Fostering a deep connection to your partner can be one of the most exciting (and high-key terrifying, for some) aspects of being in a committed relationship. Although getting to the point where you can be completely vulnerable with someone may take a bit of emotional labor depending on your personality type and experiences in past relationships, feeling understood and seen by your SO is super important. If you've ever wondered how you’ll know your partner really knows you, the tell-tale signs are surprisingly clear-cut. According to Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, strong relationships are built on understanding.
"Your partner should know you intimately, and not just physically, but psychologically, emotionally, and even spiritually," Dr. Klapow tells Elite Daily. "If you want to have a lasting relationship, your partner must know you on a much deeper level than most. This is the responsibility of both you and your partner, and is founded on trust." Dr. Klapow explains that having a shared sense of mutual trust is the only way to cultivate a satisfying depth of communication. "Each of you must demonstrate that you are trustworthy enough to honor the vulnerability, keep it sacred, and respect the courage it takes to show someone a deeper side of you," he adds. The good news is, it shouldn't be difficult to tell if your partner has peeled back your layers. Here are the signs your SO sees the core of your identity, and why it matters.
1. They Know Your Hopes And Dreams For The Future.
Receiving ongoing encouragement and support from your partner is one of the many perks of being in a healthy relationship. That's why they must know what you want out of life. "Your partner should know your hopes and dreams," says Dr. Klapow. "This includes what you wish for in the world, what you want out of life, what you are striving for, who you want to be as an individual, and how you want the relationship to look."
2. They Understand Your Biggest Fears.
If your SO has a clear understanding of who you are, they should also know the fears and insecurities you have. This means they are directly aware of the types of situations, people, and experiences that could be damaging to your well-being, says Klapow. Ideally, a good partner should help you face your fears while still respecting your limits.
3. You've Told Them Your Biggest Regrets.
Whether big or small, everyone has regrets, and these experiences can help shape someone's identity. If you've acknowledged the moments in your life that have taught you valuable lessons, and you've shared them with your partner, knowing these intimate experiences can help your partner understand you better than anyone else. "In addition to your life regrets, your partner should also know the wounds and the burdens you carry from past relationships, childhood, and other experiences," says Klapow.
4. They Know What Makes You Tick.
A fully committed partner should also know the underlying ideas and feelings that motivate you. "This includes the situations you thrive in and the situations that hold you back, as well as what communication styles open you up and what shuts you down," says Dr. Klapow. Navigating your relationship can become significantly easier when both partners know exactly what buttons they should (and shouldn't) push.
5. They Know What You Fantasize About.
Having visions for your future, no matter how random or distant they are, can be a huge source of inspiration as you move through life. Sharing these desires with the person you love can be immensely satisfying. These fantasies can be anything you wish for or dream about, including ideas related to your career, relationship, personal identity, or sexuality, notes Dr. Klapow.
Ultimately, you and your partner should be able to establish and maintain a level of trust that allows for the relationship to deepen. If you're concerned that your SO doesn't know you as well as you'd like them to, this is something that can be improved by carving out time to have meaningful discussions. "Start having simple conversations to get to know your partner deeper," recommends Dr. Klapow. "Ask big but simple questions like: What are your hopes and dreams for yourself and us in the future? What scares you about us, about life, about your future? What do you need out of life to be happy and fulfilled."
In the end, if you and your partner are compatible, reaching a depth of understanding is possible. Although it may take a bit more time and patience, rest assured that the result will be worth the extra effort.