post written by: Marc Chernoff

9 Good Signs You’re in the Right Relationship

9 Good Signs You’re in the Right Relationship

It’s not always where you are in life,
but who you have by your side that matters.

“How do I know if I’m in the right relationship or not?”

This is one of the most common questions our coaching clients ask us.  And after Angel and I listen to the specifics of their situation, we often toss a question back at them to further clarify their thoughts and expectations.  For instance:

“What do you think a “right relationship” should provide for the people in it?”

Although the answer here is obviously subjective, in all relationships, romantic and platonic alike, there are some clear signs that things are going well.  So today, let’s take a look at some signs you’re in the “right relationship,” and corresponding tips that could potentially help you make a “wrong relationship” right:

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1.  No games are being played.

Far too often, we make our relationships harder than they have to be.  The difficulties started when… conversations became texting, feelings became subliminal, sex became a game, the word “love” fell out of context, trust faded as honesty waned, insecurities became a way of living, jealously became a habit, being hurt started to feel natural, and running away from it all became our solution.  Stop running!  Face these issues, fix the problems, communicate, appreciate, forgive and LOVE the people in your life who deserve it.

And of course, if you feel like someone is playing games with you, speak up.

2.  Everyone is on the same page.

If a woman starts out all casual with a man and she doesn’t tell him that she wants a committed relationship, it will likely never become a committed relationship.  If you give someone the impression that casual, or whatever, is okay with you, that’s what will be assumed going forward.  The bottom line is that you have to be straight from the start, or at least as soon as you know what you want.  Don’t beat around the bush.  If someone gets scared and runs away because you were honest and set boundaries, that person wasn’t right for you anyway.

3.  The line of communication is open, honest, and clear.

You can’t be afraid to have certain conversations.  It’s better to talk and find out the truth, than to keep going and get nowhere.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Don’t expect the important people in your life to read your mind, and don’t play foolish games with their heads and hearts.  Don’t tell half-truths and expect them to trust you when the full truth comes out – half-truths are no better than lies.

Listen without defending and speak without offending.  Communication isn’t just an important part of a relationship, it is the relationship.  Relationships often fail because of trust issues, commitment issues, and above all, communication issues.  So be honest, commit, and COMMUNICATE always.  (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

4.  Loving deeds consistently reinforce loving words.

Nurture your important relationships so that when you tell the people you love that you love them, it’s merely a ritualistic validation of what you have already shown them by how you treat them on a daily basis.  Do little things every day to show your loved ones you care.  Knowing that the person you’re thinking of has you on their mind too means a lot.

Truth be told, you can say “sorry” a thousand times, or say “I love you” as much as you want, but if you’re not going to prove that the things you say are true, they aren’t.  If you can’t show it, your words are not sincere.  It’s as simple as that.  And there’s no such thing as a “right” relationship that isn’t sincere at both ends.

5.  Expectations of perfection are strictly forbidden.

Any relationship that’s real will not be perfect, but if you’re willing to work at it and open up, it could be everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

Your best friends and your soul mate may be far from perfect, but they are a perfect fit for you.  Give them a chance to show you.  When you stop expecting the people you love to be a certain way, you can start to enjoy and appreciate them for who they are.  What you need to remember is that every relationship has its problems, but what makes it perfect in the end is when you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, even when times are tough.

6.  Honesty, vulnerability, and presence are held sacred.

Although it may sound risky, the strongest type of love is the love that makes you the most vulnerable.  It’s about daring to reveal yourself honestly, and daring to be open and fully disclosed over the long-term.  It’s about sticking by each other’s side through thick and thin, and truly being there in the flesh and spirit when you’re needed most.

So open yourself up.  BE with the person you love.  Allow yourself to experience them authentically.  Tear down any emotional brick walls you have built around yourself and feel every exquisite emotion, both good and bad.  This is real life.  This is how you welcome a sincere connection with another human being.  (Read Daring Greatly.)

