Are you looking for signs you're in the right relationship?
There’s one burning question nearly every woman asks herself a few weeks, months, or years after dating someone.
“Is this right?”
It’s easier to turn to friends, loved ones, and advice columns to answer this question. It’s even easier to make this judgment call based on outside opinions rather than deep intuition.
The most important opinion, however, is yours. You can determine if your current relationship is best for the both of you with some reflection.
Check out the list of signs you're in the right relationship below. If your relationship fulfills all seven stipulations, keep going! Less than four? Time for a talk and some inner guidance.
1. You Are Fueled to do What You Love
Take a minute to write down the things that you truly, deeply love. These can be hobbies, interests, people, or activities.
If you’re struggling to come up with something, write down what always makes you smile (without fail). Write down the things you would do if you had one day of unlimited freedom.
Don’t be shy with this list. Right down everything!
Now consider how your partner either enables you to pursue these things or limits you. Do you feel more fueled to do these things, or less fueled? It can be helpful to recall anything your partner has said about these pursuits in the past.
For example, does your partner seem actively committed to making sure you do more of what you love? Has your list expanded because of your partner? Have you done these things together?
Consider the flipside, too. Do you help your partner pursue his passions?
If you conclude that your partner (for the most part) fuels your passions for life and beyond, this is a good sign. It indicates a relationship that prioritizes both parties’ well-being.
2. You Are Learning
Partners learn from each other in a variety of ways. Your partner may teach you about boating, for example, or how to live with compassion. You may teach your partner about active listening and cooking vegan dishes.
Healthy relationships strike an appropriate balance between learning and teaching. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done to ensure that you are learning (as well as teaching).
If your partner is doing all the teaching, this imbalance could lead to an unhealthy power dynamic. It may diminish your sense of self-worth or empowerment.
On the flip side, if you do all the teaching, you may not be growing as an individual. Personal growth enables relationship growth.
Brainstorm the things you actively learn from your partner. Do you both have equal opportunities to be teacher and student? If there is an imbalance, have a conversation with your partner to address it.
More extreme imbalances could be the seeds for an unhealthy or even abusive relationship down the road.
3. Your Relationship is Not a Dependency Relationship
All relationships have a natural sprinkling of dependency. Relationships, after all, involve at least two people at the helm of a lifeboat.
It can be all too easy, however, to be overly dependent on your partner or lover. Over dependency often takes the form of relying on the other person for happiness, motion, and well-being.
Some people view relationships as means to certain ends, such as marriage, money, self-worth, or sex.
Think about your relationship’s dependencies. Consider your life without your partner. What would it look like? What would you look like?
This mental exercise can help you understand the nature of your reliance on people you care about—not just your partner. Self-reliance is a precursor to confidence and greater self-awareness.
The more dependent you are in a relationship, the lower your odds are of building healthy self-reliance.
4. You Still Have Friends
When you’re head over heels for someone, it’s easy to forget about the rest of the world. Suddenly, your calendar is filled with your lover. You may have trouble focusing at work or prioritizing others.
It’s very common for some women in relationships to neglect their friends and community outside of their lovers. This is especially the case at the start of a relationship.
Some partners may be jealous or abusive. They are more likely to isolate or prevent women from being close to certain friends or loved ones.
Healthy relationships should not keep you from your friends in any way. If you still have a viable network of friendships and connections while in a relationship, this can indicate a healthy life to partner balance. If not, it’s time to re-evaluate.
5. You Both Feel Heard
In any relationship, it’s essential for both parties to have a valid voice. Respectful relationships incorporate a strong model of listening and responding to issues, feelings, and opinions.
Do you feel that your voice is always heard in your relationship? What does your partner do to ensure that you feel heard?
Consider the other perspective. Do you ensure that your partner’s voice is validated and respected?
If you aren’t sure how to answer these questions, take the time to bring an important issue to your partner’s attention. Notice how they respond to your thoughts. Do they actively listen or appear distracted? Do they offer advice or solutions? Are they likely to follow up later?
It is possible for some women to feel “unheard” due to miscommunication. However, if you are feeling increasingly voiceless, or if you feel that you are powerless to change this, this could suggest an unhealthy power dynamic.
6. You Aren’t Compromising Too Much
Every relationship requires some sort of compromise. You may not like the fact that your partner leaves the toilet seat up all the time. Your partner may not like your taste in music.
Healthy compromises safeguard against looking for the “perfect” partner. After all, searching for a superhero is often a vain endeavor.
Nonetheless, if you find yourself compromising too much with things that you care about, this could be a red flag. This is especially the case if you are frequently giving up on passions, other relationships, and goals for the sake of your partner.
Have a conversation with your partner about compromising. What have you compromised on, and what are you unwilling to compromise on?
Practice mindful compromising in order to develop a relationship built on trust and mutual respect.
Are you in the right relationship?
No two relationships are alike. But it is possible to tell the difference between a healthy, balanced partnership and one that is unhealthy or unfulfilling.
It’s important for you to feel heard, validated, and inspired in your relationship. Both people should feel fueled to do what they love and free to express themselves.
Most importantly, healthy relationships flourish when both parties are enabled to flourish.
Are you in the right relationship? It’s time to find out! Share your comments below.