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Have You Chosen the Right Partner?

Jonathan Riley

“Don’t settle for someone who brings you down; find a partner who lifts you up.” – Jonathan Riley

Choosing a life partner is without a doubt one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. This decision has an impact on your emotional health, happiness, and life trajectory. Many clients at My Practice Counselling Melbourne grapple with the question, “Have I chosen the right partner?” It is important to realise that these thoughts are not signs of uncertainty or insecurity but healthy skepticism that serves to balance out our romantic feelings.

Here are 10 key indicators that can help you determine if you have found the right partner, although it’s important to note that these are just a few among many others.

1. They respect you: The cornerstone of any thriving relationship is respect. It is through respect that love finds its foundation. Respect signifies a mutual understanding and appreciation for personal space, ideas, and life choices. In a respectful relationship, there is an unspoken agreement to value each other’s autonomy, to avoid undermining the other, and to nurture the spirit of individuality while being together.

2. An ideal partner has grown up: Emotional maturity is a defining characteristic of an ideal partner. Maturity encompasses more than age and the ability to behave like an adult. It encompasses the capacity to introspect, to recognise and resolve childhood traumas, and comprehend how these early experiences influence current behaviours. This growth brings with it a strong sense of independence and autonomy, marking the psychological shift from adolescence to adulthood. Mature partners view relationships from a broader perspective, seeking an equal, understanding, and supportive companion rather than someone to compensate for their shortcomings or weaknesses.

3. An ideal partner is open and non-defensive: Genuine transparency and approachability are hallmark characteristics of an ideal companion. Such a partner willingly embraces vulnerability, making themselves available and receptive to constructive criticism, without taking a defensive stance. This openness in a relationship allows for an honest exchange of feelings, thoughts, ambitions, and desires. At the same time, it fosters an active curiosity towards personal growth.

4. An ideal partner is honest and lives with integrity: Honesty is a vital ingredient in the recipe for a successful relationship. It builds trust, the glue that holds the relationship together during challenging times. An ideal partner is truthful, lives a life of integrity, ensuring that their actions align with their words. This consistency applies to all forms of communication, verbal and non-verbal, weaving a fabric of trust and reliability in the relationship.

5. Healthy boundaries are respected: In a balanced relationship, neither partner attempts to control the other through threatening or manipulative behaviour. At My Practice Counselling Melbourne, we emphasise the significance of respecting each other’s distinct personal boundaries, simultaneously nurturing emotional and physical closeness. This delicate balance creates a space where love, trust, and mutual respect flourish.

6. Productive arguments: Love isn’t about being in constant agreement. Disagreements are bound to occur. However, it’s the nature of these disagreements that determines the health of the relationship. Productive arguments, where both parties can express their views and work towards a resolution, are a sign of a robust, evolving relationship. If the disputes spiral into disrespect or hostility, it’s a red flag.

7. Mutual Inspiration: When your partner inspires you to be a better person and the sentiment is reciprocated, this is a promising sign that you are in the right relationship. A partnership that encourages growth while acknowledging and respecting individual identities is often the most resilient.

8. Shared Future Vision: An important sign of the right partner is a shared vision of the future. This means having compatible life goals and values, not necessarily identical ones. If both partners can envision a future together, it strengthens their bond and commitment, signifying an ideal partnership that supports and complements each other, now and in the future.

9. Demonstrates Empathy: A key sign of a suitable partner is their capacity for empathy. Empathy involves understanding and sharing your feelings. An empathetic partner can comprehend your emotions, validate your experiences, and support you during tough times. This enhances emotional intimacy and trust, promotes effective communication, and facilitates conflict resolution, all crucial for a thriving relationship.

10. Comfort in Silence: Another important aspect of a strong relationship is being comfortable with silence. The right partner will make you feel at ease even in moments of quiet. This doesn’t mean that there will be no disagreements or discussions, but rather it refers to the ability to share a space without feeling the need to fill every moment with conversation. It’s about feeling content and connected to your partner without constant interaction.

At My Practice Counselling Melbourne, we delve deep into these qualities and their role in creating fulfilling relationships. We believe that love isn’t about finding the perfect person but identifying the person who is perfect for you. These characteristics will not only help you choose the right partner, but will also contribute to a fulfilling, long-term relationship.