In today’s day and age, our dating culture is so complex. On top of that, we have so many options and we see that many people go from relationship to relationship. But with all the options we have and how easy it is to meet new people, with all the criteria we have, and with the way our society operates, how do you know when a relationship is right? Is there a specific way to tell when you have found the right one? Is there a way to tell if you’re just settling?
I know that these are questions on a lot of peoples’s minds, so I wanted to dedicate today’s article to the subject. I know that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or discouraged in the dating world, and I also know how hard it is to move from one relationship to another, when the previous relationship was a passionate on that turned into something toxic.
These are all common issues and I want to explore them with you today.
So let’s dive right in and look at how to tell when you’ve found the right relationship for you!
How to do you know if the relationship is right or if you’re settling?
I was working with a client recently, Dominique, and she was sharing some details about her life. She had started dating a guy who was perfectly sweet, responsible, generous, and kind to her, but she had her doubts about the situation.
They had been dating for a few months and she knew that she felt very safe in the relationship, but she just couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe he wasn’t right for her. When I asked her what it was specifically about him that made her feel this way, she had a hard time answering…
So we needed to dive deeper and look into her past relationships. It turned out that she had been in love a few years prior, but that relationship had become very toxic. The interesting thing here is that there is a common phenomenon with toxic relationships, and they tend to leave a lasting mark.
And the mark isn’t just in the form of painful memories; a toxic relationship in a person’s past can actually damage their wellbeing in a new relationship. The reason is simple.
When a relationship becomes very toxic, there start to be highs and lows, and the highs are very passionate and loving, and the lows are very painful. A cycle then starts to form where a couple will begin to crave the passionate and loving feeling that follows making up after a fight, and then in many cases, on a subconscious level, they will actually create conflict so that they can then have the resolution.
It creates violent emotional peaks and valleys, and the highs can become highly addictive. it’s kind of like an adrenaline rush that a person will start to crave.
So then, when a person leaves a toxic relationship and enters a healthy relationship, they may find that there is an element of “passion” that is missing, without realizing that they’re actually equating passion to toxicity. If you feel that perhaps you were in a toxic relationship and this happening to you, I highly encourage you to read this article to help identify what happened.
It is very important to be able to differentiate between a toxic relationship and a healthy, happy one.
How to know if a relationship is right: Keeping track of who you are
When people ask me about how to decide if a relationship is right for you, one of the first things I bring their attention to is whether or not they feel like themselves in the relationship. I have worked with so many individuals who struggle with the way they feel in a relationship because they have realized that they wound up with someone that doesn’t make them feel like themselves.
One client married her husband because she fell so deeply in love with him at the beginning of their relationship, but now she is starting to see how different they truly were. She was a business owner who truly thrived in her independence, and he wanted her to be at home and take care of their house… For a while it was nice, they got a beautiful house and a wonderful area of Florida, but as the years went on, she started to realize that she didn’t recognize herself.
She wasn’t doing any of the things that brought her joy, she didn’t feel like she was thriving, and she was shocked to see that she was accepting a life that she always knew she didn’t want. Unfortunately, their marriage ended in divorce and she was working on getting back in touch with herself. This is something that happens all the time, and it’s one of the many reasons that it is vital to choose the right partner!
So my first question for you is: Do you feel like you are fully thriving as your authentic self in this relationship?
Do you feel like your partner loves you for the person that you are, or do you feel like he or she expects you to be someone else? Many times this happens without them realizing it, but if a person is constantly trying to change you or mold you into their idea of the perfect partner, they might not be the right person for you.
In the same way, if you find that you are always trying to change your partner, they might not be the right person for you. We get so caught up in trying to make a person into the perfect partner that we lose track of what makes them who they really are! And it is when you fall in love with who a person really is that your relationship is golden.
