Over the past several years, the idea of marriage being a necessary step in every healthy, long-term relationship has slowly faded out a little bit. Now more than ever, people are deciding to slow down and live a little before rushing to check the marriage box. However, the thought of settling down with a forever person when the time is right is still something that appeals to many of us. So how do you know you're in love with someone who could turn out to be your partner for the long haul? Well, it isn't as daunting as it may sound.
Taking things step by step and not too getting caught up in the future when it comes to relationships is so important. The truth of the matter is that love can be complicated. Most people evolve and grow immensely over the course of their lives, particularly in their 20s, when most of us are coming to grips with adulthood and deciding what type of life we want to live. Unfortunately, this presents the possibility of growing apart from someone you might have seen yourself growing old with. That being said, there are definitely things that signal you're with someone who would be a good fit for you in the long run.
It's almost impossible to say with certainty that you're with your forever person before you've seen them at their worst and vice versa. Seeing how someone deals with negative circumstances and life's baggage is one of the most important things to figure out when you're still getting to know each other.
Weathering storms as a unit can be difficult, but it also presents the opportunity to grow together and become a stronger couple. So if you've weathered those downpours together, and your relationship has still come out on top, then that's a good sign it's built to last.
This can come in the form of backing you up and defending you when it counts, as well as eagerly devoting as much of their free time to spending quality time with you as possible.
"When a [someone] is really into a [partner], and wants to marry [them], [they] rarely, if ever, skip Saturday nights. [They want] to be with [you] on that night," Karenna Alexander, a prominent NYC love expert and matchmaker, told Elite Daily. "Hanging out with [their] buddies or carousing is just not important to [them] because [they] see a future with you."
When we fall in love with someone we could actually see ourselves ending up with forever, it can be tempting to ignore things that would normally be a deal breaker, in the hopes that they will change those things with time. But according to licensed marriage and family therapist Anita A. Chlipala, before making a huge commitment to someone like that, you should ask yourself, "Are [you] dating for [your] partner's potential, or do [you] really respect and appreciate [your] partner for who they are?"
The danger of falling in love with someone's potential is that there is chance they might not actually end up becoming that person. While asking someone to adjust their behavior is OK, Chlipala notes, expecting them to make major changes might be a bit far-fetched.
One of the most important things to consider when thinking about a partners' suitability for a long-term commitment is being honest with yourself about how they affect who you are. Someone who has the potential to be your forever boo must be a positive influence in your life, who actively supports your personal growth.
For some people, realizing that they are with the person whom they will spend their life with happens pretty early on. For others, figuring it out can take a while. Either way, there's no need to rush. Love is love, and marriage shouldn't be the most important thing to define your relationship.
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