Can you ever really know whether you’ve met “the one”? Unfortunately, there isn’t a foolproof litmus test, but you can be fairly confident in your relationship if you notice these nine signs that are characteristic of a really special connection between two people.
<Edit: The concept of "the one" presupposes that there is one and only one mate, or at least heads in that direction. However, taking it as advice that maybe this relationship is maybe something beyond casual it fits well. As always, YMMV.>
1) You’re Not Chasing the Relationship’s Potential
Many people have romantic relationships fraught with obstacles. On a basic level, the relationship is satisfactory, but there always seems to be something standing in the way of true happiness: a stressful job, an annoying ex, a distasteful habit. Both people feel that once the obstacle is removed, they’ll be truly content together.
Unfortunately, relationships don’t work that way. Once the problem is resolved, another one pops up. And—surprise!—the couple is still unhappy.
What people may not realize is that if they are waiting for true happiness in their relationship, then they are in the wrong relationship. Landing a better job may make life easier financially, but no amount of money will help two people who just aren’t a good fit for each other.
The truth is, a happy, well-adjusted couple doesn’t have to chase what could be or should be. A good relationship just is.
2) Who You Are Is Good Enough
You know you’ve met the one when your partner loves you for who you are. We know it sounds pretty cliché, but like all clichés, it’s true. “The One’s” admiration of you is so powerful that it’s almost as if he or she is awestruck by your very presence. He takes great pride in the choices you’ve made. She finds you smart, sexy, fun to be with, and so on. You never have to try to impress “The One” because you’ve already done that by just being you.
3) You Manage Conflict Well
Let’s say we have two couples that have been together for the same amount of time. Couple A fights regularly. Couple B has never argued in the history of their relationship. Which couple do you think a relationship counselor would say is at greater risk?
That’s right: Couple B. Upon closer examination, you’ll find that someone in the relationship—perhaps both parties—isn’t being forthcoming. Someone’s needs and wants aren’t being voiced and therefore aren’t being addressed.
Couple A, on the other hand, makes it a point to bring up topics that are bothersome or dissatisfying within the relationship. This couple regularly engages in respectful, healthy conflict—without insults or throwing things—and comes out the other side a stronger couple that gains a deeper understanding of one another with each conflict they resolve together. How much a couple fights isn’t the issue, unless they don’t fight at all. It’s how a couple manages conflicts that determines how well the relationship works.
4) The Mundane Is Suddenly Interesting
If you’re spending time with someone who really is “The One,” then you probably want to pay attention to even the smallest details of his or her life. Specifics from his work interest you, stories about his childhood hold your attention, and even old photos or home movies fascinate you.
When this happens, then this person is likely much more to you than a ship passing in the night.
5) There’s Minimal Drama—or None at All
Like we said above when we talked about conflict, even the healthiest relationships deal with their share of arguments. So when we say that there’s not a lot of drama in your relationship, we don’t mean that the two of you never fight.
But when you do, you do your best to fight fair. You admit when you’re wrong, you listen to each other, you acknowledge one another’s good points, and you apologize when you cross lines. It’s not that you have to be perfect, but if this person is “The One,” then you are at least trying to make your conflict work for your relationship rather than against it.
So if you two are dealing with constant drama, where one of you is trying to create high emotions to manipulate the other or where there’s constant turbulence without some sort of resolution, then be careful about fully committing to the relationship at this point. High drama is a definite red flag when it comes to long-term relationship success.
6) Your Friends and Family See What You See
If the people who love you the most are begging you to get away from someone, then that person’s probably not the one for you. On the other hand, if the people you trust also see what you see in this person and encourage the relationship, then that’s a good sign that you two may belong together.
Of course, sometimes your friends and family may choose someone for you whom you haven’t chosen. They may push for a relationship that you have no interest in pursuing. In these cases, it’s not always wise to follow their advice.
But if you’re falling in love with someone whom the people in your life want you to be with, then there’s a good chance that this may be the real deal.
7) You Know How to Make Them Happy
When there’s a deep connection between two people, they each know what the other wants and needs. So ask yourself this question about the person in your life: Do you know what it takes to make him or her happy? Think about minor, moment-by-moment issues, like where that person likes to eat and what kind of back rub he or she enjoys.
