10 Signs You've Found the One
From respecting your partner to sharing similar values, here are ten signs you've found the person you're meant to be with.
About 44 percent of adults in the United States are single, according to a Statistic Brain report released in 2017, and around 40 million Americans use online dating services. Finding that one special person you’ll partner with amidst all of that can feel pretty magical. While there’s no special formula for meeting someone that compatible, many strong relationships share similar traits from the get-go. Read on to learn about 10 powerful signs from experts and real couples too.
1. You Share Mutual Respect
Respect for each other is a sign you’re not only with a compatible partner, but that your love is likely to last. Kitt C. wasn’t eager to commit to anyone when she met her husband. Having a father who had been a serial cheater made her particularly cautious. They developed a friendship, and even though he wasn’t her perceived physical type, they shared intense chemistry. His patience eventually paid off, as did Kitt’s unwillingness to settle for anything less than the utmost respect.
“My flirty nature doesn’t trigger his jealousy, but rather his entertainment,” she said. “My outspokenness is encouraged. He’s my biggest fighter, but he waits to defend me. He knows my independent nature says I can fight for myself, and I’ll let him know when I need backup.”
2. You Just Fit Physically
Physical attraction is important in any romantic relationship, and the benefits of acting on that attraction expand as you nurture it. Research published in the American Journal of Family Therapy in 2006 involving nearly 300 adults showed that the more physical affection a couple shared — such as cuddling, caressing, hugging, massaging and holding hands — the more satisfied they tended to be with the relationship.
“I knew the first time I hugged her,” said Prudence M. of her partner. “It felt like a hole in my soul had been filled.”
3. You Feel Safe
Feeling safe allows for trust and intimacy — cornerstones of strong romantic pairings. But it doesn’t always come easy. Lynette B. met her partner through a brick-and-mortar dating service. They quickly learned that they shared similar interests and passions and could discuss almost anything. And yet she felt resistant to commit.
“He knew I didn’t feel safe with any man,” she recalled. “He told me he would prove that I could be safe with him. He wrapped his arms around me and held me all night every night until I felt safe. Twenty-plus years later, we still share interests and passions, and I feel safe.” Signs of the opposite — not feeling safe — can include feeling the need to keep secrets or snoop or experiencing fear around speaking your mind.
4. You Have a Foundation of Friendship
Research conducted by renowned marriage expert John Gottman, Ph.D., shows that lasting connection and vitality in couples stays strong through moments of intentional friendship throughout the course of the relationship. Elizabeth M. knows the power of friendship from experience, given that her relationship began as purely that.
“We started out as friends, so we had that foundation,” she said of knowing her partner was the one. “On our first official date, we talked all night — until 6 a.m. — about our dreams and aspirations. That was it for me — 32 years ago.”
5. You Rediscover Yourself
Jan J.’s co-worker watched her endure one of the most trying times of her life when her husband passed away. Now, years later, this co-worker is her partner. The most important sign she was dating the one, she said, was his acceptance of her for who she was.
“Time stops when we’re together, something we discovered when we were still co-workers,” she said. “Most importantly, he accepts me for me. I have rediscovered myself with him. He sustained me when my grief emerged in unexpected ways. We see a long future together.”
6. You’re Sexually Compatible
Sexual compatibility plays a bit role in relationship satisfaction, according to Jess O’Reilly, Ph.D., Astroglide’s resident sexologist. But that doesn’t mean you have to be identical in the bedroom department. “Compatibility is about effort, not sameness,” Dr. O’Reilly said. “You can be into different things and not share the same intensity of sex drive and still be compatible if you’re both willing to work to meet the other’s needs.”
For Ken, this meant engaging in some BDSM-style activities with his partner on occasion. “It’s still not my thing, but I really enjoy her enjoyment,” he said.
7. You Have Fun Together
Adventure, curiosity and fun are important aspects when it comes to partnering up, according to sexologist Lanae St. John. And she has experienced it firsthand. “I had a hard time dating as a sexologist,” she said. “People just wanted to either teach me something I didn’t know or be taught.”
Then one day a man sent her a thoughtful message through a dating site, and they’ve been having fun together ever since. When he learned of her career, it was “no big deal.” “We have so much fun together being ourselves,” she added. “I accept him and he accepts me for all the times we are awkward, imperfect and nontraditional. We’ve stretched together, tried new things and grown.”
8. You Share Similar Values
Shared values can make sharing life more pleasurable and fulfilling. Having a similar attitude about the role your families play in your lives is one of those important values, said Dr. Jess O’Reilly, Astroglide’s resident sexologist. “This doesn’t mean that you share the same types of relationships,” she added, “but simply that you share similar values and you’re willing to adjust your expectations to meet your partner’s and vice versa.”
9. You Don’t Judge Each Other’s Challenges
You might even share them. Astrea B. knew she’d met the one when she had an anxiety attack and had left her anxiety medication at home. “When he asked if I was OK and I explained, he pulled out his own anxiety medication,” she said. “Cartoon hearts flew over our heads.”
Whether you understand your partner’s challenges from experience or not, practicing empathy is important. When you can listen without judging each other, you can meet each other’s needs rather than fuel contempt. “Relationships thrive when needs are met and falter when they’re not,” according to Heather Gray, a therapist and contributor to The Gottman Institute. ‘That fact, quite simply, is non-negotiable.
10. You Follow Each Other Even When It’s Hard
Career and business coach Amy Everhart knew she’d found the one after a date gone wrong. After ringing in the New Year at a swanky hotel bar, her date’s car broke down. Rain poured on the pair as they made their way to warmth, Everhart’s feet were bloody from hours in high heels. When all was said and done, she realized this guy was it for her.
“I’d rather be struggling with him than living it up with anyone else,” Everhart told LIVESTRONG.COM. She also had this to say about the experience: “Whichever path you choose, pieces of it are going to suck. Hard. Your path isn’t the one that never sucks. Your path is one you’re willing to follow even when it sucks. The right direction is the one worth the suckitude.”
What Do YOU Think?
Have you met the one you plan to stay with for the long haul? If so, what signs first stood out to you? Let us know in the comments!