If you're in a healthy relationship, there's a good chance you're experiencing all the feels and are optimistic about where things are headed. Whether you're just getting started with someone new or are in a long-term situation, you may be wondering if bae is your soulmate. Is there a way to know if your partner is the only one for you?
When you've got crazy chemistry with your partner, you find yourselves finishing each other sentences, or feel like your love story fell right out of a rom-com, you might think your SO is your one and only forever-ever person. But how do you know for sure? I checked in with some relationship experts to help me figure out how you know if your partner is the only one for you.
According to Dr. Terri Orbuch, PhD, author of Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship and professor at Oakland University in Michigan, "when you ask the question, 'Is your partner the only one for you?', what you are really asking (and should be asking) is 'Is your partner the right one for you?'" So, it sounds like it comes down to a matter of compatibility: If your goals, interests, and lifestyles align overall, there's a good chance your significant other is the right one for you.
Even if it's possible that there are multiple people out there in the world who you could spend your life with, Dr. Orbuch outlines three things that indicate whether your partner is the one. First, consider how the two of you handle conflict. Next, think of the level of trust in your relationship. And lastly, think about whether your underlying values line up.
Tammy Nelson, PhD, a certified sex and couples therapist, TEDx speaker, and author of The New Monogamy, offered a slightly different take on the matter. She says that you can't really know for sure if your partner is the only one for you, but more so that they are the one for you right now. "Monogamy and commitment are a choice — a choice we make every day," she explains. Of course, not all relationships are monogamous, so you and your partner may not fall under these parameters. But if you are in a monogamous relationship, you may choose to make that commitment to one another, day after day.
Nelson theorizes that perhaps "instead of one 'right' person, there [is] more than one 'soulmate' out there [for each of us]. What if everyone we met were our soulmate? What if we actually had to work hard to make each of our relationships work, regardless of how karmic each connection felt?" If you and your SO are both in it for the long haul, that dedication and commitment can go a long way, despite any differences you may have.
Online dating coach Andi Forness tells Elite Daily that the one who's "perfect for you is the person that inspires you to be the best version of yourself at any given stage." However, she adds, there are likely "many people that are able to fill that role."
Nelson explains that when it comes figuring out if your SO is the right person for you, "you don’t want to just be good roommates. You want to be in love." To really get down to the nitty-gritty of whether or not they're the one, she recommends talking "about what you want in your relationship with your partner ... about what you each desire, [and] what you truly want." If you're both open and honest about what you want from the get go, you should have a good indication about whether this person is right for you.
Forness says another thing to consider is that "we all evolve, and your partner needs to be able to change with you." Otherwise, you might grow apart, putting your relationship at risk for fizzling out. For example, "some people outgrow partying, and then are attracted to people that do other things with their time versus go out to bars and clubs," she notes. So, if you and your boo used to align with your FOMO, but now one of you is a little more into JOMO, it could be time to check in with each other to make sure you still have shared #goals.
Forness concludes that ultimately, "the right one for you will make you feel inspired to connect with them physically and emotionally." It won't always be easy-peasy, but the right person "will make you want to resolve your problems in a manner that will bring you closer, not apart." Sexual attraction, conflict management, and healthy communication are all key to a successful relationship.
How do you know if your partner is the only one for you? Well, it sounds like you can't really know for sure. However, if you and your SO have got serious chemistry, shared goals, solid trust, and make each other want to be the best version of yourselves, these are pretty good signs that they're the right person for you.