One way for you to know if the relationship you're in is right for you would be to go down through my list of "how to know when you should leave the relationship you're in", and if none of those characteristics apply to your relationship, you're in pretty good shape! However, in my quest to keep things balanced (and positive), I wanted to write a little bit more about how you know when you're in the right relationship.
First off, generally you just know. I had heard this for so long from other people in "right relationships" that it had become a cliche, and, not having ever experienced it, I had no way of knowing from my own experience whether or not it was actually true. However, now that I do experience it, I can tell you that there is an enormous qualitative difference in the way that you FEEL when you're in the right relationship. You do "just know". Maybe what you notice is the absence of "icky" feelings when you contemplate things like spending the rest of your life with this person. Or there's a quality of your partnership that just makes sense. What I'm describing here are feelings that you'll have with your "whole self" - and are sensed by your intuition, they're not based in logical thought. Whether or not you have "that feeling" of knowing that you're with the right person for you, keep reading if your logical mind is just craving a list to help you quantify whether or not the relationship you're in is right for you.
- You and your partner support each other in who you currently ARE. If you can do no wrong in your partner's eyes, and your partner can do no wrong in your eyes, that's a great start - assuming that the "do-no-wrongness" is based in how much you care about that person. In other words, if you can say "I support my partner in whatever they do because I care about them" then you are definitely with the right person. If you say "I support my partner in whatever they do because I don't give a sh*t" - well, that's not real support, that's ambivalence.
- You and your partner are not afraid of change in each other; in fact, you encourage each other's growth. When your relationship is based on love and respect, you trust your partner's growth. You recognize that it is part of human nature to continually evolve, create, and express. As you watch your partner's "becoming", you fall more and more in love with that person. You get excited when you come across things that you know will be interesting growth opportunities for your partner.
- You and your partner have strong friendships outside of your relationship. You're both meeting and getting to know cool people. When your partner meets someone really cool, you get psyched up knowing that there's yet another cool person in your life.
- You trust your partner to act in the best interests of your relationship. There are always choices to be made. Your choices and your partner's choices support each other, and support your decision to be together. When there are tough decisions to be made, the two of you discuss your options openly, and you help each other arrive at the best decision.
- There's a sexual connection between you and your partner. There's time for business, and then there's "business time". You know what I'm talking about. If you're going through a "dry spell", you know that there's light at the end of the tunnel. And it's not a long tunnel.
- Intimacy. You have it. On a physical, emotional, and spiritual level (and other levels, should you acknowledge them). Over time, you and your partner are getting to know each other more and more deeply. You learn to appreciate each other as physical beings. You discover more about what your partner cares about on an emotional level - what makes them happy, what obstacles they're trying to overcome - and you reinforce the good, and do your best to help them in their quest to overcome whatever's tough. Also, you nurture each other on a "soul" level. What I mean by that is that along with appreciating the manifestation of your partner, you recognize and honor something deeper about them, about the life force behind the body, the spirit that is making itself known in this physical world. And since they take the same interest in your spirit, your spirits are getting to know each other pretty darn well. And loving each other. That's intimacy, in a nutshell.
Turns out that the list of things that make a relationship the "right" relationship is actually a lot shorter than the list of how to know when you're NOT in the right relationship. The list of "not" characteristics could probably be infinitely long - but what makes a relationship a good relationship is quite simple. When you're in the right relationship, you have a solid foundation that supports you throughout the dynamic of how you interact with your partner. Plus (and most importantly), it'll feel right. You'll know that it feels right because you won't be second-guessing yourself anymore - instead, you'll notice the absence of internal conflict when you're around this person. When you're in the right relationship, just being around your partner reinforces who you are, and what you were meant to do in this world. If you're not in the right relationship, don't despair - this planet is full of amazing people, and many of them are PERFECT for you. Get single and work on your own goals. The more true to yourself you can be, the more likelihood you'll have of meeting someone in alignment with who you are.
If you are already in the right relationship - congratulations! Of course you knew before even reading this article, didn't you? Perhaps you can think of a couple more ways to know when a relationship is right for you? Add them in the comments, or contact me behind-the-scenes.