel respected?"
"This is a big one,"
Salina Schmidgall, M.Ed., PLPC, NCC, a mental health therapist, tells Bustle. "If you don't feel either of these, you aren't with the right person." Disrespect might look like yelling, crossing boundaries, name-calling, lying — the list goes on and on. You won't have to deal with any of these things in a secure, healthy relationship. 13 Your Partner Is The First Person You Call
If you get a promotion, adopt a puppy, or just generally have a great day, who's the first person you call? If it's your partner, Schmidgall says, that's a good sign. The same is true with the bad stuff. If your partner is one of the first people you call, it not only shows you value them but that they're a source of comfort.
14 You Feel Like The Best Version Of Yourself
Do you like who you are around your partner? And do they encourage you to be better? If they're happy with who you are right now but also boost you up and help you
reach your goals, you've struck gold, Cathy Sullivan-Windt, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, tells Bustle.
The same is true in reverse. You love who they are right now but also want to see them succeed, whether it's with a personal goal, a work goal, or otherwise. You both support each other in being "better" — and growing into who you want to be as individuals.
15 Your Friends Are All About It
While you'll always want to trust your own assessment of the relationship — since you and your partner are the only ones in it — getting an outside perspective can come in handy, especially if you're having
If well-intentioned individuals — like close friends and family — are supportive and happy for you, Hardy says, you're likely with the right person.
16 You Like Their Friends skynesher/E+/Getty Images
"There is some truth to the statement that the people one chooses to surround themselves with says a lot about a person," Sullivan-Windt says. So, take a look at the people your partner associates with, and consider what it reveals.
"This doesn’t mean you have to share hobbies with your significant other's friends," she says, "but it is important that they are people you respect at a minimum — and ideally people you’d like to spend time with, too." If their friends welcome you into their group with open arms, and vice versa, you've got a truly excellent situation on your hands.
17 You're Both Comfortable Spending Time Apart
time away from your partner and having aspects of your own life that you participate in solo is great for a healthy relationship," Emily Griffin, MA, LCPC, LPC, a mental health therapist, tells Bustle. "Having hobbies and social gatherings without our partner lets us gain self-worth outside of our relationship, which is healthy for everyone involved."
Not to mention, if you're both cool with
spending time apart — and can do so without it feeling like a big deal — it shows you have a good level of trust and respect for each other. 18 Everything Seems Fair And Balanced
Making decisions, doing chores, paying bills. It all carries a mental load, Griffin says, which is why you're likely with the right person if they understand that — and do their part.
You don't want it to feel like you're the only one doing the heavy lifting, she says, since that can lead to resentment. Instead, it should feel like you both show up 100% and take on these responsibilities together.
19 You're Willing To Work On The Relationship
"There’s a natural ebb and flow to relationships," dating expert
Samantha Daniels tells Bustle. So, even if you're definitely going through a tough time, consider your reaction to it all. If you still feel willing to acknowledge problems and work toward concrete solutions, it's a sign you still see the relationship as "worth it." You want to make things work because there's value.
If you're still unsure, however, "talk to your partner about your concerns and fears," Daniels says. They need to know how you feel so they can join you in making positive changes.
20 Your Partner Actively Listens To You, And Vice Versa
If you and your partner can have an authentic conversation, feeding off each other’s energy, and you notice that they’re really
paying attention to every word coming out of your mouth, you’re with the right person. This may seem inevitable, but more often than not, it’s easy for a partner to just nod their head or change the subject instead of genuinely listening and acknowledging your words. Pippa Murphy, a sex and relationship expert, says to watch your partner when you talk: “Do they let you take the lead and not turn every conversation back onto them? Do they remember things you have told them in the past?” This shows that your partner actually cares about your opinions and is invested in engaging in healthy conversation with you. 21 They Are Authentically Happy About Your Personal Growth Hispanolistic/E+/Getty Images
In a long-term relationship, you might experience professional, emotional, physical changes that wouldn’t just affect you, but your partner as well. “Perhaps you gain a promotion, move to a completely new job, or tick off a big life goal of yours. If your partner is authentically happy and excited about your successes, then that’s a positive sign that you’re with the right partner,” Murphy tells Bustle.
