From the moment we start a relationship, we seek out the answer to our most-burning question: Is the connection authentic? We’ve got seven ways to tell.
The search for a romantic partner who you truly connect with can seem daunting. We all want to love, be loved, and belong—it is a human need. To successfully fulfill this desire, you need to know what to look for. If you recognize your relationship has these seven elements, or the beginning of them, then your connection is starting off on the right foot:
You Can Be Yourself
When you’re at school or work, you have a public persona. It’s how you present yourself to the outside world. But when you’re in private, at home, or among friends, you can let your guard down and simply be yourself.
This mirrors dating. When first seeing someone, we’re all on our best behavior, presenting our best selves. If a relationship continues, the couple will begin to let their full selves shine through. When you do this, do you feel accepted? It is important you feel safe to be imperfect, make mistakes, and be vulnerable.
You Commit to Overall Intimacy
Physical attraction and sexual chemistry are an important part of a lasting relationship, but they are only a portion of a much larger key element of an authentic connection:
A study by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology found that couples don’t need to have sex every day to be happy. Just once a week is needed to maintain satisfaction and happiness in a relationship. The crucial part is overall intimacy, which is created physically, intellectually, emotionally, and through shared experiences.
You Are Part of One Another’s Lives
Your little cousin’s piano recital, your partner’s Sunday family dinner, or their friend’s birthday party are all important events. A couple who makes time for one another’s family events, friend gatherings, and work obligations, show they value the circle of people who surround their partner.
Yes, these events can be a pain, inconvenient, and even awkward or uncomfortable, but the willingness of a couple to support one another shows true commitment.
If you’ve been dating for some time and have not been invited to meet friends or attend family functions, it may be time to move on. This reluctance shows a lack of willingness to forge a true connection with you as well as between you and their loved ones.
You Want the Best for Each Other
It isn’t all about you.
You can see when your partner struggles and thrives. You want to help them to be their best, face their fears, and flourish. This does not mean you become codependent. You don’t solve your partner’s problems or accommodate for their irresponsible behavior.
Whether it’s in their career, their hobbies, or their passions, you can step back and see that their happiness is important. You want what is best for them, you support them in that quest, and they do the same for you.
You Value Balance & Space
You can be apart. You don’t need to spend every waking minute with one another. You have some of your own interests, friends, and activities. It is important for the success of the relationship that individuality is maintained. This allows the individuals to continue to challenge themselves, while also growing as a couple.
You Have a Willingness to Compromise
Compromise is an essential part of relationship. It isn’t realistic, no matter how much you have in common, that you’ll see eye to eye on everything with your partner. If you or your significant other always wants to get their way, it’s a sign that going solo might be best.
You Prioritize Laughter & Fun
They bring a smile to your face. You can laugh and play with your partner. There is an element of fun in the time you spend together, regardless if you’re grocery shopping, relaxing at home, or out for coffee.
A study from the University of North Carolina found that generally pairings who laugh more together are likely have better-quality relationships. The study found laughter was a good indicator of the quality of a relationship.
When you’re out there dating, it’s important to keep these signs of a workable and genuine relationship in mind. If these elements are showing up, you and your partner have a solid framework to build a long-lasting relationship. Finding a person you can authentically connect with is definitely achievable.