7.  There is a healthy blend of freedom and teamwork.

Keep in mind that we can’t force anyone to be with us or love us.  We shouldn’t beg someone to stay when they want to leave.  And likewise, we should never feel trapped in a relationship.  In fact, if either person feels trapped, the relationship doesn’t really exist.  Because that’s what relationships are all about: freedom.

Relationships are also built on a solid foundation of teamwork.  And since relationships are one of the greatest vehicles of personal growth and happiness, the most important trip you will ever take in life is meeting someone else halfway.  You will achieve far more by working with them, rather than working alone or against them.  It really is a full circle.  The strength of a relationship depends on the strength of its two members, and the strength of each member in the long run depends on the quality of the relationship.

And remember, relationships are rarely 50/50 at any given instant in time.  You can’t always feel 100%, or a full 50% of a relationship’s whole – life is simply too unpredictable for that.  So on the days when you can only give 20%, the other person must give 80%, and vice versa.  It’s never been about balancing steady in the middle; healthy relationships are about two people who are willing to make adjustments for each other in real time as needed, and give more when the other person can’t help but give a little less.

8.  Personal growth is embraced, celebrated, and shared.

It’s not about finding someone to lose yourself in, it’s about meeting someone to find yourself in.  When you connect with someone special, a best friend or a lifelong partner, this person helps you find the best in yourself.  In this way, neither of you actually meet the best in each other; you both grow into your best selves by spending time together and nurturing each other’s growth.

When you honestly think about what you and your closest confidants add to each other’s lives, you will often find that instead of giving or taking things from each other (advice, answers, material gifts, etc.), you have chosen rather to share in each other’s joy and pain, and experience life together through good times and bad.  No matter what, you two are there for one another, growing and learning as one.  (Read The Mastery of Love.)

9.  Outsiders aren’t calling the shots.

Relationships don’t always make sense, especially from the outside.  So don’t let outsiders run your relationships for you.  If you’re having a relationship issue with someone, work it out with THEM and no one else.

You have to live your own life your own way; that’s all there is to it.  Each of us has a unique fire in our heart for certain people.  It’s your duty, and yours alone, to decide if a relationship is right for you.  You’ve got to stop caring so much about what everyone else wants for you, and start actually living and deciding for yourself.

The floor is yours…

In your experience, what are some good signs you’re in the right relationship?  Any other relationship tips you’d like to share?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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  • I love to be around people who are comfortable being who they are regardless of how different they are from others in the crowd; people who are effective communicators, who are positive and encouraging. In relationships, I look for integrity, loyalty, honesty, and consistency. These are the things the “right relationships” are made of. And they all take a little work for two willing people to create and nurture.

    Here’s one of my favorite quotes from your book that I think best sums up my feelings about healthy relationships:

    “All successful relationships require some work. They don’t just happen, or maintain themselves. They exist and thrive when the parties involved take the risk of sharing what it is that’s going on in their minds and hearts. Open communication and honesty is the key, always.”

  • Sabyasachi Dhala (Tikun)
    February 12th, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks a lot this post. A grand salute for this one. I have been reading your site for a year now, and all your posts are heart-touching; I love them all so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. :D

  • Only recently entered one after staying away from relationships for the longest time. Too early to tell now, but things are going well. Honeymoon stage and all that.

    However, I will say that I’m not as much of the “perfect boyfriend” that I thought I’d be. Vain of me to even think I would be, I know, but I thought I had grown so much from my last relationship.

    Truth is, I’m still struggling with the same things I did last time only this time around, I catch myself and fix them before I take action. That’s growth to me and I’m happy with it.

  • Shanthy Thangavelu
    February 12th, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    In today’s world where a woman has to go out and work, what she needs from her husband is implicit trust especially when the husband knows that she is honest. If she is admired by other men, take it as a compliment. She’s working for the family. Respect her and don’t let your insecurities make it harder for her. More than love, my emphasis would be on respect in a relationship. A woman who is respected will do anything for her family.

