How Do I Know if Someone is the Right Person for Me?
Last updated on May 18, 2023
Let’s be honest, we have all asked ourselves this question at the start of every relationship. Most of us have been asking this question before we have even started talking to or dating another person. It is an understandable, relatable, and very common concern that many people have.
- ✅ Will he or she like me for who I am?
- ✅ Are his or her actions genuine?
- ✅ Is how he or she behaves the way I see my future love behaving?
More often than not we only discover the answer to these questions once we are in a semi-serious relationship (unless some major red flags reveal themselves during the dating process/ initial meeting). However, even after ‘getting to know someone’ and moving into the relationship phase, the aforementioned questions still plague some people. In this article, we intend to provide you with the tools to spot whether the person you are talking to, dating, or in a relationship with is right for you. Remember, what we tell you is only part of the journey, we will give you what to find but you will have to make sure to look carefully.
The next section will focus on the things to look out for when deciding if someone is right for you. This is not a definitive list, there will be other factors to look out for, some of which may be more personal to you. It is important to note that these can be spotted very early in a relationship or when your relationship is more serious. Remember, people can change so it is key not to let your guard down too much until you are certain.
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In the Article "How Do I Know if Someone is the Right Person for Me?"
- Do You Share the Same or Complimentary Values?
- How Conflict is Handled
- Acceptance of Each Other
- Time Together is Time Well Spent
- Communication is the Key
- Curiosity Creates Love, Independence Creates Togetherness
- You Can See the Future...
- Going with Your Gut, Following Your Instincts…
Do You Share the Same or Complimentary Values?
Making a relationship work does not mean you both have to have the exact same views of the world or share the same opinions. However, your basic values and views of what a relationship needs to be the same or at least complimentary in order for your relationship to be a healthy, successful one. There are some key indicators here and, unfortunately, some will not become apparent until you are further into your relationship. However, there will be some signs in relation to these aspects early on in the relationship, even during the dating process that could make a difference in your journey and help you decide if the person you are with is right for you.
One value to consider is how your value of raising a family relates to those of your prospective partner. If you both disagree about the potential for having children then it is likely that you are not a good fit. A key thing to remember is that people’s opinions and values can change over time. However, some people do not want to risk ‘wasting’ their time on someone whose values may or may not align with their own at some point in the future. Other such values to look out for involve finance, physical (not just sex), and where to live. If you prefer to budget, take care of yourself (physically and mentally), and have a secure idea of where to live but your prospective partner fritters money away, is not worried about their physical health (or mental well-being), and is a wanderer then you are probably not best suited for each other.
Some shared values and views can help couples build a stronger foundation and increase relationship satisfaction. Here are some examples:
- ⏩ Religious or Spiritual Beliefs: If religion or spirituality is important to one or both partners, having shared beliefs can be important. Couples who share the same religious or spiritual beliefs tend to have a stronger sense of shared values, a stronger sense of community, and better coping strategies.
- ⏩ Family Values: Partners who share similar family values and traditions tend to have a stronger sense of connection and can better navigate challenges related to family dynamics.
- ⏩ Life Goals: Couples who share similar goals, aspirations, and ambitions tend to have a more fulfilling and satisfying relationship. Sharing goals can create a sense of partnership and shared purpose, which can help couples feel more connected.
- ⏩ Political Views: Sharing political views can help couples feel more aligned on important issues and can help foster a sense of shared values and beliefs.
- ⏩ Attitudes Towards Money: Financial disagreements can be a significant source of stress and conflict in a relationship. Partners who share similar attitudes toward money and financial planning tend to have stronger relationships.
Overall, while not all values and views need to be the same for a strong relationship, aligning on some key values and beliefs can help couples build a stronger foundation and promote long-term happiness and fulfillment.
The important thing to remember is that differences are okay as long as they are compatible differences and that you both communicate your values. Both of you need to have your values heard and honored (where possible).
How Conflict is Handled
Conflict does not have to mean the end of the world nor is it a reason to end a potential relationship before it begins. Of course, this depends on the conflict in question so please do not feel you should remain with someone if there is severe conflict. Conflict can arise at any moment and, more often than not, is something trivial. However, it is how you (both) handle any conflict that can show whether you are right for each other.
