While the idea of “The One” or a soulmate is great, in theory, there’s no hard scientific evidence to back it up and, from a realistic perspective, believing that there is only one person for you in the whole world is rather limiting. Not to mention, with 7.4 billion people living on the planet, the odds are against you. That being said, there are people in the world who are right for us far more than others are suited for us. And, yes, it’s these people we may often declare as “The One”.
1. Feel Safe with Each Other
It’s extremely important to feel safe in a relationship. Not only should you be able to feel physically safe, but emotionally, mentally, and sexually safe, too. You should be able to feel that you can always be yourself and that no matter what happens, you always have back-up — that back-up being your partner, of course.
2. Go Shopping Together
If your partner is the right one for you, you should definitely be able to shop with them. It’s not about the act of shopping, per se, as much as what it involves — support, patience, and respect.
Shopping together isn’t about two people’s love for clothes or tools, it is about being with each other and supporting each others likes. It is also about patience and wanting to see your partner happy.
3. Have Fun Together
While it might seem obvious that if you can’t have fun with your partner, then they’re not a good match, but there are actually some partners out there who don’t have fun together. For instance, I have found myself in very short-lived relationships with people with whom I never had fun and whom I would never even consider funny. Naturally, that’s why they were short-lived. You have to be able to have fun with your partner and laugh a lot; life is too short not to laugh until your belly hurts sometimes.
“Having fun together is a vital component to closeness in a relationship,” says Dr. Wyatt. “so if the fun sparks aren’t happening, they probably aren’t ‘The One.'”
4. Be Honest with Each Other
A healthy relationship cannot be built on a weak foundation, which includes lies, deceit, or important information being ‘left out.’
If you ask your partner, “Do you trust me with your secrets?” or they ask you the same, and neither one of you can say a wholehearted, YES, then they’re probably not a good match. Honesty isn’t just the best policy, but unbelievably paramount in a relationship that has any hope of lasting.
5. Watch Movies Together
Although it would be fantastic if you and your partner’s taste in movies and music overlapped, at least a bit, we can’t all be so lucky. But, you can respect each other enough to switch off compromising and listening to each other’s music and watch each other’s movies so you can spend time together.
“If you can’t watch movies or go to concerts together, they’re not ‘The One’,” says Brantley. “The reasons are similar to shopping. We act like it’s OK for two partners to not watch movies together because they have different entertainment tastes (she likes romantic comedies and he likes action, etc.). Difference and clichés aside… [it’s to] value time and experiences [together.]”
6. Be Transparent with Each Other
Although there’s nothing wrong with being guarded in our lives, especially depending on our past experiences, a major sign that someone is “The One” is that we drop the guard and the wall we’ve built around us to keep us safe. Instead, we let our freak flag fly and let our true, quirky, deliciously strange selves shine.
“It’s important to feel authentic with your partner and feel comfortable sharing your real thoughts and feelings,” says Dr. Wyatt. “If you’re unable to do that with them then they probably aren’t ‘The One’.”
7. Give Each Other Space
While human beings may be social creatures, everyone, and I mean everyone, needs their space. If you can’t give your partner space to do their own thing, on their terms, without you around, then they’re not the right one for you. Space in a relationship is just as important as time together.
“We have to let our partners be themselves and cannot be judge-y,” says board-certified behavioral therapist Paul DePompo, PsyD. “As long as nobody is getting into trouble, let them have at it.”
8. Embrace Each Other’s Differences
You can’t change people and, even if you could, if you love someone enough to think they’re “The One”, you shouldn’t try to change them. Or, more specifically, you shouldn’t even want to change them. You should accept who they are and fully embrace them.
“Partners must be able to embrace differences in each other,” says Brantley. “They must value time and experiences with their partner over individual preferences.”
9. Communicate Well with Each Other
No two people are going to agree about everything so no issue can be effectively addressed without being able to talk about it. Good communication means that you can engage in a dialogue, not mutual monologues. It means that you can both state your position clearly and calmly and be able to really hear your partner’s position. Being able to communicate well means no one is walking on eggshells, agreeing to things they don’t want to agree to, or remaining silent out of fear of the other’s reaction.” Communication is the foundation of relationships, so if you’re having trouble communicating, it’s time to work on it with your partner or rethink the relationship.
If you can do these things with your partner, relationship experts say you may have met your match. If you can’t do these things, then maybe you haven’t found the right person for you just yet (and that’s OK!). Or, maybe it’s time to focus on improving these nine things so you and your partner can reach soulmate-level status — every relationship requires work, after all.