  • Is it too obvious to say that overall (not all the time), you should be happy? It seems that so many relationships (including some of mine in the past) are mostly stress, anxiety and anger, but somehow this passes for love.

  • Honestly speaking, this article is an eye opener for me! My relationship with my girl was going through a rough patch, but after reading this I think I can change it and take the relationship in a positive direction. Our relationship is right, it just has some wrong tendencies.

    Also, I just purchased your book for my girl, to help us get on the same page together. =) Thank you so much for everything.

  • As you suggest, authenticity is really at the core of a good relationship in my eyes.. It can take time to learn how to be honest with yourself and then with your partner, but it’s so worth it when you do. Far better to be loved for who you truly are than for an image your project out of fear and insecurity.

  • I love this. The timing is unreal. I was just thinking about this exact same topic when I reconnected with some old friends today. Using this as a checklist for my relationships from now on.

    I can’t even pick a favorite because they’re all so important. If I had to add something, I’d add a healthy dose of appreciation and gratitude. Being taken for granted or taken advantage of can damage an otherwise good relationship in long-lasting ways.

    Also, knowing when to walk away and actually doing it. That’s something I struggle with. Or used to, I should say. Sometimes all the wanting to work it out in the world isn’t going to repair a broken relationship, or make you feel what is no longer there. Sometimes relationships really do simply run their course. But I guess maybe that falls in the ‘feeling trapped’ category?

    Great list! Thank you.


  • I’d like to add that if you are in the right relationship you will know because you make yourself accessible to your significant other and they to you. Wanting to touch base often with each other is a great barometer for a relationship.

  • Should have found this article at least a few weeks earlier, maybe I’d have been able to realize my mistakes before it was too late. Just got broken up with, cause I violated several of the principles here.

    Life’s hard when you lose a relationship that could’ve been saved if only she wasn’t the only one working on her problems. Maybe you can write a post about how to recognize when you’re mistaken about not making any mistakes - how to recognize and stop the holier-than-thou in me.

  • So well said. I couldn’t agree more. Direct and honest communication is key!

  • Trust, honesty and always communicating - as you’ve so eloquently written in your post already. Most importantly, is to never have expectations of your partner to change - for to love them as they are and for all the joy they bring to your life, is at the core of what it takes a genuine relationship to work at it’s best.

  • Being able to laugh with the person and continually find ways to delight and surprise them.

  • But what if… after 18 years of a cruel, loveless marriage, where you think that kindness, love and tenderness exist only for others and not for you… And after 18 years, you meet someone, and remove ALL boundaries, (as in #6) You open up totally, allow yourself to love and be loved, and your heart blossoms again… only to have it torn apart and betrayed in the worst and most hurtful way - someone cheating on you. How do you ever open your heart again? It’s so hard.

  • After 15 years with a great “coach” and dismantling a bad family/relationship belief I met a great guy and we were together for 10 yrs; then he passed away. Today, 4 years after losing Steve, I’ve been able to move forward with an open heart. Reading the above has been and continues to be the road map for true love. Dating has given me the opportunity to find those values and they have changed since I was 25… or even 32. Dignity, respect and being accountable for my own actions and words are paramount. I want to make everyday better for my sweet boyfriend and am proud to be his girlfriend… if we remember to honor ourselves first we have the love to give. I don’t know what the future holds but today there’s hope and faith that tomorrow will just as sweet.

  • I have mostly lost my love to someone else, so I live life day by day now… trying to heal. Count your blessings and move to the next day… does reciprocal love exist for me? I hope so.

  • In your experience, what are some good signs you’re in the right relationship?  Any other relationship tips you’d like to share?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

    I think that my experience has shown that you are in the right relationship when you can be at one with yourself. Fully accepting of who you really are deep down and knowing that your partner would never judge you for such and love you despite your imperfections all while laughing along the way and having fun. I think sometimes we get hung up in the serious stuff and forget to make time to enjoy the fun things in life. Simple things like snuggling with your dogs in the morning or taking a long walk at night just enjoying togetherness. Sleeping in on a weekend and holding that person that you love in your arms and thinking that there is nowhere else you would rather be than in their arms.

