Finding your place in a long term relationship can be difficult especially if you don’t have a lot of romantic history. Regardless, it’s clear that being in love takes a lot of work and self-reflection. If you’re unsure about where you stand, here are some clear signs you’re an excellent life partner.
1. You Don’t Always Hear The Sound Of Your Voice
One of the most challenging skills to master is the art of intentional listening. If you’re constantly hearing the sound of your own voice, it may be time to hone in on your listening skills. As said by renowned psychologist Carl Rogers, deep listening is at the heart of every healthy relationship.
Participating in active listening, especially when it isn’t convenient, demonstrates to your partner that they are a priority and that they are seen. So while it may not be your first choice, try your best to give your partner the floor even if it’s constantly about pesky Tanya from work.
We all want to feel deeply understood by those who we are closest to. Taking the time to listen to your partner will strengthen your bond and help your significant other listen closely to you in the future.
2. You’re Okay With Independent Time
Our favorite romantic movies and media often depict love as being virtually inseparable from our partners. While having valuable quality time is essential, it’s just as vital to find time where you can both pursue your individual interests. After all, you fell in love with one another based on your separate lifestyles, so retaining that sense of individuality can keep the spark alive.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder up to a certain extent. While we often interpret this adage in terms of physical distance or in the space of long-distance relationships, I firmly believe that it still applies to cohabitating partners.
3. You’re Committed To Growth
Perhaps the most important quality of a good partner is a fierce commitment to growth. While you and your significant other are not perfect, as long as you both continue to put in the effort, your relationship will always be in a good place. At the end of the day, all you can do is try your very best to make your significant other feel loved. I’m usually not one for cheesy metaphors, but if you both keep the light on, you’re bound to have a bright future.
4. You Try Not To Keep Score
When the honeymoon phase is dead and gone, love can start to feel transactional. Good partners try their best to do things out of love, not in expectation of receiving a good or act of kindness. It can be challenging to refrain from keeping score in a relationship, especially when you feel as though you’re putting more in than what you’re getting out.
Communicating with your partner about your perceived discrepancy can prevent these feelings of resentment from building up in the first place. Your significant other likely wants to see that you feel well cared for and balanced. Good partners respect each other enough to recognize that they’re both on the same team. A minor critique isn’t going to weaken your bond, in a healthy relationship, it should only help you and your partner grow as a couple.
5. You Fight Fair
Good partners understand the importance of confrontation. No, not yelling and screaming mindless attacks at each other, but serious, respectful disagreements. You and your partner should be able to voice your concerns openly with each other, even if that means having some tough conversations.
Moreover, good partners try their best to think as rationally as possible, even when their emotions are heightened— If you need to, take a walk, write down your thoughts, or take a break until you’re ready to communicate with your S.O head-on.
Do your best to listen to your partner’s concerns and avoid hurtful comments when the iron is hot. Instead, focus on “I” based statements. For example, instead of saying “You never do the dishes. You’re such a slob!”, you could rephrase and say, “I feel sad when the dishes aren’t done because it makes me feel like we aren’t both committed to keeping up the household.” Communicating in this way makes the root of the issue much more clear to your partner and is much more productive in the long run.
6. You Don’t Try To Change Your Partner
There’s a saying that picking your life partner is picking the problems you want to deal with for the rest of your life. While it’s always great to encourage and support your S.O, there are a lot of things you can’t necessarily “fix” based on your expectations. Good partners accept their partners for who they are — after all, it’s your choice to be in a particular relationship. However, it’s not your place to reform someone’s identity.
7. You Have A Good Sense of Humor
Staying in a committed relationship comes with its own set of intense trials and tribulations. Having a good sense of humor and knowing how to choose your battles is a surefire way to be a great romantic partner. Sometimes, the best way to break the ice after an intense altercation is to sit back and laugh about the whole ordeal with the one your love most.
8. You Use Your Manners
Productive partners know that how you say things matters. It’s ironic that we’re often the rudest to the ones we love most. While it may feel silly to thank your partner for doing something like folding the laundry, a little goes a long way.
9. You Make Your Partner A Priority
At the end of the day, good partners make each other a priority. Life will inevitably get in the way of your relationship, but if you both take the time to truly reconnect and spend time together, you’re on the right track. Love isn’t always easy, but it’s certainly worth it.