Are They Your Life Partner? 5 Crucial Questions
There's a difference between a soulmate and a life partner. A soulmate is someone who you have an instant connection with – a spark. They fuel your soul, make you contemplate big questions, and usually change your life in some way or another. A soulmate is not always the person you will spend the rest of your life with.
A life partner, on the other hand, is someone who will be there to support you no matter what. Whether you are looking for a romantic partner or platonic life partner, they should be someone to lean on, talk to, and be there to hold your hand through life's biggest obstacles. When searching for that special someone, you want to find someone who wants the same things you want and has goals that align with yours. Wondering whether your partner is your life partner? The answers to these questions may help you decide.
Do You and Your Life Partner Have the Same Goals in Life?
Ideally, your life partner is someone you will spend the rest of your life with. Hence, the term life partner. Because of this, it is critically important that you are with someone who is on the same path you are. What does this mean? For starters, do you and your partner agree on the big things? For example, kids. Choosing whether or not you want children is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. Far too often, partners think that they will change their mind, or worse, that they can change their partner's mind. In most cases, people know what they want on this subject.
Another thing to think about – where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you want to settle down and raise a family right away? Do you want to travel the world, find yourself, and just spend time with your partner? Do you even want to get married at all? In a relationship, it's not the little things that cause a relationship to break down, it's a fundamental disconnect on the big-ticket items.
Can You Trust Your Partner?
If you are having trust issues now, you may want to think really hard about whether you are with the right person. Trust issues usually don't go away on their own. But trust issues aren't as simple as whether or not you think your partner will be faithful. The real question is, do you trust your partner enough to share your deepest, darkest, secrets?
When searching for your partner in life, you want someone that will have your back no matter what. In order for your partner to be there for you, you need to be able to trust them. This means you want to find someone that you can be 100% honest with without fear of judgment or repercussions. In the same regard, your partner should feel like they can open up to you. If you find yourself holding back what you think or find that your partner never comes to you to talk about the big stuff, this should be something to give you pause.
Do You Feel Like Your Relationship is an Equal Partnership?
Nobody wants to feel like they are doing more work than someone else. One of the key questions to ask yourself when trying to decide whether you have found your life partner is, do you feel like you have a partner? From the little things to the big things, are you each contributing equally?
Your partnership should feel easy. It should feel like you are both giving it your all. It shouldn't feel like you are constantly keeping score – "I took out the garbage last time, now it's your turn." Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin calls this "no calculation," and says that it is a key to happiness. When you have found your partner, you will want to do things to make their life easier and vice versa, no matter whose turn it is.
Are You Willing to Do Things That Your Life Partner Loves, Even When it's Not Something You Enjoy?
They say you grow to love the things your partner loves. Sometimes this just isn't the case. For some people, there's just no growing into a love for fishing. But, when you've found your partner in life, loving the same things doesn't always matter. You do things together because you love each other. You want to see the other person happen and you enjoy spending time together.
Are you willing to do things that your partner loves and is your partner willing to do the things that you love? This doesn't mean that you have to tag along every time your partner wants to do their favorite activity, it simply means that you won't resent them for it.
Are You Happy?
It doesn't matter if you have the same goals, can talk about anything, and enjoy the same things if you are not happy. In addition to these qualities, the most important question to ask yourself is: "Does this person make me happy?" A lifetime partner should be someone you picture yourself spending the rest of your life with. In sickness and in health, through good times and bad. Is this the person you want by your side?
Remember, a life partner and a soulmate are two different things. There won't always be kinetic energy, an undeniable spark, or a constant fluttering of the heart. The thing that matters most is finding that person that makes you whole. In life and in love, we want someone who will catch us when we fall and lift us back up. We want someone who makes us a better person and who we can't picture our life without.
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