    Love, Faithfulness, Stability, togetherness, partnership, and above all just being. I think that to be in the right relationship you must have that balance of trust which is something that can only be earned over time and that it is also built on truth not lies and deceit.

    When you are in the right relationship you want to give of yourself fully expecting nothing but love in return. You do things for the other person because you feel a love and passion for that person in which you would go to the ends of the earth to support them, build them, guide them when they need it, and most of all be a team. Of course I have always been a firm believer that no relationship is possible without GOD. Every relationship will have its ups and downs and struggles and without a solid faith in God the struggles can break you.

    In the end I think it is about having that person by your side in your last moments of life and looking back knowing that together you accomplished dreams, hopes, and fears that you never would have been able to on your own and yet you did with your best friend by your side…

    I always go back to my ALL TIME favorite Marc and Angel post (below and worth EVERYONE reading again and again!!) In this post there were two things that have always stuck with me…..And I tend to remind myself of them frequently:

    “Someone continuously breaks your trust. – Love means giving someone the chance to hurt you, but trusting them not to.”

    “If someone truly loves you, they will never give you a reason to doubt it.  Anyone can come into your life and say how much they love you, but it takes someone really special to stay in your life and prove how much they love you.”

    Here is the link - 10 Signs it’s Time to Let Go

  • Love your blog! “When you stop expecting people to be a certain way”. I continue to have questions about unconditional love and no expectations. Unconditional love can only happen when two people are performing daily baseline responsibilities. If one partner isn’t responsible for their actions how can you still have true “unconditional” love? Do you love someone that is abusive, unconditionally? Do you love someone that consistently isn’t responsible, unconditionally? If they say one thing and do something else with no accountability, do you still love unconditionally and have no expectations of your partner? Doesn’t Everyone have some expectations of the way they are treated?

    Would love a blog post for you two on loving unconditionally without expectations. How do you not expect your partner to do what they say? How do you not expect your partner to show up in a relationship but still love them unconditionally? It feels like unconditional love is reserved for a parent child relationship not a marriage or partnership. Everyone has a baseline expectation of respectful interactions before you can love unconditionally???? Would love help clarifying what loving unconditionally and without expectations IS NOT. I expect this morning that each car on the road will drive in their Lane then why can’t I expect the same basics from my partner. Love does have some basic expectations and conditions. Or am I wrong? I love to hear people’s thoughts on this.

  • One thing I have noticed is that when starting a relationship it is always best to be upfront about what you want and are expecting within reason. Another thing is that men seem to think that when a woman says no to something that a challenge has been created. When I say no that is what I mean. There isn’t a yes in there anywhere. Another thing is that a man should never expect nor demand kissing or holding hands during the first through the third date. Especially the first one. Show some respect for the person you are beginning to see. Not all of us are easy.

  • A big sign is that you aren’t always asking if you’re in the right relationship. If you have to constantly question it, something may be wrong.

  • #1 “No Games are Being Played” And If they cheat at Monopoly or are a poor sport with any boardgame, this says a lot about how they handle the ups and downs of life! Seriously, I am exploring little signs that depict good character in my next blog. This was an excellent list and very timely for this Valentine’s Day, of course. But the mind game playing has ruined many a relationship, that’s for sure. Love this blog… I always share it on my Facebook.

  • Be real.
    Be clear.
    Be fearless.
    Be there with her/him.
    Give love.
    Show respect.

    What a wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day.

    Thanks, Marc!

  • @michelleangel I agree. Trust is a primary condition for a healthy relationship, and it is something that has to be earned. But it is a two-way street, and it can’t be based on one person’s insecurities from past experiences. When you force someone to “prove” they’re trustworthy by making them jump through hoops, because of your past experiences with previous relationships, it’s the equivalent of punishing a person for someone else’s crime when they’ve done nothing to deserve it in the first place. And it’s a really fast way to drive them out of your life. On top of that, it’s arrogant and selfish to expect them to simply trust you for no reason at all while you’re making them jump through these hoops. No trust can be established at all when only one person is doing all the work or making any effort.

