5 Signs You're In A Great Relationship, According To A Couples' Therapist

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When I'm in a relationship, I have a terrible habit of comparing my situation to that of other couples. Sure, I can blame social media for this (enough with the engagement posts, guys) but I know it's more of a personal problem. I'm always looking for reassurance that my relationship is healthy and successful but for some reason, I find myself searching for answers outside of my relationship. The truth is, only you and your partner can know if you're in a great relationship which means that any signs of an amazing relationship will probably be right in front of you.

If, like me, you're absolutely terrified of missing these signs, my first piece of advice is to stop putting so much pressure on yourself. If you're happy in your relationship and you are excited to spend time with your partner, things are going just fine. In my past relationships, I would get so carried away with wanting to prove that my partner and I were as happy as every other couple we knew (and even some Instagram couples we didn't know personally) that I forgot to just be happy. You and your partner don't have to be like that couple that wore matching clothes for 37 years to be happy, although you can totally do that if you want.

The point is that your relationship happiness should be on your own terms. It may not always be an Instagrammable moment but if it's a moment that brings a smile to your face or makes you super grateful for your partner, it's worth noting.

I spoke with Dr. Gary Brown, a Los Angeles relationship expert who works with dating singles and couples, about how to tell if your relationship is a happy one. According to him, these are the five major signs to look out for.

You Trust Each Other Fully

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One of the most comforting feelings in any relationship is knowing wholeheartedly that you can trust your partner. You never worry about what they're doing when they're not with you, how much you can share with them about your personal problems, or whether or not they'll be honest with you when you're faced with a difficult decision.

You Look Forward To Seeing Each Other

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According to Dr. Brown, your relationship is on the right track if "you look forward to waking up next to them and look forward to seeing them at the end of the day." This one might seem like an obvious one but it's not uncommon to get sick of your partner if you're just not that into them or if something in your relationship is bothering you. If, on the other hand, you find yourself excited to make plans with your partner and get bummed out when you have to cancel, you've got a good thing going.

You Make Each Other Laugh

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According to an eHarmony study on love and humor, people who make clever jokes are usually luckier in love but honestly, I didn't need science to figure that one out. A sense of humor is undeniably attractive so if you and your partner enjoy similar jokes — if you follow the same meme accounts online and tag each other in the same memes all day long — it's safe to say your relationship is full of happiness (and laughter).

You Both Express Gratitude For The Other Person Being In Your Life

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Dr. Brown says, "I always make it a point to thank my wife at least once a day for something that she did for me or our family." Letting your partner know you appreciate them is a sign that you are happy and comfortable in your relationship and that you recognize how lucky you are to have them in your life.

You Imagine A Future With Each Other

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Strong couples will talk about their future together in ways that consider both partners' life paths and goals. Even though your goals may not be identical, if you and your partner envision a future for yourselves that includes the other person, it means your relationship is built to last.

By now, it should be evident that it's up to you and your partner to make sure that your relationship is a happy one but it's also up to you to recognize and appreciate that happiness before it slips away. Take a few minutes every day to think about what you enjoy most about your relationship and ask your partner to do the same.

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