Its not always where you are in life,
but who you have by your side that matters.
How do I know if Im 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, lets take a look at some signs youre in the right relationship, and corresponding tips that could potentially help you make a wrong relationship right:
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 doesnt 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, thats 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. Dont beat around the bush. If someone gets scared and runs away because you were honest and set boundaries, that person wasnt right for you anyway.
3. The line of communication is open, honest, and clear.
You cant be afraid to have certain conversations. Its better to talk and find out the truth, than to keep going and get nowhere. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Dont expect the important people in your life to read your mind, and dont play foolish games with their heads and hearts. Dont 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 isnt 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, its 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 youre 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 youre not going to prove that the things you say are true, they arent. If you cant show it, your words are not sincere. Its as simple as that. And theres no such thing as a right relationship that isnt sincere at both ends.
5. Expectations of perfection are strictly forbidden.
Any relationship thats real will not be perfect, but if youre willing to work at it and open up, it could be everything youve 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 wouldnt 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. Its about daring to reveal yourself honestly, and daring to be open and fully disclosed over the long-term. Its about sticking by each others side through thick and thin, and truly being there in the flesh and spirit when youre 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 cant force anyone to be with us or love us. We shouldnt 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 doesnt really exist. Because thats 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 cant always feel 100%, or a full 50% of a relationships 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. Its 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 cant help but give a little less.
8. Personal growth is embraced, celebrated, and shared.
Its not about finding someone to lose yourself in, its 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 others growth.
When you honestly think about what you and your closest confidants add to each others 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 others 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 arent calling the shots.
Relationships dont always make sense, especially from the outside. So dont let outsiders run your relationships for you. If youre 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; thats all there is to it. Each of us has a unique fire in our heart for certain people. Its your duty, and yours alone, to decide if a relationship is right for you. Youve got to stop caring so much about what everyone else wants for you, and start actually living and deciding for yourself.