Then again, you've thought the same thing with past loves and been disappointed. You've read all the usual signs that he's the one — he makes you laugh, he's good to you, he mentions the future. And he's the first and last person you want to talk to every day. Honey, all that's important, but it's just the beginning. Anyone can say and do the right things in the heady, honeymoon stage.
"Those are all superficial things — all about image," says Dr. Jeanette Raymond, a licensed couples therapist and author of Now You Want Me, Now You Don't!
So how do you know for sure that you're with the love of your life? Here are seven signs he's really "the one" this time.
If you can be yourselves around each other, even when you feel like hell, congratulations! There's a good chance you're meant to be. "Are you comfortable with the person in the worst of circumstances? Are you going to be comfortable when you're in a bad mood, when you feel and look like shit, when you're grumpy?" Raymond says. "That's the thing to aim for."
This is related but different because you physically feel beautiful around him even without your "face" on. Many of us get self-conscious when we're makeup-free in the earlier stages of a relationship. But if your man makes you feel sexy and loved whether you're bare-faced or totally decked out, that's a great sign for the future. "The day will come when you're going to take your makeup off and drop the facade," Raymond says. "Can you tolerate that with him?"
Relationship fights are the worst. They're inevitable, but can be painful and make both of you doubt whether you should be together at all. When the dust settles, if you still want to be with him instead of calling it quits, he could be your Prince Charming. "It's not that there's something magical about him — it's that you care about him enough to get through the bumps," Raymond explains. "When there's hurt and misunderstanding and betrayal and you still want to invest in the relationship because there's something worth saving, he's the right one."
This isn't the usual relationship jealousy we're talking about — that's normal in small doses. This is about envy over his success. If you're genuinely excited for him when something good happens and he's the same way with you, your love could go the distance. "You're not competitive with each other," says Raymond. "The right person will be happy for you, not compete with you."
Raymond has seen clients attracted to each other because they seemed to have it all together, flawlessly. After they got married, the masks cracked quickly. "Beware of the put-together, self-sufficient person because underneath is a raging, dependent infant," she warns. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? She isn't saying that having your act together is a bad thing. But "appearances can be deceptive," so you need to see his flaws to be sure he's the real thing.
It's awesome when your guy is close to his mom or dad, within reason. But if he's a little too dependent on them, beware — it could be a red flag. "That's a bad sign, because he won't fully be able to separate," says Raymond. The man who has a healthy relationship with his parents is in a good place to start his own family ... with you, hopefully!
A guy who's intrigued by you and takes the time to really know you is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. He'll show it, too. "Having a partner who's curious about you, interested in you, without being snoopy or annoying, is a sign he's the right one," the therapist advises.
So much of finding "the one" is a choice — on your part and his to make it work. Romance is wonderful. But clinging to the idea of a movie love is dangerous and will only let you down later.
"We all have the fantasy that there is a soul mate for us and it will be the most perfect union because fairy tale books and society tell us," says Raymond. "But that track is actually the wrong one to be focused on completely. We do need to be excited, we do need to be attracted, but there's another track that's the real deal."
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