You can use your partner’s reaction to this personal growth as a way to decipher if you’re truly compatible. “Alternatively, if you feel that your partner is holding you back or not supporting you, then that’s a sign you could be in an unhealthy relationship,” Murphy says.
22 You Aren’t Just In Love, But In Like As Well
Sometimes understanding whether you’re with the right person comes down not to how you both express love, but how you express “like.” If you genuinely consider your partner one of your closest friends, or maybe even your best friend, it’s more likely that you’re with the right person. “Liking our partner is highly undervalued, yet it’s far easier to sustain love when you truly like each other as individuals and enjoy each other’s company,”
Holly Battey, PsyD, matchmaker and dating coach, tells Bustle. 23 They Acknowledge And Repect Your Past Trauma
One of the most important deciding factors when it comes to your relationship’s future is whether or not they
understand your past traumas or negative experiences. Some of those memories might still affect you to this day, and if your partner doesn’t respect that, it might mean they don’t truly know you.
If you’ve properly communicated these traumas to your partner and they respond with a disregarding attitude, they’re not your person. “They should be aware of your pain and show that they are capable of being the person that is able to sit in the pain with you, not try to fix you,”
Matthew Brace, LMFT, tells Bustle. 24 Their Words And Actions Correspond
The saying “actions speak louder than words” proves to be true here. If your partner keeps saying they’ll take you out to dinner, or they’ll fold the clothes in the dryer, or they’ll make dinner, but you have noticed they’re not following through with these claims, it could be a red flag. “If your partner is willing to make and keep commitments with you, that’s a green light,”
Chloe Ballatore, relationship and communication expert, tells Bustle. 25 You’re Learning From Each Other
Ballatore says being in a relationship that actively teaches you new things can be incredibly stimulating, and it may even be a deal breaker if it’s not happening. If you’re learning new opinions, new approaches, and new outlooks on life, you could notice that you’re growing into a more well-rounded version of yourself.
26 You Know You Can Ask For Space And Receive It Catherine Falls Commercial/Moment/Getty Images
Spending time apart partaking in different activities is incredibly important, but sometimes you just need some time alone with yourself and your individual thoughts. Gulotta tells Bustle that your partner should acknowledge your own personal need for self-care and be willing to give you the alone time you need.
“When you are with the right person, they will respect your time. Your partner should acknowledge that personal self-care time is important in order to be a better version of yourself,” Gulotta says. Whether you need to take an hour-long bath or go on a walk by yourself, your partner should respect that and
give you appropriate space. 27 You Both Respect Each Other’s Love Languages
Every person has a different relationship with the five love languages;
words of affirmation, gift giving, quality time, acts of service, and physical touch. Each person will receive and give out love in unique ways. Sarah Kaufman, LMSW, psychotherapist, tells Bustle that understanding your partner’s and your own love languages can be incredibly powerful in a romantic relationship.
“If you’ve expressed your needs for more quality time or more words of affirmation [or] communication, and your partner has put in effort to make adjustments, that goes a long way,” Kaufman says. Through your partner’s acknowledgement of your love languages, you’ll also feel like you want to accommodate theirs. “For example, [you might become] more comfortable with PDA because your partner is big on physical touch, while your partner knows you need a certain amount of communication [and] has actively increased their understanding of you,” Kaufman says.
28 Your Partner Doesn’t Try To Change You
If you feel you have remained authentic and true to who you are as an individual throughout your entire relationship, this is definitely a green flag. “The right person accepts you for who you are, with all of your flaws and weaknesses. Your partner does help you realize where you're wrong, but they don’t ask you to
change your habits to appease them or their lifestyle,” Dr. Lea McMahon LPC, EdD, licensed counselor, tells Bustle. 29 They Create Intimacy In The Least Intimate Moments
Feeling romantically connected to your partner can happen in other moments besides sex.
