It’s not your partner’s job to make you happy all the time, but they should at least try to make things pleasant. Petty fights and arguments aside, you should generally be positive about your relationship. Time spent with your partner should make you feel better about yourself, not worse. If your partner undermines your confidence or always puts you in a bad mood, it may be time to assess your situation.
You should feel comfortable being yourself around your partner. If you find that you need to wear a mask, or are constantly trying to impress them, they may not be right for you. Your partner should love you as you are, and not try to mold you into an entirely different person. You should feel energised after spending time with them, not emotionally drained. They should lift you up, not drag you down.
Yes, attraction matters! They may not be supermodels, but you should feel some attraction towards them. If you find your partner repulsive, things probably aren’t going to work. You need chemistry for a relationship to flourish. You don’t need to be lusting for each other always, but you should have some urge to make love. Great sex won't make all your problems go away all the time, but it does allow you to lose yourself for a while, which is important in a long-term relationship.
The right partner should be sexually compatible with you. If you view sexual intimacy differently, or have different libidos, taboos or sexual preferences, your relationship will be affected. In short, your sexual satisfaction should be important to them. But no matter how 'good in bed' someone is, there’s nobody as good as a partner you feel deeply in love with and bonded to.
If you begin catching your partner in lies, even small ones, watch out! A good partner should be honest with you. A relationship simply cannot function without trust, and this goes both ways. Not trusting your partner, monitoring their communication with others, trying to limit the amount of time they spend with those they care about – such actions are bad for the health of any relationship. If your partner is falling into these patterns, it’s time to take a break and rethink your relationship.
Differences in upbringing and lifestyle can add colour to a relationship, but if your core values differ you should think twice. If one values family and the other doesn’t, things are going to be tense. Likewise, if your life goals are irreconcilable, chances are things aren’t going to work out. You and your partner’s values and goals don’t necessarily need to be the same, but they should at least be harmonious.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. Even if you are with the right person, that doesn’t mean you won’t have disagreements and face difficulties. You should, however, be confident that together you can work through such difficulties, and feel comfortable about bringing up sensitive issues. And remember: Communication is a two-way street. The right partner will not only speak honestly, but should listen patiently to what you have to say.
If your partner is always trying to control you and tell you what to do, get out while you still can. The right partner should value your individuality, not try to control your life. If it seems like they are more interested in the role you play in their world, rather than with your needs, you might be dating the wrong person.
Read our article '8 Signs you're with the right partner.'
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