You might be with the most kind, loving, wonderful human being you’ve ever met, and still find yourself wondering if you’re in the right relationship.
What if I’m settling? What if I’m making a massive mistake? And what if I’m just blinded by love, and ignoring the truth that we don’t have a future together?
Some doubt is natural, and good, because it means you’re not complacent and you want what’s best for you.
But how do you know if you’re over thinking things, or if you really are in the wrong relationship?
Here are 12 questions to ask yourself if you’re in the right relationship. Allow yourself to be completely open and honest.
Maybe even grab a pen and a journal, and write down your answers; this may allow for feelings you’re not even conscious of to flow through.
1. Am I in love, or lonely?
I think one of the main reasons we stay in bad relationships—that we know deep down aren’t good for us—is because we’re lonely; or afraid of being alone.
We’d rather be with someone, anyone, as long as we don’t have to face ourselves, or do this whole life thing on our own. And it doesn’t help that the world tells you there’s something wrong with you if you’re single; especially if you’re a woman and you reach a certain age.
But is it really better being with someone who treats you poorly, makes you feel worthless, or is just mergh, than being single?
If you’ve always avoided being on your own, then the thought of it will be scary. But learning to be comfortable in your own skin and love your own company is such an important life lesson to learn.
It will bring you that inner confidence you’ve been searching for outside yourself. It will stop you from settling for less than you deserve; in relationships and life in general. It will help you figure out who you really are and what you want in a relationship.
Being alone does not have to be lonely. And it’s better than pretending to yourself you’re in love, if you’re not.
2. Questions to ask yourself if you’re in the right relationship: Can I be myself?
When you’re dating someone new, you probably want to impress them, and convince them that you are an incredible, multi-layered, divine human being; which, of course, you are.
This is natural. But once that honeymoon stage is over, you should begin to feel comfortable around them, and like you can be yourself; without fear of judgement.
With my partner, I don’t feel any different if I’m glammed up to the max and ready to walk a red carpet (I’ll take any carpet), or if I’ve got my glasses on, my hair is way past needing to be washed, and my face is make-up free.
A simple way to figure out if you are able to be yourself with your partner, is to see if you act the same way with your family and closest friends.
Someone who truly loves you—the real you—will encourage you to be your authentic self, and fully accept you, flaws and all. You won’t feel like you’re walking on eggshells, or wearing a mask, or constantly self-editing based on what they like or want.
3. Do they make you feel good?
Ultimately, we are responsible for our own happiness, and we can’t rely on a partner to do that. But you should still feel good when you’re with your partner; they should make your world even better than it already is.
I’m not saying every day will be a good one, and no doubt there will be disagreements and challenges and rocky patches to navigate through. But generally, you should enjoy being around your partner. They should make you feel loved and special and valued.
This is not asking for too much; this is what you deserve, it’s what we all deserve.
4. Do we want the same things?
Every healthy relationship requires compromise, but the bigger the belief or value is, the harder it is to compromise.
And none of us should have to compromise on the big things, like marriage and kids and where to live. This is why you need to figure out (as early as possible) if you’re on the same page when it comes to life-altering decisions.
I’m not sure if I ever want to get married, and luckily, this is not a deal breaker for my partner. But for some people, it would be. There’s no right or wrong when you’re dealing with different people’s values and needs.
It’s not fair to expect your partner to give up what they truly want for you, or for them to ask that of you. So have this conversation as early on as you can, to avoid either of you investing in a relationship that conflicts with your big life values.
5. Are we able to communicate well?
Of all the questions to ask yourself if you’re in the right relationship, this one is up there.
Communication is perhaps the most important skill to master within any relationship; whether it’s with your partner, your family, friends, or co-workers.
Are you able to have open and honest conversations about everything? Do you speak with kindness and love, even when you’re hurt or frustrated? Do you understand your communication styles; and if they’re different, are you able to still work with each other and resolve conflict?
A true test of your communication is observing what happens during heated moments. If you’re able to remain calm and resolve the issue without hurting one another, then your relationship is strong and built to last.
6. Are the ordinary things fun with them?
Relationships can be filled with adventure and spontaneity and romance, but there’s no getting away from those mundane, daily activities. Going to the grocery store, cleaning the house, folding laundry, and making dinner.
