Signs You’re Truly Happy In Your Relationship (Or Aren’t)
“Are you happy in your relationship?” Your answer should have been quick, simple, clean, and without hesitation. If there was a lot of hemming and hawing going on, that’s a bit of a red flag. “It’s not that simple!” you might say. But it is. Or at least it should be. Look, it’s not like overwhelmingly happy couples never, ever have a hiccup, a little argument, a bump in the road, or a difference of opinions. It’s that even after those and during those, they could still say, with absolute certainty, that their lives are immeasurably better with one another, than without one another.
I think that, for many reasons, our vision can become a little bit foggy about relationships. Maybe you’ve had so many bad ones that your standards have just dropped tremendously. The mere fact that you and your partner don’t yell at each other every hour may make you believe you’re in a “great” relationship, even though you’re not exactly thrilled to be around each other. Or, maybe something about your past—your childhood, or your parents’ relationship—planted the idea, deep in your subconscious, that your partner doesn’t have to be your best friend. Maybe you think partners are just utilitarian parts of life that help you run households and raise kids, but that’s it.
Somewhere along the way, we can lose that hope for magic in a relationship—for that sensation that, when you’re with your person, you’re exactly where you’re meant to be, and you’re so lucky to have found each other. And that, to me, is so sad. I know right away when someone isn’t happy in her relationship because the simple question, “Are you happy?” bumps her. There’s a lot of explaining and hedging. And there just shouldn’t be. Here are simple signs that you are happy in your relationship (or you aren’t.)
You light up when he gets home
If you had a tail, it would wag when you hear your partner park his car outside and approach the front door. When you’re home without him, the house feels empty. And the second he gets home, the house feels full of warmth and love. On the flipside, if the sound of his car pulling in the driveway gives you a tinge of anxiety or a feeling like, “Fun’s over,” that’s not good.
And when he calls
When you see his name pop up on your phone, your entire body lights up. You answer as fast as you can. You really, really want to answer. Something about his voice calms you and just helps you feel settled. Or, perhaps the reverse is true, and you often ignore his calls, but you couldn’t quite explain why. You just…didn’t feel like talking. Or feared the call could bring an argument.
He’s comforting during tough times
If you’re going through something difficult, all you want to do is see your partner. You feel the same way around him as you did when you were a kid, after something embarrassing happened at school or you did poorly in a soccer game, and you ran home to your parents. He’s your family. He’s your support system. Unless he’s the last person you want to see during tough times because you just can’t handle his sh*t on top of your own. That’s not good.
He makes fun times so much more fun
Anything that is already fun is made so much more fun by his presence. Going on vacation with him is like vacation squared, because life already feels like a vacation with him, and now you’re literally on vacation with him. Unless of course, the opposite is true, and you feel many good times have been ruined by yet another fight with your boyfriend, or one of his moods.
The compliments are flying
You two constantly compliment each other. You can’t look at each other and not say something like, “You’re so cute” or “I’m so lucky to be with you.” When you see each other, these words just come flying out of your mouth. But…if you find it hard to pay your partner a compliment, and the words feel sticky, prickly, and just wrong, that’s a very bad sign.
You miss him deeply when he’s gone
When he’s away, you just think about how nice it’d be if he came home. It’s like somebody took a part of you away. This huge, warm presence is gone. You feel this way even after years of being together. Unless you actually feel significantly happier and lighter on your feet when he’s out of town. Uh oh.
But you don’t feel lost without him
Even though you miss him a lot while he’s out of town, you don’t feel lost and identity-less. Your partner very much encourages you to have a life of your own and friends of your own. He encourages you to be independent and strong, so you still have plenty of fun when he’s gone. You just miss him. If, however, you feel lonely, lost, and like you don’t know who you are when he’s gone, you may be in an unhealthy, codependent, and possibly possessive relationship. If he doesn’t like you to have a life of your own, then you’re naturally lost and lonely when he’s away.
You never fear “getting in trouble”
You never worry that you’ll get in trouble for doing something—not really. A couple dirty dishes left out for too long. Coming home a little later than you said you would, because you were having a good time with friends. Giving a hug to a male friend. You don’t worry that these things will cause a fight. You know you have tons of good will built up in your relationship. Unless of course, you don’t, and you constantly live in fear of getting in trouble.
You speak openly, without a filter
You never question yourself before speaking. You know that your partner knows your intentions and your heart, so you can say whatever comes to mind, and he’ll either get it right away, or give you the benefit of the doubt and let you further explain yourself. Unfortunately, some people constantly edit and filter their words to their partner, because the two don’t understand one another, and always get in disagreements.
You’re spontaneously and regularly affectionate
You couldn’t even possibly answer the question, “How often are you physically affectionate?” because it’s, like, all of the time! You can barely pass him in the kitchen without giving him a big smooch, wrapping your arms around him, sitting on his lap for a second, or in some way touching him. If you do, however, find yourself counting the times you’re affection each day, and the number fits on one hand…yikes.
You feel like kids together
When you’re together, you just feel like kids together. All of the stresses and worries of adulthood melt away. All of the insecurities and fears of inadequacy are gone. You recapture some of that magic of childhood, when life felt full of possibilities and just so fun. Unless you and your partner are quite serious around each other. That’s not good.
Whatever happens, it’ll be fine
You have a firm belief that, whatever life throws at you—unemployment, friends moving away, fights with family, depression—you’ll be fine because you have each other. You believe that being together makes you both much stronger and much more capable than when you were alone. Unless you sadly feel that life’s problems just add to the huge problem that is your relationship, and you couldn’t possibly take on one more thing while managing this nightmare of a relationship.
And you’ll be happy
You also know that you’ll be happy under any circumstances. If one of your jobs takes both of you to a new town where you know nobody, you’ll be happy. If you need to downsize from a house to a tiny apartment due to budget restrictions, you’ll be happy. It’s you two—and not external factors—that generate the joy in your home.
You wouldn’t think twice about it
If someone were to ask you, right now, if you’re happy in your relationship, you wouldn’t hesitate to answer. It would be a, “Yes, oh my gosh yes. I love him so much. He makes my life so much better.” But if your answer would be more like, “Um, sure. I mean, yeah, of course. It’s not perfect. We have our stuff. We’ll be fine” you may need to reconsider…
You smile when you say his name
Your entire face lights up when you just say his name. You get a twinkle in your eye. You overflow with happiness and pride when you talk about him. It’s clear that you’re holding back so you don’t gush all over the place. Unless…you speak about him in more bland and militant tones, saying things like, “Oh, he’s good. Yup. Work’s good. He’s fine.”