Here’s why many relationships crumble:
As the relationship therapist, Esther Perel wrote in her book, Mating In Captivity,
“Today, we turn to one person to provide what an entire village once did… Is it any wonder that so many relationships crumble under the weight of it all?”
Being with the right person doesn’t mean being with a perfect person. And the right relationship is by no means perfect. So what makes a relationship the “right one?”
It makes you a better person.
The right relationship is when two imperfect people, fully aware of their imperfections, choose to come together and help each other grow. This is the basis of great relationships. And these seven green flags show that a relationship has this foundation.
1. You trust each other
Some people think love makes people trust each other. But in reality, it’s the other way around.
We fall in love with those we trust. Of course, trust isn’t the only thing that leads to love, but love is impossible without trust. As Esther Perel further wrote in her book,
“The more we trust, the farther we are able to venture.”
This is so true.
Think about the first time you were on a date with your current partner. Just a slight brush on the shoulder felt awkward. The things you talked about were probably restricted to work, ideas about life, what you do for leisure and other lightweight topics.
But the more you knew them and understood their kind of person, the farther you ventured with them, both physically and emotionally.
It’s difficult to enjoy a relationship when you are always on the lookout because you’re afraid your partner might leave you for someone else.
Trust is what makes us excited about the future of our relationships. It’s the foundation of genuine love. And the stronger the foundation, the freer we are to build upon what we already have.
Related: 10 Types of Girls Guys Regret Losing
2. You’re emotionally attracted to each other
Emotional attraction is every other thing that draws you towards someone beyond the physical. It’s those little things about their personality that make you feel connected to them.
For instance, you go on a date with someone who you think is fairly good-looking. But as the person starts talking, you begin to see a whole different version of them.
You see that they are not just good-looking, they have a unique way they look at the world. And when the waiter came to attend to you on your first date, they treated him with so much kindness and respect that it blew your mind away.
Not just that, they said hello to the doorman with a smile, and helped the old lady outside the restaurant with her heavy bag. Now you’re not just attracted to their looks, you’re attracted to their personality. That’s an emotional attraction.
Unlike physical attraction, emotional attraction lasts longer because it’s built on something more permanent — like values and character. This is why couples who are emotionally attracted to each other will last longer.
3. You have difficult conversations
Nobody likes difficult conversations. In fact, most people would rather let things float in the air and disappear.
But as Jordan Peterson advised in his book 12 Rules For Life, as difficult as it is, not talking about problems is a strategy bound to wreak havoc in relationships in the long term. He wrote,
“Don’t hide baby monsters under the carpet. They will flourish. They will grow large in the dark. Then, when you least expect it, they will jump out and devour you.”
If you can’t have difficult conversations with your partner, your relationship isn’t going to survive the inevitable hurdles that will come up from time to time.
You’ll instead become passive-aggressive towards each other. And passive aggression can quickly lead to resentment and everything goes downhill from there.
When you have difficult conversations with someone, first, it means they understand you. Secondly, and more importantly, it means they always want to move forward with you, no matter what.
Also read: 6 Signs They Are Not “The One” For You
4. You’re sexually attracted to each other
As much as emotional attraction is important, sexual attraction is also one of the ways couples build — and express —intimacy toward each other.
For a relationship to last long-term, you have to be sexually compatible with your partner. If all you like about them is their virtues, well, you might just as well make them your friends.
Furthermore, a 2017 study showed that sex is a form of intimacy feedback loop. Meaning that the more intimate a couple is, the more sex they’ll have. And the more they have sex, the more they become intimate.
Of course, sex alone doesn’t guarantee intimacy. Emotional and sexual attraction are two sides of the same coin. And they are both needed to build lasting intimacy in any long-term relationship.
5. You feel accepted
This is perhaps one of the best signs you’re in the right relationship. Here’s why:
What one person finds amazing might be off-putting — and sometimes even offensive — to someone else. This is why being in the wrong relationship makes you feel lonely.
There may not be one specific person for you in this world, but there is a group of people who find your personality uniquely amazing. The philosopher Alain de Botton put it best when he said,
“One rarely falls in love without being as much attracted to what is interestingly wrong with someone as what is objectively healthy.”
Intimacy, Botton further explained, is when you find out that someone is okay with your weirdness.
This doesn’t mean that the person that’s right for you thinks you’re perfect. Rather, it means that they will accept you for who you are while encouraging you to be your best. And you’ll know this because you won’t feel weird about your warts when you’re with them.
6. You’re patient with each other
You don’t quickly become hot-headed about little things. And when one person appears to be too emotionally invested in an argument, the other can bear sacrificing being wrong, just to make amends.
Couples who are patient with each have a strong emotional bond. And this makes them empathize with each other.
It’s those moments of imperfections that your partner needs your love the most. Anyone can claim to be in love in times when you’re sweet, kind, and loving. But true love is put to test in those moments of imperfection.
Someone who loves you will not make you feel like you owe them perfection. You won’t feel you’re under a microscope, being judged for every wrong thing you do.
They’ll be patient with you. And when there’s a need, they’ll have a difficult conversation about what they wish was different.
7. You respect each other
In a romantic relationship, respect and admiration go together.
Think about it. The same things that make you respect your partner also make you admire them. It could be how he fixes things that you can’t, or how well she’s able to hold difficult conversations in a way you can’t.
The point here is that if you don’t respect each other, it most likely means there’s nothing left to admire.
In the right relationship, you’ll feel respected. And you’ll see this in the way you listen, look, talk, and pay attention to each other’s opinions.
When we think of the “right” relationship, we often think of it in terms of people who are right for us. But in reality, what’s more important is being the right person for a healthy relationship.
Most people don’t get it right in their first few relationships, not because everyone they met was bad for them, but because they were the wrong person in the relationship.
You have to understand yourself before knowing what kind of person is right for you. Don’t turn to one person to provide what an entire village once did. As Esther Perel said,
“It’s hard to feel attracted to someone who has abandoned their sense of autonomy.”
Interesting: 8 Subtle Signs A Man Genuinely Loves You