I’ve had my share of different relationships. I’ve thought I found The One a couple times. A part of me believes in The One, and another part of me believes there are multiple One’s. There’s The First One, The Soul Mate For Another Life, The One That Catalyzes You Into Who You Are Meant To Be, The One You Marry, and more.
Sometimes it’s hard to put a finger on the secret sauce that makes opposites attract or some people just never click even though they should on paper. But I have been in and seen a great many relationships and I’d like to think I can name a few important things you just gots to have.
We don’t choose who we fall in love with. There’s no logic to choosing who you get that spark with, however, there is a logic to what makes a relationship healthy and happy over the long term.
These are five things that I believe are important when deciding if he’s The Longterm One.
He accepts you just the way you are
And he accepts your flaws without making you feel bad about them. When I say “make you feel bad”, I don’t mean he’s putting you down super hard a la middle school recess. Making you feel bad is never so obvious and if it is, you are in a seriously emotionally abusive relationship, and we are in way different territory. I mean that you feel like you messed up when you relax into who you are.
Just as an example, if you feel uncomfortable making a joke you find funny, or you find yourself not wearing your favorite dress because he said he only likes it when you wear skinny jeans, then you are cramping your style. You are compromising on the things that make you YOU. You are compromising on who you are.
If you feel like you are performing a role, if you feel like you can’t relax, if you feel anxious and are constantly overthinking and analyzing his reaction to you, then chances are he isn’t accepting of who you are.
You should feel safe. You should feel authentic. Yes, comfort with a partner is built over time, but you shouldn’t be questioning whether he accepts you if you really consider this person a partner. Life is too short to be stressing out about the person who should understand and accept you at the end of the day.
He’s there when you need him, even if it is inconvenient
Yes, you are a badass, capable, self sufficient woman who don’t need no man.
But, you don’t need to carry the whole world on your shoulders 24/7 365 days a year, and you shouldn’t have to. Especially if you are brave and honest enough to admit when you need a little support, your man should BE THERE. Being with someone is to be a part of a team. You’d be there for him in a second, so if he makes you feel bad for asking, feel wrong for needing him, or feel like you end up having to take care of HIM in YOUR time of need… You deserve way better.
You want to be around him.
You should enjoy being around him. You shouldn’t dread your dates. You shouldn’t be rolling your eyes at everything he says. This should be obvious, but girl- if I’ve been there, maybe you have too. If I can stop one girl from spending one more miserable date with a guy she doesn’t want to hurt but can’t stand, then I’ll state the obvious.
It happened to me. I dated someone for six months that I literally debated breaking up with from about a month in. I wanted so badly to love this guy and that kept me from admitting that I didn’t even really like him that much.
As an expert at self-deception, I could explain away that sinking, dreading feeling when I was planning my next date. “I’ll decide at the end of today; I’ll just see how this date goes.” Please don’t do that.
Having ended it now, I can tell you that if you are debating breaking up with someone, especially in the early stages when it should still be exciting and dopamine filled, you should seriously consider it. Don’t write it off as being too picky or not giving someone enough of a chance. After the initial post-breakup tears (normal, human, and doesn’t mean it’s the wrong decision), I felt sweet, sweet relief. And I was kind of pissed that I waited so long!
Values align: want the same things out of life. You don’t have to agree on everything but the BIG things must align.
Your opinions and the things you want do change throughout your life as you have new experiences and grow as a person. But there are the big things that you know you won’t ever compromise on. For instance, if you are a big family person and you know you want to raise your kids in the same area as their grandparents, then you know you don’t want a partner whose biggest dream is bringing his family to live on a Navy base in Japan. That is a very specific example, but you get it. If something is very clearly out of alignment and it’s a nonnegotiable, it isn’t meant to be.
To paraphrase Atticus, there will be someone exactly like him; just a little taller, a little more handsome and who shares your nonnegotiable wants.
The sex is HAWT
YAAASSSS! You’re not just friends. There needs to be chemistry.
You’ve got to want to put your hands on this guy. If the freak isn’t your brand of awesome then it probably won’t be a satisfying, successful long term relationship.
It’s not even necessarily anyone’s fault. I feel shallow even saying this, but I think it’s important to normalize women’s wants, regardless of how shallow they sound or little the issue seems to others. I was with a guy whose torso just wasn’t as long as mine (despite being taller than me) and spooning was so uncomfortable and weird. It wasn’t the one and only reason that things ended, but I’m glad to no longer be the big spoon trying to be the little spoon.
At the most basic level, you need someone who gets you, supports you emotionally, you like to be around and to get freaky with, and who shares your values.
It’s that simple! (It’s really not, but it’s a start).