Wendy Sterling, CPCC, ACC, CDS, divorce recovery specialist, tells Bustle that intimacy can be created through conversation, intellect, and emotional connection. “Intimacy is about a true mind, body, and soul connection that permeates throughout your body like an electrical charge, even while just making dinner or talking on the phone on your way home from work,” Sterling says. Emotional intimacy is a very real thing. 30 You’re Both Committed To The Relationship
Sandra Myers notes that relationship dynamics change over time. “The period of initial animalistic chemistry will fade and your relationship will evolve over time,” Myers tells Bustle. Myers says if your partner is still as committed to your partnership as they were in the very beginning, you’re with the right one. “You both truly want to make it work,” she says. 31 You Could Live With This Person Exactly As They Are Today Halfpoint Images/Moment/Getty Images
If you’re telling yourself, “one day they’ll change,” your partner is not the person you’re meant to be with.
Leah Carey, sex and intimacy coach, acknowledges that it’s so easy to fall into the trap of believing with that with the right influence, the other person’s quirks and flaws will smooth out. “If you can’t imagine being in a relationship with this person a few years down the road exactly the way they are today, it’s probably time to re-evaluate your choices,” Carey tells Bustle. Imagine moving in with your partner tomorrow. Could you do it? If you could, that’s a great sign. 32 You Fight Without Getting Resentful
Carey understands that
every couple fights differently. “Depending on the couple, fights may be quite subdued, or they may include raised voices and slammed doors. But name calling, bringing up the past, and intentionally saying or doing hurtful things are in the no-go zone,” Carey says. If you notice it’s hard for you to move past things your partner has said while fighting, this might be a sign that it’s time to move on. 33 You Feel Comfortable Making Decisions Together
The farther along you are in a relationship, the more you might rely on your partner when making tough decisions or choices. Getting your partner’s perspective on things can be really helpful.
Katina Tarver, MA, relationship and life coach, understands that as individuals, partners may function differently.
“When it comes to making important decisions about life, your relationship, your professional life, kids, or the future, if you’re both on the same page and feel safe to communicate your thoughts, that’s a cue of a perfect match,” Tarver tells Bustle.
34 Your Partner Treats Others Well
Being treated well by your partner is definitely important, but
Sonya Schwartz, dating and relationship expert, says it’s also necessary to watch how your partner treats other people. If they treat people you introduce them to with as much kindness as they give you, then you’re likely with the right person. Watch how they treat their employees, restaurant waiters, and more everyday people, and see if you notice any red flags. 35 You Just "Know"
There might not be a definitive answer when it comes to whether or not your partner is right for you. Read this article, write pro and con lists, and do whatever else will help you gain clarity — but most importantly, check in with yourself.
"When people say, 'when you know you know,' it really is the case," Schmidgall says. "It's really a matter of trusting our own judgment and listening to our gut. Your body tells you a lot about what's going on — listen to it."
Sources: Annie Wright, LMFT , licensed psychotherapist Sasha Jackson, MSW, LCSW , licensed therapist Virginia Williamson, LMFT , licensed marriage and family therapist Amber Artis , relationship expert Saudia L. Twine, Ph.D., LPC, LLMFT , marriage therapist and relationship coach Samantha Daniels , dating expert Rosalind Sedacca, CLC , dating and relationship coach Nicholas Hardy, LCSW , psychotherapist Salina Schmidgall, M.Ed., PLPC, NCC, mental health therapist Cathy Sullivan-Windt, Ph.D. , licensed psychologist Dr. Danielle Forshee , clinical psychologist and licensed clinical social worker Emily Griffin, MA, LCPC, LPC , mental health therapist Pippa Murphy , a sex and relationship expert Holly Battey, PsyD, matchmaker & dating coach Matthew Brace, LMFT , marriage and family therapist Chloe Ballatore , relationship and communication expert Dr. Jaclyn Gulotta, PHD, LMHC , licensed mental health counselor, relationship expert Sarah Kaufman, LMSW , psychotherapist Dr. Lea McMahon LPC, EdD , licensed counselor, adjunct professor of Psychology Wendy Sterling, CPCC, ACC, CDS , divorce recovery specialist and relationship coach Sandra Myers , relationship expert Leah Carey , sex and intimacy coach Katina Tarver, MA , relationship and life coach Sonya Schwartz , dating and relationship expert Barbara Santini, MSCI, psychologist, sex and relationship adviser
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This article was originally published on
June 25, 2018