Research suggests that there are several effective ways to resolve conflicts in relationships. Here are some key strategies:
- Effective Communication: Effective communication is key to resolving conflicts in a relationship. This involves actively listening to your partner, expressing your feelings in a clear and respectful way, and avoiding blame and defensiveness.
- Compromise: In any relationship, both partners are likely to have different needs, wants, and opinions. Compromise involves finding a middle ground where both partners can feel satisfied and heard.
- Understanding Perspective: It's important to try to understand your partner's perspective and why they might be feeling a certain way. This can help you approach the conflict with empathy and understanding, which can lead to a more effective resolution.
- Taking a Break: Sometimes it can be helpful to take a break from a conflict if emotions are running high. Taking some time to cool off and collect your thoughts can help you approach the conflict more calmly and objectively.
- Seeking Help: In some cases, seeking help from a therapist or counselor can be beneficial. A third party can provide an objective perspective and offer guidance on how to effectively resolve conflicts in a relationship.
If your prospective partner resorts to any sort of insults such as the use of rude names, put-downs, or excessive criticism then these should be signs that they are not the one for you. Your prospective partner should be able to have conflicts with you, no matter how small or big, that can be resolved healthily. They will always apologize when they should and find ways to resolve the conflicts you may have. In doing so they will help you both move on from the situation. This is assuming that you act accordingly! During any conflict, you should feel safe, listened to, and, most importantly, respected. If you are in a serious relationship you should also feel loved. You should feel all of these during, before, and after any conflict. If you do not feel all or even just one of these it could demonstrate that the person you are with/ dating is not the one for you.
One of the hardest things to do in any relationship is to listen, especially during an argument or disagreement, without feeling attacked or insulted. This can be particularly difficult to do, whether in a serious, long-standing relationship or during the early dating days. For the most part, people get very defensive which can cause a lot of problems. If the other person immediately shuts you down or refuses to listen then they are not right for you. If you are stating a complaint without triggering the other person then they should allow you to finish talking, listen to what you have to say, and wait for their turn to respond. Their response should not be a personal attack or completely undermining what you say. While they will have their own opinions and feelings they should wait to respond. Their response should be honest while respecting what you have told them. Most importantly they will listen to what you have to say and respect you, no matter what you say. This works both ways. If someone is right for you they want to resolve any conflict respectfully without hurting you while making sure to listen to your point of view. We talk about change later and how no one should be expected to change. However, it is during times of conflict that we as humans will, naturally, make slight changes or compromises for the other person. If they do this for you, as you do for them, then it is a good sign that they are right for you.
Overall, the best way to resolve conflicts in a relationship is to approach them with an open mind, a willingness to compromise, and a commitment to effective communication. It's important to remember that conflicts are a natural part of any relationship and can be an opportunity for growth and deeper connection if approached in a healthy way.
Acceptance of Each Other
When you have found the one there is a key element that will show you whether they are the correct person for you. You should be able to exactly who you are without having to change. You should not have to change for the other person to like or love you. Now, do not misunderstand this point. Over time you or they may, and probably will, change and this is okay. It is also okay that you will both do things, at times, that the other person will not like. However, when you are with someone who is right for you these changes will occur naturally and help you both to learn and grow together.
If the person you are dating demands you change or insists that you approach your life differently then you should proceed with caution. This could be a sign of controlling behavior which is a very unhealthy aspect of any relationship. If the other person does not accept you and who you are whole-heartedly then they are not for you.
Time Together is Time Well Spent
The only way to establish a strong, healthy relationship is through spending time together. If you are dating you are going to spend a lot of time together. This is something you should both want to invite into your life and that time should be something you look forward to. If the person is right for you then you will long to spend time together, want to share the events of your day, and will ensure you make the effort to spend time together. If they are right for you then they will want the exact same thing. In time you will want to become both physically and emotionally intimate with each other. One thing to remember is that if someone is right for you they will want to be physically AND emotionally connected with you. Unfortunately, some people are able to be physically committed while keeping their emotions distanced. Make sure you can see that the other person is committed on both levels and that you both feel the same way.
