Whenever a couple that has been married for a long time tell the story of how they met, they can always pinpoint the moment in which they knew they found “the one.” Though there definitely is that moment of clarity in which you realize you would rather be with this person than anyone else in the world, there are also many small moments leading up to such an incredibly epiphany. If any of the following apply to you, you might want to start thinking about taking your relationship to the next level.
1. Seeing them makes everything better
Everyone has awful days where they just want to crawl into bed and never come out. But the right partner will erase all of the pain you’ve gone through all day, and make you realize just how lucky you are. The instant you see their face, you’re able to remember why you put up with the garbage you deal with at work all day: because you want to make a better life for them, and for your future together.
2. You can share your hopes and dreams with them
When you’ve found the one, you want them to know everything you want out of life. You share with them even the most farfetched dreams you’ve ever had, because with them by your side, you actually feel like you might accomplish all of your goals. Even your silly childhood dreams become a tangible possibility when you have someone to support you on your journey.
3. You can admit when you’ve made a mistake
I’ve seen so many relationships around me fall apart simply because both parties failed to be able to admit they messed up. When you find the one, you feel comfortable admitting mistakes because you know your better half won’t hold it against you in the long run. You can trust that they’ll accept your honesty and you’ll be able to work toward a better relationship in the future.
4. You want to make their life better and easier
When you’ve found the one, you start living for someone other than yourself. You sacrifice every fiber of your being to make sure they have an easy go of it. Even if you’ve had a long day, you’ll come home and want to immediately start cleaning the house and cooking dinner for them, so they can relax for a bit. If they forgot to get something at the store, you’ll gladly hop in the car and go get it, even if it means missing out on your favorite show. For that one person, putting their comfort ahead of your own is of utmost importance.
5. You don’t do certain things without them
If you have made it a habit to watch a certain show together every week, you would never watch it without them. If going to Rita’s for a gelati is something you only do with them, you don’t go without them by your side (unless you’re picking something up for them!). If they’re on a diet, you won’t bring home Chick-Fil-A for yourself. When certain things become your “couple” things, you know you’ve found someone special.
6. You argue seldom but passionately
Everyone argues once in a while, but like I said before, you don’t harp on insignificant moments just to prove “I’m right.” You let most things go, but when you do have an argument, you aren’t insulting or rude. You simply show your passion for whatever it is you’re arguing about, and you also listen to what the other person has to say. Again, these arguments aren’t about getting your way, but more about finding a common ground on which you both can build.
7. You resolve arguments amicably
Like I said, when you’ve found the one, you don’t care who’s right or wrong in an argument; you just want to improve your relationship. When you’ve found a person who you actually like more after an argument, you can be pretty sure you’ve found a good one.
8. You’re upfront when something bothers you
From the moment we started getting serious, my wife and I started living by one rule: If it bugs you, sleep on it, and if it’s still bugging you, bring it up. This has worked wonders for us, and it’s part of the reason we rarely get into fights. By the next morning, we’ve had time to put things in perspective, and more often than not we realize what was bothering us the night before isn’t that big of a deal (especially if it’s not a chronic habit). If it is worth bringing up, well, see number 7 above.
9. You love getting random texts from them
Everyone knows the feeling of getting butterflies early on in a relationship. Not everyone knows the feeling of getting butterflies in a relationship that’s been going strong for years. I’ve been with my wife for almost seven years, and I still smile every time I get a text from her. It shows that, even when she has work and school on her plate, she still has me on her mind in some way. And we both still find little ways to keep our relationship fresh, even after all this time.
10. They know what to order for you
Scenario: You’re waiting to be seated at a restaurant, and you have to use the bathroom. You come back to find your table ready, and the waitress has already brought over a cold glass of your favorite beer. I’m pretty sure all men can agree that a woman who knows what beer to get you has found the most direct pathway to your heart. As for what women want…? Okay, I’ve been with one for seven years, and sometimes I still struggle a bit with this!
11. You pick up each other’s signs in social settings
As an introvert, I can only handle being out so long. Same with my wife. We both reach a point where we are ready to go, but aren’t in a position in which we can be rude about it. Knowing your significant other well enough to know when they’ve had enough and are ready to go home is a sure sign that you care deeply for them.
12. You know when to leave them alone
No one said you have to spend every moment of every day together. Sometimes, even if you want to be right next to them, they’ll want some space. I know my wife needs a few minutes to herself after a long day of work, so during that time I’ll get dinner started or pick up a little around the house. By the time we sit down for dinner, I know she’ll be ready to share her day with me, regardless of how good or bad it went.
13. You encourage each other
This goes along with the earlier entry about sharing hopes and dreams. When you’ve found the one, you want all of their dreams to come true. It could be supporting them on a diet or pushing them to go back to school to further their career. You simply want to see them succeed, and will be there to help every step of the way.
14. You know how to cheer them up
When they’re in a funk, you know exactly what to do to make things a bit better. You know them better than most anyone else does, and you also will go to greater lengths to make them happy than anyone else would. Even on their worst day, you that picking up her favorite flowers, or his favorite flavor of ice cream, will make them smile. You might not be able to fix the problem right away, but you can make facing it just that much easier.
15. You listen to the same story over and over
I’m guilty as sin of this one. I tell the same stories about my younger days constantly, and instead of cutting me off, my wife humors me, lets me laugh about it, and ends up laughing along with me. I mean, you get to a point when you know everything about each other, so you’re bound to run out of stories to tell. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a trip down memory lane every once in a while.
16. You can make anything fun with them
Grocery shopping alone is the most boring (and frustrating) errand in the world, as far as I’m concerned. However, going to Giant with my wife is simply another moment in which to make a memory. When you have as many inside jokes as we do, the grocery store is full of endless comedic material. When you’ve found someone who can make shopping for frozen vegetables entertaining, you’ve definitely found the one.
17. You’re cheesy as heck around them
You have a completely different sense of humor when you’re around the one you love. You can make the corniest, silliest jokes possible, and know that you’ll both crack up about it. You don’t feel the need to “be cool” around them, and you can let yourself go.
18. You put effort into gifts for them
Like many guys, I’m not the best gift-giver. My family would rather spend money on experiences than material things, so I grew up not being “gifted” (sorry for the pun) with the ability to pick out good presents. That changed when I met my wife. Whenever a special occasion comes around, I go out of my way to find something special, and even go as far as making something for her that shows just how much I care. I knew she was the one when I actually felt like being crafty just for her. If you’ve ever gone shopping for yourself, and ended up finding something special for your significant other instead, you’ve probably found the one.
19. You’re intimidated by how you feel for them
Being in loooove is definitely a scary proposition. When you’re just starting to get the feeling that “this is it,” you’re actually scared of the feelings you’ve been having. That’s simply because you’ve never felt that way before. You might even push her away at first, which I unfortunately did for a while. Don’t fight it. The rest of your life will be so much easier having the one you love by your side throughout it all.
20. You wouldn’t trade them for the world
Along with being intimated by how you feel for them, you might be hesitant to give up “the single life.” Sure, settling down means you probably won’t have those late nights with your friends for much longer, and you’ll have to make decisions as a couple instead of independently…but who says these are bad things? When you settle down with the one you love, you’ll wonder why you wasted so much time at the bar in your younger days, and you’ll wish you had gotten on track a bit sooner. When you find the one, your life will change immensely. But you’ll be totally okay with that.