When your script flips from casual dating to dating for marriage, you begin to look at every relationship from a different lens and ask yourself, Could he be the one? The answer to this tough question comes down to whether or not he checks off all your non-negotiables. Most people overlook red flags on their deal-breaker list in hopes that someone they have chemistry with will change their behavior or come around to a different way of thinking. If you’re wondering how to know if he’s the one, passion and chemistry are important. But it’s not everything.
Here are 5 signs that he may be the one for you (and a few that indicate that you should keep looking)…
He’s your best friend.
Being best friends with the person you’re dating is one of the best signs of a long-lasting relationship. That’s because passion doesn’t get you through troubled waters. It also isn’t sustainable, at least in the same way it was when you first met. Therefore, you need something deeper, a true emotional connection, to carry your relationship forward. Is he the first person you call when you need advice? Do you trust him with your deepest darkest secrets? Would he drop anything to be there in a pinch for you?
Your relationship is easy going.
No matter how many times you might say to yourself that fighting only makes your relationship stronger, it won’t if it’s a regular occurrence. What arguments show you about your relationship is how well you can overcome issues together. A continuous rocky road is almost always a sign that you push each other’s buttons in the wrong way. An easy going relationship, on the other hand, proves that you click, that you work well together and can communicate effectively.
You have shared values and life goals.
Being on the same page about the future in areas like career aspirations, family life, and lifestyle choices is a great sign that there’s more smooth sailing ahead. Even better is when you have openly discussed your commitment to achieving your goals together and what that looks like. If those goals align, making important life decisions will be much more harmonious and in accordance with your values.
You’re your best self with him.
With him, do you feel more confident or less? Do you feel on top of the world or down in the dumps? The relationships in our lives either bolster us or bring us down. For your sake, you will only want to marry someone who lifts you up and contributes to your being your best self. So how might he contribute to helping you be your best self? He admires, respects, and supports you. Maybe he challenges you or pushes you in directions you wouldn’t consider on you own. If you feel rejected, neglected, or insecure he’s most definitely not the one.
The little things matter.
In the beginning, romantic gestures may be easy to point out. They come in the form of flowers, surprise gifts, or weekend getaways. As the relationship progresses, though, the new normal is everyday life which is mostly routine. Someone who is marriage material will not take this for granted and will find ways to show his love for you. Can you spot little ways that your partner cares for you? That could come in the form of a big bear hug when you walk in the door from work, saying thank you for doing the most mundane of things, making coffee for you each morning, or putting the phone down during dinner to engage in meaningful conversation. Those moments build intimacy, respect, and trust, which are the foundation for a solid relationship. On the other hand, if your partner has stopped giving you his attention, he may only be interested in the chase, which is a hard reality to face, but it’s better to realize it before it’s too late.
In general, if you want to know if he’s the one, your heart and your head need to align. It may be worth a conversation with someone you trust wholeheartedly like a parent or best friend to talk through your relationship as impartially as possible to make sure your vision is 20/20 before committing to a lifetime with someone. But in the end, it’s your decision to make.