How Do You Know That You're With the Right Person?

At some point in most relationships, people ask themselves the same question, “Is this one the right person for me?” Whether you’re brand new or seven years in, it’s an inevitable question.

The question isn’t necessarily born out of doubt or insecurity. It can be a normal, healthy skepticism to try and balance out your romantic, attachment feelings for your significant other. We may love someone immensely, but still not be compatible with him or her in the long-term.

So how do you know you’re with the right person? How do you know your love will stand the test of time?

Once you’ve moved on from the honeymoon phase of a new relationship — where you’re both enamored of the “newness” of the relationship and exploring each others personalities and histories — relationships tend to settle into a familiar, comfortable pattern. Couples build upon shared experiences that tend to bring them closer together and reinforce their couplehood.

Sometimes along the path of couplehood, however, people in relationships hit rough patches. Those are normal and to be expected. But they can also be signs of greater, unspoken issues in the relationship, and raise the question of whether you’re truly right for one another.

7 Signs You’re With the Right Person

1. Satisfaction is high for both

Relationships that work out in the long-term have one important thing in common — both partners claim to experience high levels of satisfaction with the relationship. It’s working for them, boosting them up on days when they’re feeling down, and sharing in and celebrating each other’s life accomplishments. Both people in the relationship feel like they’re benefiting from it.

You’re in the right relationship if you feel your partner is there for you when you need support, and that the relationship is overall a great addition to your life. In short, it’s adding value to the joy you experience in life.

2. Conflict is handled in a similar or complementary manner for both

Conflict in a relationship is inevitable and normal. It’s not the conflict itself that’s generally a problem, but rather how each person handles that conflict is an important indicator of whether that person is right for you. Two people who have entirely different and contradictory ways of handling conflict aren’t likely to last long.

You’re in the right relationship if you and your partner handle conflict in similar or complementary ways. You don’t have to be exactly on the same page, but you do have to agree on how arguments will be handled and respect each other’s choices and argument style.

3. There is no abuse or manipulation — of any kind

You may think this is a given and that it doesn’t even need to be said. But too many people “settle” for a relationship where abuse — emotional, psychological, sexual, or physical — occurs. Even once is one time too many. A normal, healthy relationship is one where such abuse never occurs because it’s not even on the table. The same goes for manipulation as well. If you ignored little warning signs along the way thinking that you could “change” the other person into doing less of an offensive behavior, you were kidding yourself. You can’t change others — they need to change themselves (and actively work toward such change).

The right relationship for you will not have any kind of abuse or manipulation occurring in it. Love never condones abuse for any reason.

4. You have never been more satisfied in a relationship

If you compare your current relationship with all of your past ones and find that the current one pushes all of the right buttons, that’s a sign you’ve made the right choice. You have to be careful with this one, however, because memory is not always accurate in our recollection of the past. We often change things in ways that fit our own internal narrative, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. So you have to try and be as objective as you can when doing this.

If you can’t remember another relationship that felt better, treated you better, or helped boost your life in pursuit of your dreams and happiness, then you’re in the right relationship.

5. You can’t imagine being more happy and satisfied

Tied to #1, not only is satisfaction high in the relationship for both people, but you can’t imagine being any happier in a relationship with anyone else. People who do imagine other relationships being more happy are typically unsatisfied with one or more aspects of their current relationship. And generally, I’m not talking about minor annoyances (like how he never takes out the trash until he’s asked). I’m talking about significant relationship issues that burden you with their weight every week.

You’re in the right relationship if you can’t readily imagine being more happy or satisfied with another person.

6. You know who you are and what you want out of life

People in a satisfied and happy romantic relationship know who they are and what they want out of life. If you don’t know those things, you’d be hard pressed to say whether you’re with the right person, because you don’t even know yourself well enough to ask the question.

The right person for you will be someone you know you want and need in your life, that complements your personality and expectations, and adds to your life in ways that you most value. If you truly know yourself and your own needs, you also likely know what kind of person you most want.

7. Neither person harbors long-standing resentments toward the other, nor withholds forgiveness

If occasional conflict is normal in relationships, ruminating and holding on to resentments is not. People who can’t let go of past hurts are typically not people who can hold on to a relationship, because inevitably they will find a reason to resent their significant other. Healthy people find ways to let go such hurts with time and forgiveness. Forgiveness is a part of every healthy relationship; withholding forgiveness is akin to withholding love.

You’re in the right relationship if both you and your partner are able to let past resentments go, and forgive each other with an open heart.