When you find the “right person”, you can feel it. You’re excited about the future, yet trying to live in the here and now so nothing is taken for granted. There is another great aspect to being in a healthy and happy relationship. The right partner can help you become your ideal self, just as you can help your partner. Here are a few things to recognize that prove you and your partner are growing together and as individuals.
They Motivate You to Follow Your Dreams
It can be hard to self- motivate, especially when you’re having trouble believing in yourself. A good partner is there to listen to your dreams and be a part of your support system. They believe in you because they know where your heart is and what you care about. Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D., states “encouragement from romantic partners to pursue goals in areas such as career, school, friendship, and fitness makes people more likely to actually achieve those goals.” If you have an individual goal, your partner can still play a huge role in helping you achieve your dreams. You can also accomplish goals as a couple and work together when you know your partner supports and believes in you. In turn, you will believe in yourself and your partner.
They Hold You Accountable
Whether it be accomplishing a goal or working on your behavior, a partner can help hold you accountable for your actions. This is not to say that your partner is ever blaming or “parenting” you, rather, your partner is helping you recognize that you both can learn from each other. Marilyn Paul, Ph.D., states “The qualities of accountability are respect, trust, inquiry, moderation, curiosity, and mutuality.” If you jump to being defensive in a disagreement and your partner says something like “I’m not mad at you, I’m trying to understand you” then they are helping you become accountable for your actions.
They’re Patient With You
We all make mistakes and miscommunicate within our relationships. When love and respect are core values of your romantic relationship, this allows for patience and forgiveness when mistakes are made. A forgiving partner can help you be more patient towards yourself and others. They set a good example when dealing with disagreements or confusion. Patience is a sign of respect and understanding or, as Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. puts it “Having a patient heart is an expression of profound love; while this heart can become impatient in certain circumstances…the general mood is that of calm, peaceful elation.” A patient partner helps you respect yourself and respect your relationship as one worthy of patience and forgiveness.