Another aspect to consider here is your own, and theirs, independence. Being in a relationship, or even dating, does not mean your lives have to be completely entwined all of the time. You should both have the time and opportunity to pursue your own interests. If the other person is right for you they will respect your independence and enjoy hearing about your experiences. If they try to deny you your independence or control you or keep you with them at all times then they are not the person for you. Respect each other's independence, it will make your time together even sweeter.
Communication Is the Key
In all walks of life, whether personal, work, or family the most important thing to remember is the effects that positive communication can have. We do not mean positive in terms of positive topics but more in terms of communication being used accordingly. In a relationship communication is quite possibly the most important and influential aspect. Many couples often face a crisis when there is minimal communication or when communication contains one, or all, of the following features… criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and/ or contempt. Other circumstances such as home life, work life, and other responsibilities can often add further stress. If your prospective/ current partner responds to your questions or comments in a defensive manner or appears to try and elude your questions then this could be a sign that you are not with the right person. It is highly probable that if you are dating someone they will not necessarily criticize you or treat you with contempt. However, there are some people out there who will create a relationship with another person as just a means to an end. This could be to reap physical, financial, or emotional benefits without actually considering the other person's feelings. If you notice the other person talking down to you, mocking you either to your face or in front of others, or generally treating you poorly then it is highly possible they are not for you.
Someone who is the perfect match for you will be open (at least when they are comfortable to be) and honest with you from the outset. The person who is right for you will not criticize you or build a barrier through their approach to communication. They will want to ensure that any communication with you is constructive and benefits your relationship. Even if the communication in question is a disagreement they will want it to help your relationship to grow and be better from it. Listening is just as important as talking during any form of communication. If someone is right for you they will listen and respond appropriately. If a wrong person for you will not consider your responses or will put them down. While they will hear what you have to say they will not listen. You will know that the person is right for you if they listen to what you say, even to the smallest details. You can almost test this out but we must warn you that this comes with a warning. Do not try and intentionally catch them out but following a discussion about something (something important to you) you could bring it up again by asking a question or commenting but with an error. If they correct you or ask if you are sure about details it demonstrates they have listened properly (you can just pretend you made a mistake). The reason this is risky is that, especially during the beginning of a relationship, nerves could mean that while they listened to you they may not remember everything you have said. Proceed with caution but make sure the other person listens and communicates with you appropriately.
It is important to note that no matter how far into a relationship you are, communication is extremely important. If in basic terms you notice that your new or prospective partner does not communicate freely with you or is extremely reserved this could give you a reason to believe that they are not right for you. Now, please remember that at the beginning communicating may not come easy to either of you but you need to spot the signs or determine whether this nervousness carries on longer than it possibly should. If after a while the other person still seems very distant or you feel all communication is one-sided then you need to consider that they may not be the right one for you.
Curiosity Creates Love, Independence Creates Togetherness
The biggest issue many couples make, especially after many years together, is that they lose their curiosity about the other person. During the beginning stages of a relationship, both people should, naturally, be very curious about the other person. They will want to constantly know more about you, what you like/ dislike, what makes you tick and just generally find out more information about you.
“What keeps love alive is being able to recognize that you don’t really know your partner perfectly and still being curious and still exploring”. While Richard Schwartz was mainly referring to well-established couples this can still be applied to couples starting out or even to those who are dating. A person’s curiosity will come in the form of interesting questions and responding accordingly. It is important to recognize the difference between curiosity and going through the list of dating questions. If someone is right for you they will not just want to know how many siblings you have got, where you went to school, and the name of your first pet. They will want to dig deeper into what makes you who you are without interviewing you or finding everything out at once. If you find the person you are dating or have established a relationship with shows little to no interest in you or does not make any effort to discover more about you then they are not the right person for you.
Over time curiosity can dwindle. Many couples, especially new couples, spend as much time as possible with each other which can cause curiosity to disappear as they feel they know everything about their partner. However, there is a way to counteract this. Independence in a relationship is paramount in developing curiosity. If your date/ partner is happy to spend time apart and then shows interest in what you have been doing, where you have gone etc then this is perfect. However, this is only beneficial if the other person does not interrogate you or has trust issues. If they try to restrict your independence or show no interest in what you do away from them then they are not the right person for you. A person who is right for you should actively encourage independence and want to know more and more about you all of the time.
