We all know it’s common to “kiss a lot of frogs” before finding the right partner. The good news? It’s all worth it, because once you do find your match everything else begins to fall into place. Last year, I was insecure about having a serious boyfriend when I didn’t have full-time employment. I thought I had nothing to offer without a cool job, but the man I adore ended up helping me get to where I need to be career-wise, and the individual you’re meant to end up with will do the same and more. You may not immediately know that your significant other is going to be your spouse someday, but here are some signs that you two are bound for life.
10. You have similar long-term goals
This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the same line of work. That can be good too, but wanting the same things long-term — whether it’s having kids, a house, or lots of vacations — will help you through any obstacles you may face.
9. You like each other’s families
It’s true that you don’t just marry your soulmate, but his/her family as well. Many people complain about the in-laws and this doesn’t indicate your union is doomed, but life is so much easier when everyone gets along for the most part. I’m lucky my current beau’s parents and sister are awesome, but a former flame’s dad was unkind and distrustful of me, so I figured out pretty quickly that I hadn’t met the right guy yet.
8. You miss him/her when you’re apart
Wanting to be with the person you love all of the time doesn’t make you needy or annoying. It shows you cherish that person deeply and understand every experience — whether big or small — is better with him/her around. I enjoy watching The Simpsons in bed, but I always laugh harder at Homer’s antics when my S.O. is there cackling with me. Alone time is healthy, but so is wanting to giggle and chat with your favorite person in the world after a rough day at work.
7. You’re always thinking about how your decisions affect each other
Considering a new job? You’re also thinking about how it would fit with your S.O.’s schedule and needs, especially if you live together and share finances. This works both ways, so if he’s mulling over a drastic career change and wants to move to the other side of the world or country, he should also want to take you with him.
6. You don’t want any secrets
For the longest time, I was scared to stay over at my boyfriend’s house because I had a major sleeptalking/walking problem that had been going on for years. I was embarrassed about doing something ridiculous in the middle of the night but he assured me he wouldn’t judge my behavior — he just wanted me there. Sure enough, I was so relaxed with him that my sleep yelling/walking issues went away in his presence. I’m glad I explained my hesitation up front so we could find a solution.
The closer you are to someone, the more important things you’ll reveal about yourself — from your salary to your family history. The more they know, the more they understand you. The less-than-appealing stuff is important, too. The right person wants all of you, not just his/her idealized version of you, because that’s not real.
5. Other people comment on how great you are together
If parents, friends, siblings and relatives can see how happy you make each other, you know it’s going to last. On that note, how cute are Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield? You don’t need to know them to understand what an awesome pair they make. These two should get married TODAY.
4. You’ve survived tough times and blowouts
As much as I admire couples who claim they never fight over anything, I think there’s something to be said about having productive arguments. Life partnership isn’t all snuggles and kisses, so it’s important to know you can get through disagreements before you tie the knot. There will be many rough days when you’re exhausted, chasing screaming children around the house and having unpleasant conversations about money and taxes, but if you can get through the fighting and awkward discussions without too many tears, you can handle marriage.
3. You don’t have to look nice for each other all the time
Though you still like to dress up and surprise the other person with a pretty outfit, you two can be messy and lazy around each other and not even think twice about it.
2. You’re a good team
To paraphrase my former D.C. mentor Matt Lewis, it’s crucial to choose a partner with whom you can go to battle. As earlier stated, life presents us with plenty of battles, and the person you marry should be willing and able to fight them alongside you. That person should also be like a good reliable teammate. This may sound unromantic, but having someone who is there for you day in and day out, for better or worse, is as sweet as it gets.
1. You already know what you’d say during your wedding vows
When it comes to the other person, you can always articulate what makes him/her so amazing and why you’ll be there for them forever. Whether you’re “engaged to be engaged” or just having fun dating, you know you’re going to love this person until the very end. You want everyone to recognize how lucky you are to have this person in your life.