Have you ever gotten really close to someone, really quickly? Maybe you’ve found yourself wondering if this person was “the one” after only a few weeks or months of dating. It can be hard to tell the difference between a passing infatuation and a true connection that will get deeper over time. We hear so much about how to spot “red flags” in potential partners, that we can sometimes forget to keep an eye out for the “green flags” that tell us we should pursue a relationship with someone. This article is about recognizing those early signs of true love in a relationship. Read on – maybe they’re the one!
1. They make you a part of their life.
If your partner considers it worthwhile to introduce you to their family and friends, it means that they intend to pursue a long-term relationship with you. After all, people care about the opinions of their loved ones.
2. Your relationship is appropriate.
An appropriate relationship can mean a number of things. Just to name a few examples:
a) They are not very much older or younger than you. It’s been said that age is just a number, but very wide age gaps create a lot of difficulties within a relationship.
b) They do not have a position of authority over you (such as your boss or professor) nor you over them
c) They are not in a relationship with someone else, or seeing other people.
d) They do not live too far away, with no plans of relocating closer to you.
An inappropriate relationship is often a way of escaping reality. These kinds of relationships can feel exhilarating, even noble at times, because you’re defying society’s conventions. It seems very romantic. But in the end, these relationships rarely ever work out. You need to be with someone whose life is compatible with yours, and who is capable of loving you in every way.
3. They let you have your freedom.
Possessiveness can seem like a sign of love, but any relationship in which you aren’t free to express your individuality – to do the things that matter to you, and spend time with the people that matter to you – isn’t going to be a healthy relationship.
4. You are generous with each other.
It’s wonderful to be with someone who lavishes their time and/or money on you. Equally important, however, is the question of whether you also have the desire to be generous with them. You don’t have to match their contributions exactly – you may have a different love language from your partner, such as preferring to give them gifts instead of writing romantic letters.
The important thing is that there’s a consistent give-and-take within your relationship. They’re not giving all the time without input from you, and vice versa. A one-sided relationship will fizzle out eventually.
Also read: 16 Good Ways to be Kind in a Relationship
5. You give each other privacy.
You both feel that you can trust each other. You don’t feel the need to pry about where they are, what they’re doing, and who they’re with. You feel secure even when you’re apart and can’t keep an eye on them.
6. You encourage each other’s interests outside of the relationship.
It’s nice to be able to share interests, but being two different individuals means that sometimes, there are things you won’t be able to share with your partner. Perhaps you love rock climbing, and they’re terrified of heights. Or you like visiting jazz lounges, and they can’t stand saxophones.
Whatever your differences are – and there will be differences – true love means supporting and encouraging even those parts of your loved one that you cannot share.
7. You can argue with each other – in a productive and considerate way.
There are many people we never argue with. You probably have never argued with your coworkers, for instance, or your building receptionist. Never arguing is not a sign of true love. We don’t argue with those we don’t care about – they’re not worth the effort. True love takes the risk of experiencing anger and hurt in order to reach a deeper level of understanding with your partner.
8. They don’t show you off.
There’s a difference between someone being proud of you, and someone showing you off. It’s often subtle, but you can usually notice if your partner seems to constantly bring up your accomplishments to friends and family, rather than letting them get to know you on your terms.
You may have the nagging sense of feeling like a possession, or that your partner would feel differently about you if you hadn’t accomplished everything you have. It can be confusing, because the attention is also flattering and feels like love. But ultimately, love isn’t about our strengths and abilities – it’s in how we connect with each other and care for each other despite our flaws.
9. You are not consumed by this relationship.
You are not obsessed with them. You are not constantly distracted from your responsibilities by thoughts of how you might be able to spend more time with them, or wondering what they might be doing without you. This relationship is a source of strength for you, not a drain on your energy.
10. You don’t feel anxious about this relationship.
Everyone has doubts at the beginning of new relationships. Love is risky, and there’s always the potential of getting hurt. However, you should eventually be able to feel secure enough in your relationship to keep from feeling anxious. The steadfast decision to pursue true love despite the risk of getting hurt will be its own reassurance.
11. You both inspire each other to be better people.
Far from being a mere source of comfort or entertainment, you and your partner inspire each other to improve and become wiser and stronger every day – not just for each other, but for yourselves, your family, and society as a whole. You provide each other with a reason to keep growing and developing.
12. You see a future in this relationship.
Feeling affection for someone and building a life with them are two different things. True love grows when you shape your practical reality to demonstrate your feelings for your partner. Feelings can be fleeting, but true love is a promise that you keep far into the future as your feelings evolve and mature.
13. You can both stand on your own feet.
True love is about two whole people coming together. You weave the separate threads of your existence to make them stronger – but you have been complete before each other, and you are capable of standing alone. You and your partner can rely on each other in times of need, because you have more than enough fortitude for yourself.
You can see signs of true love early in a relationship.
True love is a promise that is made true in the fullness of time. Did this article help you decide if you should take your relationship to the next level? Sometimes, it’s just too early to tell. Wisdom is about letting your heart and your head make decisions about your relationship. If you’ve recognized many of these early signs of true love in your relationship, you can rest assured that you’re falling in love with your eyes wide open.
Also read: 15 Signs of True Love in a Relationship