You Can See the Future...and They Are in It
This is very important but can often be the hardest thing to do. This encompasses everything we have already discussed and much more. You will know that the person is right for you when you can see them as the person who is always with you, by your side through thick and thin. You need to be able to truly see them as someone who will always support you and help you through all aspects of life, whether positive or negative. When you look at the other person you need to see someone that excites you, holds your interest, and has complete staying power. You should be able to find it very easy to imagine growing old together and spending the rest of your days together. If this is the case then you have, more than likely, found someone that this is certainly possible. If you do not see this happening then it could be plausible that the person sitting across from you is not the right person for you.
The same can be said for them. They need to be able to see their future with you. If this is the case then they will give you little hints and signs. This could be in the form of having conflicts that are resolved fairly and respectfully. It could be in discussions about the future, sharing the same visions and desires. Another sign that they see a future with you is putting you on their social media. This could be in the form of photos or a relationship update. Another sign, especially during the early stages of a relationship is that they offer you a space in their home. This does not mean a room but it could be they offer you a drawer to keep some belongings, a space in the bathroom for some overnight items, etc. If they show that they want a future with you, and it is the future you envisioned, then they are almost certainly the person for you. If the future they discuss is far from what you imagined or is completely different altogether then it may be best to walk away early.
Going with Your Gut, Following Your Instincts…What Does Your Intuition Tell You?
Logical and strategic thinking can get you far in life. Using this approach to your life can get you many things you desire. Using strategy and logic means you can plan for any potential obstacles, create plans for how to overcome them, and even prevent negative occurrences. While this approach is generally a good idea it can cause you to make decisions that are not necessarily in your best interests. It could seem like a logical thing to do in staying with a particular person or believing something they have said when this decision could cause you pain in the long run.
Going with your gut is another approach that can prove very successful, especially when trying to gauge whether someone is right for you. This old euphemism is basically telling you to listen to yourself, follow your instincts, and go with what feels right. Some people refer to this mechanism as fight or flight. It is thought that the saying ‘trust your gut’ comes from the anxious or bad feeling you get in your stomach when you know something is wrong. The reaction you get in your gut is a biological response to the events happening around you. Intuition, gut feelings are not just something that appears from nowhere or some magical feeling your body gets. Your gut feelings actually rely on past experiences of similar situations or early environmental cues. These past experiences of situations and cues will also provide you with the knowledge of potential outcomes. Now, logic will do the same thing as you can plan for the outcomes whereas gut feelings rely on your memory and feelings at the moment.
It is safe to say that we all make plans, especially during the early stages of a relationship but these plans will not necessarily provide you with the knowledge that someone is right for you. At the end of the day, trusting in your intuition and gut feelings is a surefire way to understand if the person you are with is right for you. If something feels right, then it more than likely is. If something feels wrong or there are signs that make you doubt the other person’s intentions then they are probably not right for you. Just make sure that you don’t follow your gut to the point that you mistake nerves for a message that the other person is not right for you.
Knowing that someone is right for you is, more often than not, a very difficult thing to decide. Some people discover after many years that the person they are with is not for them. This often comes down to natural changes over time meaning two people drift apart, which is a no-ones fault. Other people can spot someone wrong after only meeting for five minutes. Sometimes the fear of knowing whether or not someone is right for you can put people off looking for love altogether. This concern should not deter you from looking for love or make you so cautious you scare prospective partners away with your approach. You need to make sure you face the fear of finding love and try to enjoy the journey. Use all of the points we have made above to guide you. Make sure to be aware of any red flags that may arise along the way, address them accordingly (either through walking away or tackling the issues head-on), and make sure to listen to your heart.
We truly believe that there is someone for everyone. You can find the right person for you. Sometimes it may take a while or you could find the one quickly. Either way, enjoy the experience, keep yourself safe and you will find the love you have been searching for.
- Psychology Today. "5 Ways to Tell That You've Really Found the Right Partner";
- The Gottman Institute "How to Listen Without Getting Defensive", "Protecting Your Relationship: Practices for Making Effective Repairs";
- Richard Schwartz, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a consultant to McLean and Massachusetts General (MGH) hospitals "When love and science double date":
- GR8NESS National Library of Medicine "Going with Your Gut"