    I guess that’s why I’ve always preferred to live by the motto of “give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong.” It’s gotten me hurt more times than I can count, and I’m still reeling from some of them, but it’s also opened me up to many rewarding relationships I may not have had otherwise.

    @sass Everyone needs to establish boundaries in relationships, even for family. I’ve personally had to do this. I think the key, though, is to make sure your boundaries and expectations aren’t so rigid and intolerant that you prevent people from being themselves or being truthful and honest with you. Truth and honesty, even if it isn’t what you want to hear, isn’t the same as disrespect, and you have to make sure you know the difference. And you have to make sure your expectations aren’t based on the self-centered, selfish belief that people are supposed to walk on eggshells and jump through hoops to please you and tell you what you want to hear, while you behave any way you want and feel no need to make any concessions at all.

    I guess what I’m saying in both of these is it’s all about MUTUAL respect, cooperation, choice and free will, NOT power and control.

  • I think this post nicely sums up the elements of good relationships.

  • After 36 years of being married, and a widow for 2 1/2 years, I am ready to be with someone. I don’t want to be alone anymore, and I know your different posts say that being alone is ok, but I feel the need to be with someone. I want to share things, do things, live again. I have so much love still to give, and worry that I will never find that again. I don’t want to compare, I want to start over. My own insecurities are holding me back.

    @Dave Nordella, thank you. Really liked how you used a few words to say such a meaningful message.

    Thank you Marc and Angel. So glad to be part of your followers.

  • Nearly 20 years into this relationship is amazing because I went through 4 marriages that were obviously not right. I am not saying they were bad people but they certainly weren’t right for me.

    I appreciate my significant other and he in turn appreciates me. There is love and closeness but not in a suffocation way. As a matter of fact we were just discussing some of this the other day and here it comes up in your blog. It just makes me more sure that I am on the right path with the right partner. Thank you.

  • I am glad that my relationship is exactly this kind. When you find the right person for you, everything is easy, smooth and wonderful most of the time. And life itself becomes an extraordinary journey with many good surprises in it, rather than a constant struggle.

  • Having been in a relationship a few times. I know just how hard they actually can be and think #1 is crucial. People seem to play games with each other because they fear getting hurt or opening themselves up to their vulnerabilities. So they manipulate others in order to get what they want without putting themselves in jeopardy.
    It’s sad but it’s the most common reasons why so many relationships fail.

    The truth is, you can’t have a successful relationship without allowing yourself to feel vulnerable in the first place. It’s one of the sacrifices you need to make in order to be in with a chance of a successful companionship.

  • Texting eachother is not so bad as long as it isn’t while driving. Some people are visual listeners and the written word has a magical appeal for some. In confrontational situations texting allows for healthy boundaries as there is no room for interupting one another, there is opportunity for rereading and reflecting and quite honestly, some people express themselves better in writing. There’s room to breathe Bottom line: Respect via kindness and not fear or force or expected because of a sense of entitlement based on ego. Gratitude. Space. Love the other in a way that they feel free but connected at heart with some mutual faithful principles or relationship ‘commandments’ and help one another be better people to the best of your abilities. To each their own but I would think that love is not enabling one’s harmful addictions. To each their own….definition.

  • I think if in a relationship you see sex, household hygiene and money the same, you have a pretty good chance of making it work.

  • This is a great article Marc, especially when compared with other love-related writings that cruise the internet around Valentine’s Day.

    In relationships, we tend to forget about some things and we do so more often than we should. These pieces of advice are spot on, taking your partner for granted especially hits home for me. Even when I’m not in a relationship or willing to date, I find these kinds of articles very useful for introspection. This was a great read Marc, please keep on writing!

