There’s an inexplicable feeling of peace and happiness when you finally get past your juvenile dating days and enter an adult relationship. You suddenly realize that it’s not supposed to be a tirade of drama and games. A real relationship isn’t hard work. If you're constantly struggling uphill, it's just not working. No, everything is not perfect all the time, and eventually there will be fights and mistakes and frustration, that's just a reality of life, but at the end of the day you still know that you love them more than whatever you're mad about.
When you stop working against each other — arguing, fighting, bickering, jealousy, getting revenge — you can start working together and build a strong relationship and a beautiful life together. Here are 12 signs you’re in a mature relationship.
1. You never have to wonder how they feel about you.
A mature relationship isn’t a riddle. The peace that comes with being in a committed relationship is knowing that they love you, and only you. Having that mutual understanding is key in a strong, adult relationship. If you have to ask questions, if they go back and forth, if you’re unsure — there’s nothing there.
2. You don't have to be together or in communication 24/7.
Maybe I’m biased on this because my boyfriend is stationed in Japan and I can’t see or talk to him all the time, but it is so true that a strong relationship can withstand distance. It is important to have your own lives, rather than depending on each other all the time. You don’t need to text all day, every day. And you definitely don’t need to see each other every single day. Yeah, that’s nice if you can, and if you live together that will be the case, but you also need to be able to live without that constant dependency.
3. You trust each other without doubt.
It is important to feel safe and totally comfortable with your partner. There is no room for petty jealousy in a healthy relationship. If you have to wonder who they’re texting/Snapchatting, or what they’re doing when they go out, you don’t need to be together. No relationship can last without a strong foundation of trust. Who wants to be constantly worried about another person anyway? Don’t waste your time.
4. You have your own lives.
One of the worst phrases is when people call their significant other their “other half”. You are not half a person. You are your own individual, and so is your partner. You should complement each other, strengthen one another, and encourage each other to grow, but you should not depend on that other person to make you whole. You should have your own passions and interests that you do, or do not, share with your S.O. Build your own life, and build one together, but don’t let go of yours.
5. You have strong communication.
This doesn’t just mean that you guys can hold a conversation, or that you talk a lot. It means that you can understand and listen to each other. It means that when something is wrong, you are able to talk to your partner about it—whether it is something you’re dealing with, or an issue with the relationship. This means you have patience and undivided attention for your S.O. during a discussion. You need to be able to talk about anything and everything, and support each other the whole way.
6. You enjoy doing things for each other.
You shouldn’t expect a lot of demanding things of your S.O., or anyone for that matter, but you should be able to rely on them when you need to. You should also be able to expect that they will help you clean up after dinner, or that they’ll take care of you when you’re sick, or be there for you in a hard time. If you’re constantly wishing your S.O. would help out around the house, or make a meal, or do their own laundry, etc., then you have some things to discuss.
7. You have your own friends.
It’s totally great if you and your S.O. share friends and you can all hang out together. But it is equally important to have your own friends that you maintain strong connections with. Don’t seclude yourself into your relationship, and definitely don’t consistently bail on your friends for your partner—you won’t have any friends left.
8.You always support one another.
You and your S.O. shouldn’t have to worry about what the other will think if you pursue a new opportunity. You should be able to rely on your partner standing by your side in whatever you pursue in life, and you need to do the same for them. It’s important to discuss these issues, but you need to respect and support one another’s decisions. It’s equally important to understand and compromise when concerns arise, and support those as well. Relationships are a lot of give and take, and that balance is crucial in maintaining a strong relationship.
9. You treat each other like adults.
Don’t parent your S.O. Ever. Don’t try to control each other. An adult relationship requires two adults. Similarly, you don’t act like immature kids—you don’t constantly talk to each other in baby voices, you don’t argue about petty things and try to prove them wrong all the time, or be better than them—you are open and honest with one another, because you are both adults that respect and appreciate one another as an equal individual. Your relationship shouldn’t be a competition.
10. You don't advertise your relationship.
There are two facets of this: first, you don’t start everything you say with “My boy/girlfriend…”. We all know someone that never stops talking about their S.O. While your friends and family will be happy for you and love to hear about it, they will ask when they want to know, and they definitely don't need every single detail.
Second, you don’t post pictures together all the time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with posting pictures together, or the occasional social media shout out. It’s so great to have pictures together and to share them, but let your relationship thrive in real life, not on social media. Just be happy, don’t constantly try to show the world how perfect your relationship is—just enjoy it.
11. You don't want to change them.
You can never really change who a person is, or what they think and believe. You can be an advocate and part of their journey to grow and evolve, but you can’t change the core of who a person is. Only they can. If you love your S.O., you’ll love them for who they are, and appreciate them. If you’re trying to change your partner, you’d be better off looking for a new one altogether.
12. You can talk about the future.
If your S.O. is in it for the long haul, you don’t have to worry about discussing your future together. If you have to tip toe around the subject and your partner never seems to want to talk about it, it’s not going to last. You don’t need to plan everything out, you definitely don’t need to know the details, but you do need to know that they see a future with you, whatever that may look like — and you owe them the same.