1. They don’t let their past define them.
As long as you’re worried that you could replicate your parents’ failed relationship OR never live up to your parents’ perfect relationship, you won’t be free to create your own amazing bond. Regardless of what fear you have, work to release it. Start by acknowledging that it’s there, and then reminding yourself that you’re not doomed to any particular fate. You’re the one running your life, and you have the power to create a thriving partnership. If you find yourself veering off course, you can correct that. If you’ve made mistakes in your past, you can learn from them.
2. They’re authentic.
People who are in deep, soulful relationships aren’t afraid to be themselves. They are not afraid of showing their edges and therefore they give their partner permission to do the same.
3. They are confident on their own.
If you rely on your partner to make you feel confident or good enough, the relationship will be difficult to sustain. I’m not saying you can never doubt yourself (that’s impossible), but I am saying that self-doubt cannot be your default position, just as your partner’s #1 job cannot be to keep you feeling good about yourself.
4. They try to inspire their partner, not change them.
There is a subtle difference between wanting to change someone and wanting to inspire someone to change. The difference is in the motivation: wanting to change someone serves you. Wanting to inspire someone to change for their own sake, serves you both.
5. They can let themselves be vulnerable.
When we are vulnerable, we allow another person to see us and peek into our soul. This fosters a sense of trust that cannot be reached with a thousand words.
6. They don’t sacrifice, they give willingly.
You can think of giving to your partner in two different ways: you’re either making sacrifices for another person (which suggests that you’re giving up something on your end) or you’re giving generously (which suggests that you’re freely giving something from a place of love to the one you love). This is a subtle yet powerful mindset switch that will help you feel fluid and light in your romance.
7. They don’t hold grudges.
Holding a grudge basically means that you want the other person to continue to feel guilty or ashamed, which are extremely destructive emotions. Being in a relationship with someone who is in a guilty or shameful emotional state will never lead to a lasting, thriving, or trusting bond between two people.
8. They allow their partner to be the expert on something.
There is nothing more toxic to a relationship than constant competition for who is better and who can handle more. People in great relationships can see their partner’s top qualities clearly and don’t feel the need to out-do each other all the time. The only way to celebrate your partner’s strengths is if you are aware and proud of your own strengths. (Need help finding your sweet spot? Read this.)
9. They make their partner laugh.
Humor bonds two people together more than anything because it’s a spontaneous and impulsive reaction. We’re not guarded or protected when we laugh; we’re allowing our true selves to show. Sharing laughter infuses a relationship with ease and playfulness.