Think about how you feel in these every day moments, because you cannot get away from them. Mundane tasks can be a lot more fun and enjoyable when you’re doing them with someone you love being around.
Do you do them together? Does the load feel like it’s fairly balanced? And do you feel light or heavy in these moments?
Maybe doing the laundry will never be fun per se, but it shouldn’t feel like you’re trying to run up a hill with a tyre strapped to your waist.
7. Do they make you laugh more than they make you mad?
We all have a slightly different sense of humour, but being able to laugh with your partner is key to a strong and healthy relationship.
Do they make you laugh? And do they laugh with you, at similar things?
Even better, are they able to make you laugh in moments of stress or tension or when you’re mad?
Laughter feels really good, and while we can’t be laughing every minute of every day, we should be doing it more than getting angry.
One of the questions to ask yourself if you’re in the right relationship is, do they make you laugh more than they make you mad?
If the answer is no, then is it really worth sticking around? Can you see both of you being happy in the future? Maybe you’re meant for different people, and that’s okay.
8. Do you respect each other?
Mutual respect is one of the fundamental pillars of any thriving relationship.
If you respect someone, you go out of your way to listen to them and make them feel seen and heard and understood.
If you respect someone, you won’t try and get them to compromise on their beliefs or push their boundaries.
And if you respect someone, you won’t embarrass them in front of others, or speak unkindly about them behind their back.
On top of that, when you argue with respect, you avoid saying things that you later regret and cannot take back.
So, do you respect each other? Has too much happened that you’ve now gone passed the point where you’re able to?
9. Do you completely trust each other?
There are many ways you can betray someone’s trust.
Telling little white lies, failing to keep a promise, allowing your friends or family to talk poorly about them, and emotionally or physically cheating.
We’re all human, so we all make mistakes. But some are too big to move on from, and regain the trust.
And if you continue to give someone another chance, and they repeatedly betray your trust, it’s a strong sign this person doesn’t love or respect you.
10. Do they calm your storms or create your storms?
I don’t need to tell you that life can be tough. We don’t need people who bring more drama and chaos to our world; we need people who bring peace and light to it.
Another of the questions to ask yourself if you’re in the right relationship is, does this person bring more light or darkness to my life?
When you’ve had a shitty day, are they there to soothe and comfort you, and make you feel like everything will be okay? Are they there wiping your tears, or are they making you cry?
The person you choose to spend the rest of your life with should calm your storms, not create them. They should bring blue skies and sunshine and rainbows.
11. Are you excited about your future together?
When you think about your future together, it should fill you with possibility and joy and wonder; the same way a child feels on Christmas eve.
Are you looking forward to see how you grow, and where you go next, and how your world changes?
When you think about your future, you should imagine it with this person. There should be no doubt in your mind that this person will be there standing next to you; when you’re at your lowest moments, when you’re in your biggest periods of change, and when all your dreams come true.
Don’t make the mistake of being so wrapped up in what’s yet to come, that you miss the gift of the present moment. But on the occasions you do think about it, the future should make you feel warm and tingly inside.
12. Are you both growing?
Are you growing as individuals, and are you growing together; because both of these are equally important questions to ask yourself if you’re in the right relationship.
Your relationship, and your partner, should create a nourishing space for you to grow into the best person you can be. They should challenge you to be better each day, be there cheering and rooting for you when it matters, and call you out when you’re falling short.
Relationships become stagnant when there’s no growth, when you’re not both being challenged on all levels of your being: physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually.
Think about who you are now compared to who you were when you first started dating. Can you see the growth in yourself, in your partner, and in you as a couple?
The right person will help you evolve daily, and be all that you came here to be; and your relationship should always be growing. If it’s not, then it’s only dying.
And if you realise you’re not in the right relationship, don’t be afraid to walk away
Many of us are afraid to leave bad relationships, because it requires us to admit to ourselves (and others) we made a mistake. We got it wrong. We mistook this person for someone else, or we ignored our intuition and the red flags that presented themselves along the way.
But you don’t need to prove anything to anyone, not yourself, and not your friends or family. Find the courage to admit where you’ve gone wrong, forgive yourself, and give yourself permission to walk away.