And self-love affirmations to remind you you’re worth it.
I‘ve spent way too much time in unhealthy relationships.
Men have “bread-crumbed” and “paper-clipped” me, and possibly worse than that, those behaviors negatively affected my self-worth and self-image.
If you’ve felt lonely or desperate for a relationship, you’re far from alone, especially while we’re having to practice social distancing. Research shows that over 60 percent of Americans feel lonely and 50 percent of people who are single are interested in dating.
But I want to tell you, from personal experience, that you can find your soulmate. You can find the person who’s meant to be “your person,” who will love you well and make you happy. Here are eight signs to look out for in a potential (or current) partner that I’ve noticed. Please keep in mind that every person, experience and relationship is different, however.
1. You want to share everything with them — the good and the bad.
In a sense, you and your partner should be best friends. You want to hang out often and share your life with them. You can have deep conversations about your past, share recent personal excitements and more. You feel comfortable saying what you want and being who you are, and when something arises in your life — good or bad — you think of them first.
Affirmation: It’s okay to want to share everything with your partner — and your partner should be happy to share your life with you.
2. You can be silly together without fearing judgment.
Many people in relationships use “baby voices” with each other, and while that may seem silly, it’s totally okay — and even a healthy sign of emotional intimacy! You and your partner may also be silly in other ways, like using funny voices, making jokes or behaving in ways you may not in public. Feeling comfortable in all of this and not holding back or worrying your partner will judge you is a sign you’ve found your soulmate.
Affirmation: You deserve to be silly without judgment; no one should make fun of you for being who you are.
3. You both give and receive about the same amount.
In a healthy relationship worth striving for, both you and your partner give and receive about the same amount from each other. You both support the other and work to make sure you’re both happy and content. What you give and receive could include attention, love, support, and behaviors that go along with the five love languages: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, gifts and quality time. In your relationship, you both feel fulfilled and cared for; you don’t worry that you’re much more into your partner than they’re into you, or vice versa.
Affirmation: You deserve someone who gives you as much as you give them.
4. All of your needs are being met (or your partner is clearly working on it).
I used to think I was too needy and that I’d never find someone who met all of my needs and wants. I wanted a partner who was thoughtful, funny, smart, compassionate and attractive. I wanted a partner who gave me as much attention and appreciation as I did them. After experiencing relationships in which my partners didn’t meet my needs but I felt “happy enough” (meaning I put up with less than I wanted because I wanted a relationship so badly), it took me a long time to realize I could have — and would find — a relationship and partner that were so much better.
Affirmation: You deserve to find someone who meets your needs and wants, or at least is clearly working on getting there. You are not too much or too needy!
5. You have a reoccurring gut feeling.
I’ve always been one to believe in gut feelings. Sometimes, something inside you just knows the truth. This thought feels incredibly right to you, and it may come up repeatedly. If you’re like me, you see this as a sign from the Holy Spirit.
Affirmation: Trust your gut feelings — they have a purpose!
6. You struggle to imagine life without your partner.
When you picture the future and even the present, you don’t want to do it without your partner’s involvement. You both want to be in each other’s lives forever and, while you maintain independence, you enjoy each other’s company. When you picture your dreams and passions, your partner is a part of them. You can handle life without them — you’re not codependent or enmeshed — but you’d rather not do so.
Affirmation: It’s okay to want to spend a lot of time with your partner and to have long-term interests.
7. More often than not, the relationship doesn’t stress you out and you feel happy within it.
I realized I was in a toxic relationship the second I realized it made me feel unhappy more often than it made me feel happy. More days than not, I felt insecure, worried, jealous, and not good enough. I finally admitted to myself that the relationship wasn’t worth having and that I needed to find something better. I made a vow to let go of unhealthy relationships. Relationships should make you feel good about yourself and the relationship itself most of the time; your negative emotions within the relationship should take up much less emotional space.
Affirmation: You deserve and will find a relationship that makes you feel happy almost all the time.
8. You complement each other.
Rather than competing or completing each other, in which you believe you’re each other’s “other half,” you complement each other. You help each other be better and you have similarities that help you feel content and supported. You may spend a lot of your time together, but you also both pursue a level of independence, including other friendships, familial relationships, hobbies and dreams. You support each other and know what the other person needs; you work well together and feel good about who you are in the relationship.
Affirmation: Needing support from another person doesn’t make you weak, needy or incapable. At the same time, you are also whole without someone else.
If you haven’t found your person yet, try to not lose hope. You’re whole and can be happy in and out of a relationship. The law of attraction helped me find a much better relationship, and I’m thankful for the hard work I put into my self-worth that helped bring me there. Remember that you deserve good things and people; you deserve love and all the goodness you give. You’ll know when you’ve found your person, and you’ll be thankful for the personal work and love you put into yourself and the process.
6X Top Writer + Featured Story Writer. Contributor @POPSUGAR. UNC Journalism + Media. Mental health + relationships. My values include passion, empathy, communication, dedication, advocacy, friendliness and resiliency.