The one sure sign you've found the right one

Finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with is crucial. Here’s the “one sure sign” that can guide you.

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  • No one knowingly chooses to be married to someone they will later regret choosing. People who marry want to have a loving and lasting relationship with their spouse. Finding that person is the trick. However, there is "one sure sign" you may have found the right one. And it's not all that tricky. You can tell right off and throughout your courtship if this person is right for you. Here's the one sure sign:

  • The right partner encourages you to be your best self

  • "A 2014 study published in the journal Personal Relationships looked at how being in a relationship affects a person and their self-perceptions. As it turns out, relationship partners can encourage one another other to 'realize aspects of their ideal self,' pushing them toward their goals and helping them grow in ways they've desired."

  • Here are a few ways you can tell if this is actually happening. Your partner is:

  • Interested in your career goals

  • If you are in school, he wants to know what you're studying and your educational goals. He will encourage you to pursue these goals. He will encourage you to study, even help you if you ask. He'll celebrate with you when you receive a good grade or are offered a scholarship or internship.

  • If you are already working, your career goals will matter to your partner because they matter to you. She will ask you about your work and be sincerely interested in what you are doing and encourage you in it. She will praise you for your on-the-job accomplishments. You will sense she is genuinely proud of you and cares that you are doing what you enjoy.

  • Supportive of your religious convictions

  • A good partner will never make fun of your beliefs. He will support and encourage your desire to live what you believe. He will care enough to attend church with you so he can know more about why this matters so much to you. He may even adopt your beliefs, but if not, he will respect yours and not try to discourage you from having faith in God and in the principles you believe. He will recognize your religious beliefs are what help make you the person he fell in love with.

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  • It's important to note that couples who share the same religion have a greater chance of enjoying a happy and lasting marriage. If one is stronger and more committed to his or her religion, it's worth exploring his religion and learning about it. Then, if you feel comfortable with it, you may want to join your partner's church. "Numerous sociological studies have shown that valuing religion and regularly practicing it are associated with greater marital stability, higher levels of marital satisfaction and an increased likelihood that an individual will be inclined to marry."

  • Adopts some of your admirable traits

  • The Personal Relationships study stated, "We actually incorporate some of our partners' traits into our own sense of self. If my partner is a very charitable person, I may begin to become more charitable as well." Adopting each other's admirable traits improves the lives of both of you.

  • On the other hand, if you find yourself adopting traits of your mate that can have a negative effect on your life, that's a sign this is not the one for you. For example, partners who use drugs are often guilty of this. If your partner is a user, don't walk away from this relationship—RUN! Find a partner with traits that will improve your life, not ruin it. Or, at the very least, get him or her professional help to overcome the destructive habit.

  • Praises you

  • A loving partner will not put you down. He or she will concentrate on your positive attributes and compliment you on them. To be continually criticized or insulted by a partner is a disaster in the making. Don't put up with it for one minute. Find a partner who appreciates your good qualities and lets you know it. That doesn't mean a partner can't express concern over something you do that is worrisome to her or him. It's how your partner does it that makes all the difference. When you know there is loving concern and a desire to help, that can be a good sign.

  • We all need helping hands to make our lives better. That's doubly true of a marriage relationship. Remember, the one sure sign you've found the right one is that he or she encourages you to be your best self.

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Gary Lundberg is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Joy is a writer. Together they author books on relationships.

Website: http://garyjoylundberg.com

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