  • @All: We’re traveling this weekend, so that’s why I slacked off on comments. I will jump online tomorrow evening to reply to those of you who need a response. Thank you, again, for all the support. Talk soon. ;-)

  • @ Melissa Webster- you just read my mind. I experienced this same situation not too long ago. I felt trapped and being unfairly judged for someone else past mistake. I truly had feeling for her so I worked hard and came up with actions to prove my honesty and sincerity to her to the point where I ran out of ideas. My heart and my mind were not in line so I identified the stopping point and decided to end the relationship. It was not an easy decision but I did it because I need to. I did not regret of what I had done for her and fortunately out of this relationship I learned works and efforts could mean nothing if the other person doesn’t appreciate them.

    Thank you Marc and Angel for another wonderful post!

  • I think only 2 things are needed to know the relationship is right.

    1. You can share a relationship of authenticity.

    2. You don’t have to compromise on any major values.

    It seems like an impossible set of standards for many but with 7+ billion people, your person is out there if you look.

  • @Vincent: That is huge improvement! Remember, there’s never an end to growth, we are constantly growing and learning. Sounds like you’re on the right path.

    @Christy King: You would think it’s too obvious but you’re right, more and more we fall in the trap of comfort and convince and start to misinterpret love as stress, anxiety and anger. Nobody is happy all of the time, but overall you should enjoy and love the relationships you are in.

    @Greg: Way to take responsibility and know when to take action. Progress! =)

    @Imarie: This is a tough for everyone. You have to remind yourself that this is an all or nothing lesson. To close yourself off to love because you don’t want to be hurt is to also close yourself off to receiving love. When you are open, it means that you are vulnerable to letting both positive and negative relationships in. When someone betrays you, that experience has no effect on future partners (unless you make it so), it just opens you up to letting the right person in. Keep yourself open.

    @Sass: The real question is: Did you ever love them for them without expectations of who they “should” be? Did they ever show you their true self? Respect, loyalty, and love, those are at the base of every relationship… were those needs always missing in the relationship?

    @All: I love that this community constantly makes me smile. Relationships are always growing and we must continually be flexible and open. Thank you for describing your “right relationship” and reminding us all what love should look and feels like.

  • I think that every relationship has an expiration date. Just like a credit card or a magazine subscription, if you want to keep getting the rewards then you have to renew your subscription. You have to continually renew your relationships to reap the benefits of the rewards.

  • I always have found that with and without a disability, a form of acceptance and balance has to be met without restrictions. Give the person some breathing room… if they want to go out with a few friends (maybe you’ve met them, maybe you haven’t), then don’t worry. You are with the person, so learn to trust the person even when you are not around. Just a thought.

  • This was a wonderful column. I agree with all the points. After two failed marriages, I now have been with the most wonderful man for me and here is another point I’d add to your list: You are with the right partner when you already know that you want to truly be with them in sickness and in health and would consider it a sacred priviledge to care for them should they ever come to failing health. I watched my father care for my very ill and infirm mother for a decade - with complete love and tenderness and NOW I understand how he was so able and joyful to do this - he loved her completely and was happy to care for her in all her suffering and dependance.

  • The comments made my heart swell. You are all so full of love!

  • I initially clicked on this link to see if my relationship ticked any of the boxes. I have been married for 25 years and after just completing a horrendous year of surgery, chemo and radiotherapy for breast cancer my Husband announced a month ago that he was leaving me. This has come as a complete shock as I had no idea it was coming. I love him and I am in love with him still and I am truly heartbroken and in shock.

    Of all the posts on here the 2 that have given me a light bulb moment are Dee’s analogy of the credit card expiration date and Julie Clayville’s sickness and health post. Firstly, Dee I could hug you. You have made the penny drop for me. Only one of us wants to renew our relationship subscription and it will only work if we both did. I can’t make him or force him to want me and I am going to stop beating myself up about it. The old me would be tempted to say ” your loss Mr” and I know that one day when I’m stronger the new me will be saying that. Thank you Dee. You have no idea how you have changed my day and my way of thinking.