Additionally, think about larger matters as well: Do you know how to help her relieve stress? Can you get her to talk about her dreams and visions for the future? When she’s struggling at work or with a family issue, can you help her come through the storm and find the sun again? And, just as important, does your partner know how to do this for you as well? If so, that’s another reason to believe that you’ve found “The One.”
8) You Have the Same Life Priorities
Opposites may attract, but they rarely make for a good long-term relationship. Compatibility really is key when it comes to creating a deep and lasting connection between two people.
For example, if you want to begin preparing for the future and building toward certain life and career goals, but your partner mainly wants to make enough money so that he or she can party this weekend, then you two are probably working with fairly different priorities.
And the opposite it is true, too: If your priorities match up well, then you two have a much better chance of long-term happiness and fulfillment together.
9) You Respect the Person Deeply
Mutual respect is crucial for a healthy relationship. Without that respect, there’s simply no way to create and build a secure foundation so that you can enjoy all of the benefits of a deep and strong relationship.
But when you respect your partner and he or she respects you, the relationship has a strong chance at thriving, and all the aspects of your connection blossom. The communication improves. The commitment deepens. The trust multiplies. The satisfaction level goes through the roof.
And that all begins with a mutual respect that emerges because you like each other and because you appreciate the way you live your individual lives.
So as you try to figure out whether you’ve found “The One,” take a look at this list. If you can check off each of the above items, then you owe it to yourself to allow the relationship to become all that it can possibly be.
The next bit is kind of fuck-off-ish, but it's not horrible stuff to look at anyway. Just remember, there are no guaranteed ways to meet someone that don't involve money.
Does it feel like centuries since you’ve experienced those fabulous first-date butterflies? If you are in the midst of a dry spell that rivals L.A.’s most severe drought, we’re ready to quench your thirst and bring you back into the dating mix with these tips!
This is key advice for us all. The more time you invest in your own happiness and well-being – whether it’s reading self-help books, meditating or reciting mantras – the more others will be drawn to your positive energy. Incorporate self-love practices into your daily life, and try to be grateful for all the people, places and things that surround you. Let go of disappointments, try to see problems as opportunities for growth and trust that the universe will take care of the rest. Positive thinking really does equal positive results.
<Edit: It's a lot funnier if you replace "Self Love" with "masturbation". Try it and see. Go ahead, I'll wait.>
Make the Friend Connection
Your new love could be within just two degrees of separation. Don’t be afraid to tell your pals that you are ready to revisit the dating scene (they probably are more aware of this fact than you know!). Let the people close to you help out by setting up a dinner party or casual barbecue with some contenders whom they feel may be a possible love connection.
(deleted eHarmony wank here)
Play Fetch With Fido
Pets are not only great for companionship, but they’re also a wonderful way to meet new friends at the park. Dogs are people magnets and conversation starters, and they’ll also increase your awareness profile around the neighborhood.
Ready, Set, Run!
Your local workout facility is a fantastic place to meet new, health-conscious friends and possibly even that special someone. Whether it’s in spinning class or during yoga, familiar faces help open the door to conversation and maybe more. Namaste!
Meet at the Market
Chance encounters often occur while browsing through the produce section. Your local grocery store is not only a casual atmosphere but a fairly easy place to start up conversation, whether it’s about favorite salad dressings or whether an avocado is ready for transformation into guacamole. Plus, peeking into someone’s cart can give you a good sense of what they’re about.
Greet the Locals
Get to know what neighborhood haunts people are frequenting. The corner bakery, café or coffeehouse can provide good java and be a recipe for romance as well. Church is another avenue for connecting with those who hold similar beliefs and values.
No, not the Night at the Roxbury, Will Ferrell kind of clubs. Look for classy spots or cool jazz lounges where mature adults usually go to socialize and unwind. Tip: Bring a few friends if you are a bit bashful.
The moral of this dating advice story: Put some effort into yourself and a little energy into the outside world, and you’ll be surprised by who may be right around the corner!