“I was speechless,” she told me. “I’d never had a man tell me this before. I think he’s The One!”
She couldn’t hear me sigh, but I needed to take a deep breath before I told this sister that she was about to make a costly relationship mistake. She was getting excited about a few words a man she’d just met online was telling her, and had already begun imagining a future with him. She didn’t have clarity on the kind of man who would be a good partner for her, and instead was relying on the fantasy that she had about how she’d meet the man of her dreams. Based on her track record of choosing the wrong kind of men who would break her heart, I wanted to help her make smarter choices in dating and relationships and share with her 3 undeniable signs that she’d chosen the right man.
Let me tell you what I told her.
1. He Talks About The Future With You In Mind (And Backs It Up With Actions)
You know you’re with the right man because he talks about the future with you in mind. And I’m not talking about selling you some dream about what things could look like, because a lot of players and commitment-phobes do that all the time. I’m talking about he uses very specific phrases like, “When we get married,” instead of “if I ever get married.” He’ll make plans about the future, even if the future is simply your next date. He’ll bring you into his inner world, including major decisions he’s contemplating like moving to another state, taking a new job, or going on a big vacation. You’ll feel like a priority instead of an afterthought because words align with his actions, when you’re with Mr. Right.
2. You Feel Free To Be Yourself
You’ll also feel the freedom to be yourself around the right person. Oprah said it this way: “Don’t settle for a relationship that won’t let you be yourself.”
You know you’re with the right man when you don’t worry about him trying to change who you are at your core. He doesn’t make shady comments like, “If you were 20 pounds lighter you’d be perfect,” or “I really like women who take the time to get dressed up for me.” He accepts you for who you are, flaws and all, while supporting you as you become your best self. Sure, there will be conflicts, because whenever two individuals freely speak their minds, there are bound to be disagreements. But the conflicts don’t tear you apart. They bring you closer together. And that leads me to my final point.
3. Your Relationship Has Solvable Problems (And You Know What To Do About The Unsolvable Ones)
In order to know if you’re with the right man, you have to get the right perspective on relationship problems. Some people make the mistake of thinking a healthy relationship means there aren’t any problems, but the research shows that there are two types of problems that can make or break your relationship
- Solvable problems
Solvable problems are usually about a specific situation or need. For example, you like to listen to Beyonce while you’re driving in the car. He’d rather listen to Jay-Z. You end up having fights about it, but you don’t have to break up! You just need to come up with a solution. Maybe if you’re riding in your car, you get to pick the music. Or, the passenger will use headphones to listen to their playlist and everyone is happy!
You might also have solvable problems related to your emotional needs. Maybe you need lots of space, and your partner needs lots of attention, but it comes up through fights about how you spend your time. You can solve this problem by getting vulnerable with each other and stating exactly what you need and how you’d like your partner to meet this need.
- Unsolvable problems
On the other hand, unsolvable problems are rooted in your relationship requirements and deal breakers, but most people haven’t taken the time to get clarity on what those things are. For example, if you want children and he doesn’t, that’s an unsolvable problem. Or, you want to move to NY and he wants to stay in LA and neither partner wants to compromise, you are dealing with an unsolvable problem. Other deal breakers include abuse, addictions, disrespectful behaviors, infidelity, lifestyle issues, and emotional unavailability, just to name a few.
Some unsolvable problems can be handled through compromise or counseling, but most are a sign that you can’t move forward in a relationship.
You’ll know if you’ve chosen the right person based upon the nature of your relationship problems and how you both handle them as a couple.
You don’t need a sign from heaven to know if you’re with the right person. You also shouldn’t just rely upon whether you have great chemistry together, or the fact that the man you’ve met is saying all the right things. Instead, use wisdom, go through the dating process with a clear sense of what your relationship requirements are, and pay attention to how you handle the problems which will inevitably arise. That’s how you’ll know if you’ve chosen the right man.