    Secondly, Julies post has made me realize that whilst my husband was amazing during my breast cancer and treatment and I couldn’t fault the care and love he gave me, if he truly loved me then he would still be here at the end. In sickness and in health.

    Thank you all for your honest posts and I wish you all love and true happiness X

  • Well I want to say thank u to J for sending me this. Flat amazing. I have never posted anything like this before in my life. Dont even have face book. But feel I should share my honesty and say this matters. Its real. As I read it over and over I want to memorize it and live it in the future. I now realize I haven’t been a very good companion in the past. Maybe not the right sole mate, maybe me, who really knows but I know I didn’t live by these guide lines. Never had the opportunity, nor did I put the effort in. Felt threatened by rejection. I can say today that the person I’m with now lives by this article naturally. She deserves nothing less then the best. I will fully commit to do my best to live by these steps. Our relationship currently is on this path and it comes without any effort or thought. I will use this as my guide and I should not fail. J, I love u and thank u……… I did it!

  • I was in consecutive relationships for 13 years, and became single a year ago. It was my first time really getting out and ‘playing the field’, and while I have continuously tried to be open and vulnerable (as I believe that is one of the most important signs of a good relationship), I got to the point about a month ago where I just kind of broke down because I was repeatedly dating guys that seemed to be on the same page, but apparently were not.

    The pattern was a few months of dating, spending a ton of intense time together, having an amazing connection, letting my walls down. Then when even broaching the subject of what this is or where we’re headed (not even saying relationship or putting pressure), it just ends because of their admitted fear of commitment.

    I don’t know if it’s just me or bad luck, but it’s kind of closed me up to possibilities lately because every time I put myself out there I get burned. Frustrated and sad, and trying not to be jaded so this doesn’t close me up to some good possibilities, but it’s hard.

    Reading articles like this reinforces my thinking and beliefs about what constitutes a good, healthy relationship. But it just seems to be harder and harder as time goes by… and it makes me sad.

  • Number 9 really spoke to me. Worrying about what others thought about my relationship with my now husband about 5 years ago really made things extra hard for us. As soon as I started blocking out the opinions of others I immediately noticed how much more I got out of our relationship and how much happier we were. After all it’s he and I who are in this relationship, not anyone else. Now I can say that we are happily married and have been together nearly 10 years.

  • Very informative and reassuring! Points 8 and 9 are often overlooked but so they are so vital to something long lasting. We should celebrate personal growth in our partners even when what they are going through is something we can’t understand. Often times this becomes a growth experience for both of you.

  • I know I’m in the right marriage because of how she consistently shows how much she loves me without making me feel so stifled.

  • Steve says he can see the love in my eyes. I tell him often that I love him but he says without the words, he sees the love in my eyes. Recently I snuck some walnuts and rice cakes in his lunch. That’s love!

  • I use to think that love was all about the words and constant reassurance but thats just because I didnt really love myself enough and expected others to fill something only I could fix. When you can accept your faults and love yourself enough to stay true to who you are without wanting to please your partner then you are ready to share yourself and all your beauty with someone who appreciates it.

    I love your article and agree with every point. I am inlove with someone who I think has commitment issues but he shows me everyday that he loves me and has taught me that I dont have to hear it but I can see it in him. We want the same thing, to be happy and share life with each other, help each other grow and be the best we can be and its not perfect but its those imperfect moments that we cherish when we together and still want to be together even when things go wrong.

    I think our need to be loved sometimes takes us in the wrong direction but even when we go wrong, it helps us to see ourselves better and find out what it is we really want. Sometimes we find the right people at the wrong time and its just a case of taking what you got from it and moving on, life it too short to harp on all the reasons why things never worked out but rather all the reasons why it should the next time. And at the same time not forcing it either…

    When someone really loves you, you know…

  • Chuma AJ Watson
    May 9th, 2014 at 1:25 am

    My experiences are based on the chemistry of both parties. We all know that there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. Simple things that I’ve encountered is knowing that my partner continues to love me through thick and thin even when we had trust issues and mistakes that I have made. Everyone knows that love, respect, trust and communication is essential but what I’ve truly learn about good signs in my relationship is simply patients, endurance and most important “consistency”.

