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Relationships are hard, especially in this day and age when we all have short attention spans. So how are you supposed to know that you're in a relationship that's worth holding onto? Some people will tell you that "when you know, you know," but some people need a little more concrete evidence to go off of when deciding if this is the real deal or not. So here are 9 ways to know that you're in the right relationship.

1. You feel totally at ease. 

At the beginning of every relationship, you definitely want to put your best face forward. So you clean your apartment, you take great care to make sure every bit of food makes it into your mouth (and not on your lap), and you try to always look uber polished — hair, makeup, cute new outfit, you know the drill. But when you finally feel comfortable being 100% you around your partner (the you only a select few, like mom, your college roomie, and the mirror have seen), that’s when you know this could be it. Going to bed without any mascara or not beyond mortified that you accidentally spilled a glass of red while all over his/her tan couch…those are some subtle signs that you’re in the right relationship.

2. You completely trust your partner. 

We’ve all been in those relationships where we don’t really know what our partner is feeling, thinking, doing. And that not knowing leads up to snooping — going through your significant other’s texts, emails, Facebook messages. That may not feel like a warning sign, but needing to poke around on the DL is definitely not a positive in any relationship. If you don’t feel the need to go through his/her stuff, then that means you two have built up a level of trust that lets you know how much your partner cares. You can say without any shred of doubt that he/she would NEVER hurt you and vice versa. That deep understanding will help you stick it out through the good times and the bad.

3. You can have fun together no matter what. 

Whether you’re stuck at the airport with a six-hour delay or learning to surf in Costa Rica, you and your partner are having a grand old time. That’s huge. It’s easy to enjoy the grand gestures and the once-in-a-lifetime moments, but everything that happens in between? Well, it’s just as important. If you can’t make each other laugh or find something to talk about regardless of what’s going on around you, then the foundation of your relationship isn’t standing on solid ground. That ability to make the most out of the mundane is what makes for the best bonds.

4. You’re different people and that’s okay. 

While you obviously want to have SOME things in common with your partner, like taste in music or passion for exotic foods, you don’t want to be too similar. Two alpha dogs don’t make a right relationship, but neither do two super indecisive people. So once you realize that your similarities are what draw you together, but your differences are what make you strong, that’s when you’ll find you’re in a real solid spot with your SO. Just make sure your key life values (like views on money, importance of religion or desire to have children) line up.

5. You’re able to keep the past in the past. 

Sure, you want to know all about her ex or are curious about how many people he slept with before meeting you. That’s totally normal. But once you know and have learned the basics, move on. Because while reliving the past can be fun and informative, it shouldn’t dictate your present. Being able to live in the moment is the key to a happy couple. Don’t rehash old fights. Don’t compare yourself to ex-girlfriends or -boyfriends. Connect with each other in the here and now so you can fully enjoy everything your partner has to offer. The best relationships are built on being able to appreciate and then let go of the past.

6. Your friends and family are fans. 

If your mom is a fan, that’s a good sign. If your sister’s a fan? Even better. But if your best friend, who knows pretty much everything there is to know about you, likes your beau…that’s basically a done deal. So pay attention to what your loved ones are saying about your relationship! You don’t need their validation, but if everyone else can confirm that you make a good team and are madly in love, then that might just mean that you’re perfect for each other.

7. You don’t feel the need to play mind games anymore. 

When you first started dating, the chase was fun. The thrill of trying to figure the other person out, the uncertainty of what they were thinking, it was a rush. But once you’ve decided that there are real, honest feelings there, you realize that you don’t need that kind of excitement in your life anymore. You’re at peace knowing you’ve found this person that you truly connect with on a deeper level. Plus, once you’re in the right relationship, you can move on to other kinds of games…

8. You know what your partner needs to feel loved. 

You may feel loved when your partner rubs your feet while you’re watching TV. but your partner may feel loved when you bring him/her a cup of coffee in the morning; everyone has his or her own personal preferences when it comes to giving and receiving love. You know you’re with the right person when they’re able to share with you about what makes them feel loved and they desperately want to know what works for you. That communication and appreciation for each other’s different needs paves the way for a solid relationship.

9. You comfortably imagine what’s next. 

Do you and your partner talk about the future like it’s NBD? That’s a real good sign that you’re in the right long-term relationship. The two of you know that you’re lucky to have found someone who loves you and shares your values and your vision for life. You don’t need a ring on your finger to know just how committed your SO is to you, and that doesn’t scare you at all. When you don’t want to separate from your partner, or you can’t wait to spend more time with them, THAT’S when you know.
Kellee Khalil
About The Author
Kellee Khalil is the Founder & CEO of Loverly. She lives in upstate NY with her fiancé and two dogs.
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