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healthy relationship advice

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We should have relentlessly high standards for our romantic relationships. I’m not talking about being picky about superficial and shallow traits in a partner or being a high-maintenance princess-type. What I’m talking about is, once you’re in a relationship—once you’ve truly committed time and effort to it—before getting in too deep (like by moving in together or getting married), you should stop and take stock of your dynamic. How do things feel, most of the time, in this relationship? Now, would you be happy if you felt like that forever? So many people make big leaps and commitments in relationships, when they don’t love the way things are—they just think they can fix them later. Nuh-uh. Bad idea. When it comes to being in it for the long haul, look for these signs that this relationship could make you happy for life.


You laugh together so much

When you picture how your days go, you two laugh together a lot. When you’re just cooking dinner or hanging around the house doing nothing, you laugh your butts off several times an hour. Your dynamic is certainly characterized by giggles and a feeling of youthful silliness.


In fact, when you’re apart, you’re bored

You have so much fun when you’re together that when you’re apart, you’re bored. If you travel without him, you suddenly find yourself thinking, “Damn. Nobody is as fun as my partner. I’ve barely laughed today. I’m used to laughing so much with him.”


Every day is a good day

It’s hard to say you’ve had a bad day if you know you get to end that day with your partner. When people ask how you’re doing, in general, you could delve into the fleeting issues—troubles with a coworker and things like that—but ultimately, you know you’re doing pretty well so long as you have this great relationship.


You’re happy together without money

You can be really, truly happy together on a very tight budget. Some of the most fun nights you’ve had involved spending little to no money. Since finding this partner, you’ve worried less about being able to afford luxurious experiences because just being around him feels like a luxury.


But you have the same financial goals

Though you can be happy with little, should you come into more money, you share similar financial goals. Perhaps you’d both like to invest in a home or you’d like to direct funds to philanthropic efforts. How you spend your money actually says a lot about your values, and you seem to have similar spending aspirations.


You still miss him, years in

Even though you’ve been together for a long time and you spend plenty of time together, when you’re apart, you still miss each other. You miss each other the same way you missed each other in the beginning of the relationship, when it all felt so intoxicating and exciting.


Good news feels better together

Getting good news alone feels good, but being able to share it with your partner makes it feel one hundred times better. He’s so piped into your emotions that when you get good news, he gets so genuinely excited that the celebratory vibe in the air quadruples.


Bad news doesn’t feel so bad

Receiving bad news—like you didn’t get that promotion or your story didn’t get accepted into that journal—doesn’t feel too bad because you have your partner. Truly, you have the most important thing in your life on stable ground (your relationship), so bad news can’t shake you too much.


You rarely fight

You can’t remember the last time you fought. You know you’ve had disputes but they’re so few and far between—and the issues are so inconsequential—that you really can’t recall what those fights were about. You in no way wake up worrying if you’ll fight today. Fighting is such a rarity in your relationship.


When you do, it ends quickly

On the rare occasion that you do fight, it ends quickly. You can typically squash it and get back to feeling totally affectionate and playful within 48 hours. That’s just how strong your connection is, and how much you both genuinely want to get back to getting along.


You feel his victories are yours

When something good happens to your partner, the excitement that takes over you is so strong it’s as if that good thing happened to you. You’re a team. You’re connected. His victories feel like your victories.


You’re never self-conscious

You speak and act without any filters in your relationship. You swear you don’t have one self-conscious bone in your body when you’re around your boo. He understands you so completely that he understands the intentions behind everything you do, so you don’t need to censor yourself.


You feel empowered by his love

Since getting together with this person, you’ve started to believe in yourself more. You’ve found more energy for your goals. You’ve started to pursue your dreams more aggressively.


You like who you are in this

It’s cheesy but it’s true: your partner makes you a better person. He brings out your best traits. You’re your favorite version of yourself around him.


You can always speak your mind

You never worry that you can’t tell your partner what’s on your mind. If he messed up, you can tell him. If you’re having dark and strange thoughts, you can tell him. If you’re having fears about the relationship, you can tell him. You can tell him and he won’t judge you or overreact.

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