If you’re in a relationship, how will you know if the person is right for you? The answers to a few key questions will tell you all you need to know.
Nearly 50% of the adult U.S. population is single, and 4 in 10 adult singles use online dating services to search for the perfect match for them. Washington, D.C. has an astonishing 70% single rate, and I found my perfect mate while living in the metro DC area by being very clear about what behaviors and traits mattered most to me. In fact, I created what I call my Relationship Success Chart to create a high degree of clarity.
My wife and I are frequently consulted for advice on relationships because we are so happy and in love. How did we know we were right for each other? We’ve boiled it down to 7 questions that anyone can answer, and the more “yes” responses one has, the higher the probability his/her partner is the right person for them. Answer the questions and see for yourself.
Question 1: Does Being in the Relationship with the Person Make You Better?
Relationships take a lot of energy and effort, and the right person consistently demonstrates a deep respect for the privilege of being the person of your affection and trust. They reward you by doing things that make you better without expecting anything in return.
Question #2: Do You Have Agreements in Place for How You Handle Disagreements?
Before we got married, my wife and I went 18 months without a disagreement. Although we rarely argue, we learned that we needed to have agreements in place for how we handle conflict that will inevitably occur between us. We also established agreements for handling violations of those agreements. When couples can easily establish these and maintain them when needed, that’s a good sign indeed.
Question #3: When You Disagree, Do Both of You Avoid Saying or Doing Anything That May Damage the Relationship?
Research has shown couples who avoid saying or doing stupid things when arguing are much more successful. My wife and I made this agreement when we were dating, and I can tell you this is one of the keys to our relationship success because we are opinionated, emotional creatures who naturally gravitate to wanting to be right in a disagreement. We use a variety of tactics to eliminate “right” fighting that can creep into an argument, and we are quick to respectfully call each other on any behavior that crosses the line.
Question #4: When You Argue, Do You Recover Quickly?
Research has also shown couples who recover quickly from arguments are the most successful. It’s not easy to do at first because we all bring our past experiences into our relationships. The right person respects your past while not allowing you to project your past. Here’s a quote I wrote to help people get rid of their carry-on baggage: “When you assume my intentions are not positive based on your previous experiences with others, you are projecting your past into the present and derailing our future.” This helps my wife and I be present focused and recover quickly. Perhaps it can work for you too.
Question #5: When You Are Apart, Do You Look Forward with Great Anticipation of Being Together Again?
Before I met the woman of my dreams, I loved to travel as much as I could because I looked forward to seeing new places and experiencing new things. Once I realized she was the right person for me, I’ve found it increasingly more and more difficult to be away from my love. So I take her with me as much as possible. And when she isn’t with me, I can’t wait to be back in her arms and I tell her so. If your partner expresses similar sentiments, that is a good sign.
Question #6: Does the Relationship Complete You Rather than Make Things More Complicated for You?
Similar to the first question, this one gets at the heart of a relationship. Too many relationships are variations of the movie “It’s Complicated”. The right person for you will do everything s/he can to remove complication from your life, and if you both do it for each other, this is a strong sign of a good match between the two of you.
Question #7: Do You Talk Every Day Not Because You Have to But Because You Want To?
As a management consultant, it’s not uncommon for me to endure 16 hour days back to back when on a client engagement. Even though I’m tired, I still want to call home. The right person for you will want to hear your voice, and it will never be a chore to talk on a daily basis. The conversation doesn’t have to be long. It just has to happen because you both want it to. And that’s another good sign for your relationship.
For two people who openly stated they were not interested in a relationship when we met, it didn’t take long for us to enter into one. We did so because we figured out we were the right person for each other. And the answers we developed from these 7 questions are the foundation of our success today, and I submit they can do the same for you.
The Floor is Yours
What other strategies have you found to be very effective at knowing if you are in a relationship with the right person? Please share your feedback in the comments below.
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