  • I am in a very hard position in my life right now. Not really sure what I should do. I am with a man that no doubt is in love with me, but for some reason I question the quality of our relationship constantly. Either I cant accept the love or I am expecting something better for myself. It seems like we both have a lot of growing to do still but he is willing to do anything to make it work. I am worried that this might be a waste of both of our time because I’m so unsure. Reading this article and comments help but I wish it could just be a yes or no answer. I’m learning that nothing in life is that easy. I have always imagined love to be something that can tackle the world together, It seems like we want to tackle each other a portion of the time. I keep expecting him to be different or change in ways, and I never envisioned that as a quality of love either. I’m afraid I’m lying to myself and to him and that could just cause more hurt for the both of us in the long run. Just lost somewhere in limbo for the moment.

  • I am finally breaking off a relationship of five years that clearly did not work and if I had read this article sooner, I may have saved myself several years of grief. I really appreciate you writing this! I will be using this as a guideline in my future relationships from now on. I have had an unbelievably difficult time letting go but this article has clarified how important it is. Thank you!

  • Very helpful, informative article.
    I’m 50 & currently in 15 month relationship that feels like the most spiritual connection two people could ever be blessed to share.
    But reality is I have never met my partners teenage children & we exist outside of the reality of her ‘normal’ life with family and friends.

    Just realising now that while I’ve been do focused on the blessings of all times shared - something (sadly) not quite right and have arranged a discussion to see if we can resolve posititively.

    Thank you for very helpful read.

  • I’ve been in many relationships. They all went to crap. So i stopped looking. Now I’ve met a woman that is perfection. She is just perfect. We have been together for about 2,5 years, and still we haven’t argued once. She’s jealous, but only in a cute way. She can get angry, but she likes to talk. Not yell and scream. She allows me my freedom, without any jealousy. And because of this i love her with all my heart and soul, and i try, every day, to make her feel as loved as i do.

    In my life, i never had anything.
    But because of her, I’m the richest man alive.

    I hope all of you find what i have found!

  • I stumbled into the website and as most awesome discoveries are, how I wish I had learned so many of these lessons at the beginning of my dating life let alone seeing my marriages fail. Perhaps it would have saved me from losing someone who was the love of my life. Reading article and commentary are both refreshing and encouraging and let me know there is hope, desire and plenty of life still to share together in its fullest.

  • I recently started getting to know this guy through a marriage website, well yeah sounds lame, but in a place where i live frnkly not much options. so the thing is i showed an interests in his profile and he accepted it as well. and with that we started communicating thru messages and thn one of the days i didnt hear back from him and so on , so i assume probably he isnt interestd and i left him a note saying atleast a reply would be courteous enough. well in the meanwhile i got over it and later like say about 2-3 weeks he responded back apologizing and saying tht he phone had issues and so he never got notification etc….

    however later on after hesitating to get back eventually i did since i felt lets give it a short may he really had some issues with it.
    so we shared contact number and begin chatting. and its been like three weeks now we are chatting and he comparatively to me talk less and is a bit if the laid back types. so yeah i asked him a couple of times to meet up but he always told tht somthing was preplanned so probably later in the week we could. and as i remeber prev he did ask me to meet up during our first chat sessions.
    so i dont knw but its been a bit of time and he accepts that he is interested in me but i dont get the picture of why he wont been keen enough to meet me in person that much, as in to when he is having nuthing scheduled we can meet then. when i asked him directly he says its not me but his work and he doesnt have a fixed job timing so it gets difficult. somehow his cute and sweet soft spoken kind, and looking for something serious just like me. but i just feel so confused and lost with the idea that why cant i see his interest in me clearly and why is it so doubtful.

    some help/advice would be appreciated and yes i sincerely like him and i want to make this work just cant do it alone , needs two people after all. :/

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