When all of the glossy newness of a relationship wears off, you start to see its true stripes -- and the times when experts like Dr. Venus Nicolino sometimes need to step in.
You might know Nicolino as Dr. V from the show "Marriage Bootcamp." On the show, she has provided counseling to some of the most explosive reality star couples — served up with a side of sass.
Through all of her experiences in navigating complicated, high-pressure relationships, there's no better person to tell the difference between a relationship that's a high-octane spark and one that's built to last.
While no one has a crystal ball, she says that the indicators you have found your forever person boil down to a few telltale signs.
Elite Daily asked Dr. V to shower us with some of her wisdom. Here's what she said about finding the person whom you can stay with forever:
1. Your Flaws Are Complementary
Unless you're marrying your high school sweetheart, nobody is ever going to enter a relationship unscarred by previous loves. Every single one of us has flaws. What matters is whether or not they match with the other person.
If you've found the one you are meant to be with then, according to Dr. V., your mutual baggage "matches perfectly."
When your history and previous heartbreaks balance one another out, it means that your relationship has room for the healing that needs to take place. It also means that you can be patient and understanding of one another's limitations.
Once you have that down, it sets the ground for everything else to come.
2. You Know Everything About One Another And Still Want To Have Sex
True intimacy means that there are no secrets between you, both inside and outside the bathroom — er, I mean bedroom. You know that your love is forever when you reach the point when there isn't any mystery left, but you still want to do it.
"You share a bathroom and still want to have sex with each other, you've met each other's families and still want to have sex with each other, you both know what really turns the other on and still want to have sex with each other," says Dr. V.
If you know all the grossest little details about the other person, and the flame hasn't gone away, then it's probably going to stick around when you're old and wrinkly, too.
3. You Trust And Feel Secure With Each Other
Trusting each other means that you know you're going to stay in the relationship for the long haul, and you have no other doubts that your partner will, too.
"You share a rock solid, mutual understanding that no matter what, both of you will stay in the game," says Dr. V.
Although you may have gone through some initial uncertainty before committing, once you're together, you're together. You both have confidence that your relationship isn't going to end over night.
This trust and security also means that you don't have any fear or lingering resentment in your relationship. You know that both of you will be respectful of one another's feelings and are not afraid to speak up.
Of course, you don't really know whether you and your boo will stay together forever until one of you dies. "This is the surest sign of a mate," Dr. V says.
4. You Play Together
We know that relationships are about compromise, and Dr. V says that also means being OK with one another's ideas of fun.
According to Dr. V, a sign of lasting love is when "you don't mind sitting through the sh*tty concerts, movies, and TV shows your partner likes, and your partner doesn't mind sitting through the sh*tty concerts, movies, and TV shows you like."
Even if you choose to pursue those activities separately, if you've found your forever person, you will still find ways to be silly and have fun together. Dr. V says that it's a great sign if you can "depend on each other for wardrobe and accessorizing advice."
Fun is not just limited to sex, but with how free you feel to explore in your relationship.
"Does it still feel like there's more for you to discover, explore, and experience together, even if you're not sure what it is?" asks Dr. V. "What do you do to feel good together now?"
When a couple has fun together, your connection to one another will be reinforced through mutual enjoyment and pleasure.
5. You Take Care Of Each Other
There's a difference between being in love and being in a codependent relationship. Dr. V says it's important not to confuse the two.
"What I mean is you're both able to communicate what you need from each other in order to feel supported, loved, comforted, and fulfilled," she specifies.
That means that you are not afraid to say what you are thinking and feeling. At the same time, when you share with your partner, you are sensitive to their emotions, too. Meaning, you will not be so brutally honest that you'll hurt them.
If you are going to stay together, then even in the tough times, you will have to find a way to be as considerate of your partner as you want them to be for you. It should go without saying that this idea goes both ways, too.
6. You're Still "You" When You're With Them
If your relationship has caused you to alienate yourself from your friends and the things you used to love, then that's a big red flag. A relationship shouldn't have the same side effects as depression.
"For all that you share together, you should still have a section of your life that's just yours," Dr. V says.
She also points out that if you've found your forever person, both of you should be aware that it is healthy to be engaged in activities outside of one another.
"You both appreciate that your differences do as much to keep your relationship vibrant as what you share in common," she says.
In a forever partnership, you are with your person because you want to be with them now — not the person you think they might change into.
"Neither of you are trying to change or 'fix' the other one," says Dr. V. If you are, that means you probably want to be dating someone else.
7. You Remember To See The Person, Not The Moment
How you and your partner fight might be the biggest determining factor of whether you've found your forever person. It's not about how you survive the first fight, but about how you deal with each other when you're still really mad.
When you're dealing with challenges and conflicts, she says that the sign you've found your forever person is that "even if you're super pissed, you still avoid vilifying each other or martyring yourselves."
Your partner might seem like the most annoying person in the universe at the time, but you know better than to actually believe that about them.
"You're able to acknowledge and deal with the reality of a situation and how it's making you feel without assuming the worst about the person you love the most," says Dr. V.
Being in a relationship requires humility on the part of both people. Dr. V says that when you argue, you should be more focused on finding a resolution than on which one of you was wronged.
"Being together means more to you than 'being right.' You both prefer solving the problem over winning the argument," she says.
When you've figured out how to fight and can still kiss and make up, then you and your boo are in it for the long haul.