Am I in the right relationship: Keeping an eye on red flags
This one should come as no surprise. When you are wondering about how to know if you’re with the right person, it is important to pay attention to any red flags that catch your attention, but it is also very important to pay attention to any red flags that catch your friends and family’s attention. If you have a healthy relationship with a friend or family member that knows you very well, and they bring your attention to an action, characteristic, or behavior from your significant other that they find alarming, it is important to listen.
There is a from Mad Men that I really stood out to me.
“People tell you who they are, but we ignore it – because we want them to be who we want them to be.” – Don Draper
Very often, people will make excuses for their partners and say, “Oh well all relationships take work,” or, “You just don’t know him/her the way I do…” But I encourage you to be very honest with yourself at all times. Your intuition knows if something isn’t right, and if the people you love and trust also have concerns, you might now be with the right person. Don’t isolate yourself from these people if they try to bring something to your attention – because this is something I see happening very often. At the end of the day, it is better to be happy on your own than with the wrong person! And there are so many tools to help you determine whether or not the person you are with is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Is this relationship right for me: Know what you want!
One of the things I tell people who are entering into the dating world after a long time is that they have to be very aware of what they want. If you don’t know what you want out of a relationship and a partner, how are you going to know if you’ve found it. Sure, there are pleasant surprises in life, but globally speaking, you have to be very aware of what you want.
When you begin dating someone, you can’t be afraid of telling him or her what you’re ultimately looking for. If you are ready to be with the person that you’re going to be married to and have children with, you have to be able to ask your partner is those are the types of things that they’re open to in their relationships. Because, at the end of the day, what happens when this conversation isn’t had and then you find out two years into dating this person that he or she has no intention of getting married or having kids? Then you wind up in a sticky situation that you could have avoided if you had been clear about your wants and needs early on.
So my next question for you is this. Do you and your significant other want the same things? Are you on the same page in terms of your non-negotiables? Think about your family life, think about where you’d want to live, think about your work vs stay-at-home dynamic, think about how you want to spend your free time, think about your long-term goals…
If you have no idea if you’re on the same page or not, having these conversations with your partner will give you a much better idea of whether or not you are with the right person.
How to know you’re with the right person: Being inspired to be the best version of yourself
One of the biggest indicators that you are with the right person has to do with the way you’ve been living your life since you’ve been with them. Above, I mentioned that if this person is trying to change you into someone you just are not, then they’re probably not the right person… But do not confuse that with someone who is inspiring you to reach your full potential, and to be the absolute best version of yourself.
If your partner makes you feel like you can conquer all your dreams and they are your #1 fan, then you have a wonderful relationship. There is a big difference between being made to feel small and being made to feel big, and you have to be very careful with this in a relationship.
Similarly, this relationship should also feel inspiring. If you two are stepping out of your comfort zones and are discovering new things together, it means that you are going to grow together. If you can grow together, your relationship won’t wind up feeling stagnant, and this is one of the keys to a happy, long-lasting relationship.
Is this the right relationship: How to know for sure
Now that we’ve gone over the main concepts, I want to zero in on how you, personally, can find the answer to this question. Every person and every relationship is entirely unique, but you just need to write out what the perfect partner looks like for you.
Go ahead and write down the 10 qualities that you want in your significant other. Take your time with this, and allow yourself to really think about it. Some examples are humor, how much they prioritize sex and intimacy, reliability, loyalty, whether or not they’re able to say they’re wrong or apologize, or how they approach your passions… you can be very honest with this list, and dont hesitate to write down more than ten! Then just narrow it down to the top 10.
Truth be told, you are not going to find a person that ticks every single box! No one is perfect, but I invite you to see if your partner meets at least 5 of the most important things on that list, and maybe meets a few of the others. It’s a very simple tactic, but at the end of the day, the answer to this question is pretty simple. You just need to be very aware of what you want, and you have to take a close look at this relationship to see if this partner meets these needs.
As always, we are here to help so please don’t hesitate to reach out for one on one coaching if you would like some further guidance! To work with me or a member of my team, all you have to do is click here.
I sincerely wish you all the best in life and love,
Your coach when you are looking for signs the relationship is going well