Often, love comes waltzing into our lives when we least expect it. Depending on what else is going on in your life at the time, figuring out how to know you're in love with the right someone isn't always crystal clear. Although it would be amazing if we had the ability to perfectly time the arrival of perfect lovers in our lives, we all know that's just not how things work.
One of the more daunting aspects of falling for someone early on in life is the fact that you may still have some evolving and growing to do — meaning that, eventually, you could outgrow the person you're currently in love with. This possibility may cause many people to feel uncertain and doubtful about their relationship. But don't fret: What you're feeling is completely normal.
While there is always the potential to grow apart from someone, if the foundation of your relationship is solid, then there's opportunity to grow and evolve together — a process that could very well leave you both feeling more certain than ever that you are with the right person. Elite Daily spoke with Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, noted psychotherapist, and Anita A. Chlipala, a licensed marriage and family therapist, about how you can tell you're in love with the right person — at least for the time being.
1. You're Happy With Who You Are When You're With Them
This is a biggie! Remember when your mom used to nag you about hanging out with friends she didn't think were a good influence on you? Well, that's because we tend to become like the type of people we choose to surround ourselves with — it's inevitable. This can be a really amazing thing if your partner possesses qualities you admire or value. On the other hand, if you're with someone who isn't the best fit for you, it could cause you to change for the worst.
"Too often the desire to stay with someone can prompt you to do things that don't make you proud," says Wish. If you find yourself doing things or behaving in ways that leave you feeling not-so-hot, then this is a major red flag and could mean you aren't with the right person.
2. You're Happy With Who They Are, As They Are Now (Not Just With Their Potential)
According to Chlipala, it's important to ask yourself, "Are [you] dating for [your] partner's potential, or do [you] really respect and appreciate [your] partner for who they are?" There's nothing wrong with dating someone who has things they need to work on — we all do — but if you can't see yourself being truly happy if you had to spend forever with the person they are today, that could be a problem.
A good rule to remember when it comes to "changing" your partner is that "you can't ask your partner to change who they are, but you can ask for behavior modification," says Chlipala.
3. You've Stuck By Each Other Through The Good And Bad Times
Even the best relationships go through their fair share of ups and downs. Whether it's conflict within the relationship or external pressures affecting the relationship, how you navigate difficulties as a couple is a pretty big testament to how you'll be able to cope with adversity in the future.
"People react to success, failure, and challenges differently," says Dr. Wish. "The person who was down on their luck might grab a gentle soul; but when success finally comes, the person no longer needs such comforting arms, and then seeks someone with cash, success, connections, etc."
If you suspect you're partner might only be in it for what you can do for them in the short term, without them making any effort to meet your needs as well, stay alert. You don't deserve that kind of behavior.
4. Your Fights Are Mature
"Would you like your doubts and worst moments with your partner posted on Facebook — or how about that lighted ticker tape at Times Square in New York City? Or, what if you had to tell your best friends about all your doubts and bad incidents?" asks Wish.
If the thought of having your dirty laundry going public doesn't make you want to completely implode, then that's a sign that, even in times of disagreement, you can both act reasonably and maturely, which spells success for the longevity of a relationship.
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