13 Signs Your Relationship is On the Right Track

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Relationships are really, really hard work. Even when everything is going well, it’s still hard to keep your emotions in check sometimes. Things don’t really get any easier as you go, either – they just get a little more worth the effort.

Everyone has their own expectations of what makes a perfect relationship, but there are 13 signs that let you know that things are probably on the right track. Give yourself a pat on the back – you deserve it!

1. You can talk things out without fighting.

Every relationship has disagreements, but not all relationships can move through those disagreements. What makes the difference? Simply put, it’s whether you have the ability to talk about things without turning it into a battle or a competition.

2. You practice grace and forgiveness.

Two of the hardest-to-come-by virtues out there, grace and forgiveness give you peace with yourself and others. While we’re definitely not saying you should gloss over the big indiscretions, you need to accept that people make mistakes sometimes, and know how to move on from them.

3. You show each other love and kindness.

Most of us choose to identify as kind and loving – but we might forget to show it as much as we should. Happy relationships rely on love, affection, and a feeling of friendship between the partners. If you have that, you’re a lot closer than those who don’t.

4. You make each other laugh.

We’re all looking for someone who can make us laugh, but at some point we forget how important it is. I don’t think I personally know a single person who doesn’t list “a good sense of humor” as one of their main relationship priorities. Remember that the next time your girlfriend is annoying you with her cheesy impressions.

5. You use your differences to grow.

Everyone has differences – it’s one of the things that makes us so special as human beings. How you respond to those differences tells a lot about how compatible you really are, though. Do you use your differences against each other, or do you remember that you’re different people with different perspectives?

6. You make each other a priority.

You aren’t always going to be each other’s first priority, but you should always fall somewhere near the top of the other’s list. If you two make a point to spend time with each other all the time, and really focus on the time you do spend, you’re taking action to build your bond – good for you!

7. You serve each other without resentment.

There are mixed opinions on this particular subject – does someone deserve “wifey treatment” if they aren’t willing to actually be your wife? I think that this relies on a misunderstanding about serving your partner, though. It should never be an obligation, but rather something you choose to do for her. If you are happy to do things for her, and she is happy to do things for you, then you’ve got it good.

8. You care for yourselves and each other.

It’s all well and good to have a partner who wants to take care of you, but if one of you isn’t also interested in taking care of yourself, no amount of serving will help you. The best partners know that you can’t help someone out of a hole that you’re stuck in yourself. They take care of themselves, so that they can better take care of each other.

9. You don’t have secrets from each other.

Of course, being an individual implies a certain amount of privacy. I’m not talking about sharing every detail of everything. But the things you keep from your partner shouldn’t be the things they don’t want to hear – it should be the things that don’t concern them. She doesn’t need to know the contents of your e-mails, but she does deserve to know if any of them cross any lines.

10. You both admit your mistakes.

Admitting a problem is the first step in fixing it – so taking ownership of the mistakes you’ve made is the first step in working towards a solution. You two don’t fight over these mistakes, because you don’t try to deny that they happened.

11. You don’t keep score.

A little friendly competition is good for you – but that competition shouldn’t get in the way of your happy, healthy relationship. That means you need to let go of the things that happened in the past, and both try your best to prevent the mistakes from repeating. It also means you trust your partner to do what she said she was going to do, even if she occasionally doesn’t.

12. You support each other, in public and private.

It’s important to have a partner who supports the things you want to do with your life, and just as important to have a partner who’s willing to stick up for you when things get a little tense. If your partner cheers you on, even when others are booing, she’s a keeper.

13. You encourage each other to be your best selves.

I’m always really hesitant about including this as advice, because there’s a very thin line between “encouraging someone to reach their full potential” and “trying to turn someone into something they’re not”. For partners who are in support of the changes being made, however, it’s an incredible feeling to know that your girlfriend is on your team and wants great things to happen for you. Just make sure you’re doing the same for her, too.

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