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all the signs that you’re in a solid romantic relationship

I hardly consider myself a relationship expert.  I barely even know how to tie my own shoes and am susceptible to engaging in road rage, so feel free to take what I say with a grain of salt.  Two years ago I married my high school sweetheart of eight years, which gives me at least someidea of what a secure relationship looks like.  If I had to pinpoint a few key indicators of a secure relationship, the following is what would do the trick:

You experience life together

Life is a messy, chaotic, beautiful thing.  It’s easy for couples to thrive amidst the fun parts of life, like Saturdays at the bar with friends or traveling the world together, but it’s necessary to think of the dark parts, too.  Could you imagine your current significant other being the rock next to you when you learn a loved one is sick, for instance?  Would he or she be able to support you emotionally during and after a tragic event in your life?  Ask yourself this question and you may be surprised.

You experience life apart, too

We all have that friend who gets a new boyfriend/girlfriend and is suddenly MIA.  If they do climb out of their cocoon for a night out with the girls, they spend the whole time texting their partner. Having a healthy balance of time apart from your mate is important for so many reasons (including investing in the other relationships of your life), and being comfortable as individuals says a lot about where you stand as a couple.

You’re close, and more than just physically

While physical intimacy is obviously important, this statement goes beyond that.  For some people this might be working out together, for others it’s talking openly about your goals and dreams for the future.  In any case, allowing yourselves to be emotionally vulnerable is huge.

Things happening IRL are more important than those on social media

Of course you’re allowed to post that sweet selfie on Instagram and celebrate your anniversary (or just a really nice gesture) on Facebook. But it’s important that you’re having just as much time together just actually talking as you are liking each other’s posts on social media.

You communicate without words

Never has the term “actions speak louder than words” been more true than when you’re romantically involved with someone.  Body language and your partner’s ability to pick up on your cues can indicate a lot about how secure you are with one another.

You don’t dwell on the past

Whether you had an argument two days ago or you have some serious relationship baggage, dwelling on the past doesn’t do anybody any good.  If you fixate on the past you will have a difficult time moving into the future.

You’re weird, and that’s perfectly acceptable

Maybe it’s just us, but my husband and I are weirder than weird.  We spend 75% of our time speaking to each other in made-up accents and often joke that if we had a reality show we would be soooo embarrassed at our awkward behavior.  In all seriousness, being true to ourselves and forming a life of mutual weirdness/acceptance of said weirdness has been one of the most rewarding aspects of our marriage.  I can’t recommend it enough.

There are other ways to know that your relationship is smooth sailing. But these, at least, are the ones that I’ve learned in my time with my sweetheart.

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