BY GARRETT PAKNIS
Sometimes we fall in love with someone and it just feels so right. Suddenly, our world changes. It's not just the honeymoon phase; we find ourselves traveling down roads of self-discovery as we simultaneously feel unprecedented intimacy. It's the kind of love that makes us think, I must have done something right.
It's difficult to know anything for sure — especially when it comes to something as complicated as love. Sure, we know real love invites us to let down our guard, and discover just how willing we used to be to build protective walls around our heart. But what are other things to consider when you're thinking about whether your person is the person?
Well, below are thirteen ways to help you realize when you’ve found something, and someone, special. Don’t be shy to comment below to add to the dialogue of how you know they’re "The One" for you ...
1. They make adjustments.
Most of us are resistant to making changes in our lives unless we are forced to. So if our partners are willing to make even the tiniest adjustment for us, we can be assured we mean something very special to them. This doesn't have to look like moving across the country or changing professions. It can look like them winding up at our favorite fitness class with us on a Saturday morning.
2. They don't just say sorry, but mean it.
It's pretty easy to say sorry — but to be able to look at our mistakes and setbacks mindfully and honestly takes maturity and dedication. That's what your partner does — so when he/she says sorry, you know they mean it. They are looking the mistake in the eye, and thinking about how to improve for your sake, for their sake and for the sake of the relationship.
3. The little things don't seem little.
Whether it’s relying on us for a decision or leaving little notes on our bedside table, small things can communicate big messages. When you're cared for, you may not be able to spot some elaborate scheme that your partner has planned out — but the love will be found in the small print.
4. They are willing to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability is crucial to any healthy intimate relationship — and that vulnerability must be mutual. If you have that feeling of simply being able to be "there" for one another, that's real.
Of course, some people are more inclined to open up — so be patient with your partner if he or she is shy. Express your willingness to be their confidante.
5. Things just feel easy with them.
Being on the couch watching TV with them feels good. You can be unshaven or without makeup on, hair as messy as ever, and none of that matters. Your natural self is their favorite self, and vice versa.
6. They are grateful for your happiness.
They want you to be happy because when you’re happy it means you are thriving in your own life, and can share the positive vibes with them (and experience more happiness together as a couple).
7. They are willing to show up day after day, moment to moment.
They always support you, even when they don’t necessarily think you’re right. Whether you're experiencing a tiff with a family member or stress at work isn't the point. The point is that they are loyal, and can handle our baggage, because they have it too.
8. They are our #1 cheerleader (but don't call them that!).
Your success doesn’t threaten them — but actually turns them on. In the right relationship, your partner will want you to shine on your own accord.
9. We’re a better person because of them.
They inspire you to want to improve yourself in all facets of our lives. This doesn't stem from perfectionism, but from genuine inspiration and love. You feel more alive, more present and more connected to your authentic self in the relationship — and outside of it.
10. They constantly surprise you.
They like to spice things up and want us to join in for the ride of a lifetime. They might tell you something about themselves you didn't realize, or invite you to a concert and introduce you to a kind of music you've never heard. Adventure is in all of our blood, and they want to share that with us.
11. They challenge you — and call you on your bullshit.
You may not be able to get away with our typical crap with them, but you’ll be damn grateful about that. Games are a child’s sport and unconditional love is not a game but is played in the big leagues.
12. They are considerate.
Sometimes they’d rather see you get what you want more than getting what they want. This doesn't stem from being self-effacing, but from being attentive to our happiness.
13. When they say "I love you," they mean it.
It is the feeling we all have while wrapped up underneath the covers with them that sets them apart from the others. It is in their words, and in their actions, where they’ll never have anything to hide.
When they’re devoted to you, you’ll know our worth to them even if the way they show it isn’t what we’re used to. In fact, it’ll be better than what we’re used to. It’ll be better because they are ... "The One."
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