That's a question we're all faced with at some point in our dating lives.
Is this relationship for real? Or is it forced? Is it just dragging on because it’s comfortable?
The other day I saw an article titled 10 signs this relationship is for real.
The article says a relationship is for real if your partners makes you feel supported, understood, appreciated, comfortable, heard and beautiful.
Is that really the measuring stick for whether a relationship is for real or not?
Call me crazy... but those are bare minimum things! You should 100% feel those things - especially in the beginning of a relationship where people are on their best behavior.
I think we need to look less at how you feel about THEM and more about how they make you feel about YOU.
THAT is the ultimate measure for whether a relationship is real or not.
A real relationship is 50% about your relationship with them but also 50% about your relationship with you.
Do they make you love yourself more? Do they make you appreciate yourself more? Do they make you understand yourself more?
If you’re only looking at what they bring to your life through action (listening to you, appreciating you, understanding you, etc.) - you’re missing out on the other 50%.
That other 50% is how their presence in your life grows your relationship with YOU. Wouldn't you say that's important?
I sure think so and THAT is what makes a relationship real.
So, how do you know if they're improving your relationship with yourself?
I call it the "best friend test." It’s simple.
Ask yourself: who do I want to call when I have good news? Who do I want to call when I’m excited about something? Who do I want to call when I’m anxious, nervous, overwhelmed, etc.?
This question is so much more than affirming they'll be there for you - a shoulder to cry on, etc.
It reveals to you whether that person is leading you to love yourself more or not.
The right person will encourage you to know who you are, to not ignore aspects of you and to not be ashamed of any part of your character. Their presence in your life enhances your relationship with YOU.
Their presence makes you realize you should love yourself and not be ashamed about being excited about something silly or have an overwhelming day.
If you’re having an anxious day or a day where you’re super jazzed about that new coffee maker you bought… does that person inspire you to share it with them?
Or do you keep it yourself because you’re too much? You're too extra? You're too draining? Their presence in your life should make you realize that sharing how you feel doesn’t make you weak or extra or too much.
Their presence in your life should encourage you to be yourself. Their presence in your life should encourage you to be proud of how you feel and what excites you.
Who do you want to call?
It’s less about whether that person will pick up and listen. That’s the bare minimum. That’s the 50% that any partner NEEDs to bring to the table.
It’s less about that and more about whether their presence in your life encourages you to be real. That's real with yourself and proud to share it with them. That's you being unafraid to share your realness with them. That's you being unashamed of feeling a certain way.
Their presence in your life should make you love yourself more.
They should encourage you to never hide anything about yourself or think you’re anything less because of a certain trait.
Who do I want to call?
That's the question because your gut reaction will answer the more important question of does their presence in my life make me love myself more?
For a relationship to be REAL the answer has to be yes.