Have you ever had a relationship that just felt so different from the casual flings of the past? A relationship that made you stop and think, “Wow, he might really be the one?” Maybe you’re actually in a relationship like that now, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever known before. Let’s face it, unfortunately there are many couples out there who don’t see themselves lasting forever. And at a certain point in our lives, that’s fine! Some young couples don’t really have enough life experience to know what they are really looking for yet, anyway.
But once you get to a certain age, you start thinking about the future—and the person you might want to spend the rest of your life with. And you might start asking that big question: “Is the person I’m with right now going to be the guy who stands next to me at the altar?” It’s a heavy question for sure, and not everyone knows right away when they’ve found “the one.” But there are definitely a few major signs that can clue you in as to whether a guy you are dating is it. Only #RealDeal couples are doing these 20 big things for each other.
20 They Spend Time With Each Other’s Families
If a guy has already introduced you to his family, it’s a good sign that he does not see you as a just a friend with benefits! And if his family likes you? Well, that’s another step in the right direction for your happy future together.
According to Cosmopolitan, when a guy brings you around his family and really wants you all to get along, it means that he sees you being by his side for the long term. And you should return the favour by introducing him to your family, too! It can bring you two much closer together.
19 They Talk About Married Life
Even if a guy hasn’t put a ring on your finger yet, he can still open up to you about whether or not he sees marriage in your future. According to Brides, 94 percent of couples discussed getting married before getting engaged.
Unlike the movies tell us, getting engaged shouldn’t necessarily be some big surprise! A proposal out of the blue isn’t always a good idea—getting married is a major decision, and a serious couple will spend plenty of time discussing it before a ring is even purchased. It’s just smart!
18 They Pick Out Their Future Kids’ Names
So, if a couple is thinking about getting married one day, they should always make sure that they are on the same page about certain major values first. One thing they definitely need to agree on if they both want to be happy? Whether or not they want children. This is basically the one thing that is non-negotiable—if one person in a relationship wants kids but the other doesn’t, it will never work!
When a couple starts picking out the names of their future kids, you know that those two are the real deal!
17 They Get A Pet Together
Having a child with someone is probably the biggest and most important commitment that you can make in your entire life (it’s an even bigger deal than marriage, TBH—you’re promising to care for another human being that you’re entirely responsible for). But getting a pet is another major step!
As the Chicago Tribune suggests, getting a pet can be kind of like having a “practise baby.” After all, taking care of a puppy is no easy task—sure, it’s not as tough as having a kid, but it’s still a big deal! If a couple gets a pet, they’re the real deal!
16 They Can Spend Quality Time Alone
Being a happy couple does NOT have to mean being attached at the hip all the time. In fact, that could be the fast track to a break up! According to Psychology Today, it’s actually very important for couples, even married couples, to have some kind of an individual life apart from the other person—that means having some of your own friends, your own hobbies and having a little bit of “me time” each week, or even each day if you’re more of an introvert.
The ability to maintain your individuality in a relationship means that it’s the real deal.
15 They Openly Talk About Money
Talking about money can be, well, awkward. Even for the most mature and financially savvy couples, it can be a difficult conversation. Finances are never the easiest thing to talk about.
But according to Science of People, money is one of the top five reasons why most couples fight —so it’s important to be certain that you’re on the same page with your partner about money before you go down that route.
If you haven’t had a big money conversation with your partner yet, now is the time to just go ahead and get it over with. That’s the real deal.
14 They Move In Together
Moving in with someone is one of the biggest, most important steps that you can take in a relationship. Looking at apartments together, signing a lease, getting all of your furniture through the doorway, trying to follow the instructions to set up that Ikea dresser without losing your cool—it’s quite a process!
Moving in together is often the first big test for a couple’s relationship. In this day and age, most people advise living together for at least a little bit before you decide to tie the knot—you learn so much more about each other.
13 They Understand Each Other’s Love Languages
What are the five love languages? According to Psychology Today, they are gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch and quality time.
It’s very important to understand your partner’s love language if you want to have a happy relationship, because everyone is a little bit different. Each person has their own main love language, and even if two people don’t share the same language, they can still be great together if they understand what the other needs to feel loved and appreciated. It’s really one of the major keys to having a happy, long-term relationship for years and years.
12 They Memorize Each Other’s Phone Number
Back in the day (well, back before the age of cell phones being in everyone’s hands), we actually had to memorize our best friend’s phone numbers—or at the very least, write them down somewhere safe. But today, we can save all the numbers we need in our iPhones.
Many women find it adorable when they realize that they remember their man’s number by heart—and likewise for guys who know their girl’s number. It may seem a little silly, but in this day and age, that actually means something. It happens when you two always want to talk!
11 They Have Mature Discussions Instead Of Arguments
Does it ever seem like fighting is just a necessary part of relationships? Well, the truth is that although in any long-term relationship there will probably be a few fights every once in a while, it certainly should not be a consistent thing.
According to The Odyssey, fighting is not as normal in happy relationships as we think it is. In fact, couples who are the real deal try to avoid fighting—but it does not mean that they avoid discussing problems. They have to be able to sit down and have a mature conversation, even when they’re stressed.
10 They Discuss Buying A Home Some Day
Moving in together is one thing—but what about when it’s finally time to make the leap from renting to buying? Couples who believe that their relationship is the real deal will eventually start to talk about buying a home.
Buying a house together is a huge step in a relationship—but even if you’re sure that this guy is the one, it is best to wait on buying until after you two have already tied the knot. It will make the whole process easier from a financial and legal standpoint. But the accomplishment is worth the wait!
9 They Support Each Other’s Individual Dreams
A couple who is definitely the real deal will always have a few shared goals. But each person will also have dreams of their own—dreams that might not involve the other person. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t support each other in those individual dreams.
One of the most important signs of a healthy relationship is that you both have some of your own goals—and that holding on to those goals doesn’t take away from the bond that you share with each other. It’s a delicate balance, but when it’s right, it feels natural.
8 They Accept Each Other’s Flaws
Yes, we’ve all been guilty of complaining to our friends about something going wrong in our relationships. It’s just a fact of life. However, being able to accept each other’s flaws is a sign that your relationship is truly the real deal. The ability to really and truly embrace each other as flawed and imperfect human beings is the key to being one of those “real deal” couples.
People are not perfect—we all make mistakes, we’re only human. And to really learn to love someone, you have to learn to understand and accept all of their little flaws. In fact, your differences that you consider flaws could actually bring you closer.
7 They Stick Together Through Every Rough Patch
Even if you’re in a relationship with the most wonderful guy you’ve ever met, it’s not all going to be sunshine and daisies. Unfortunately, life is not perfect—in fact, it can be a real emotional rollercoaster ride at times. And if a relationship is the real deal, you’ve got to stick together through the hard times.
According to Psych Central, going through a tough time together actually has a tendency to bring people closer. They feel like they share a unique bond after making it to the other side. And that’s how #realdeal couples feel when they stick together.
6 They Have A Big “Bucket List” Of Future Plans
Do you know a couple who always seems to be planning something big? And when they’re not planning something, it’s only because they’re off on some exciting trip, moving to a cool new city or going on a weekend getaway with all their friends? That’s because all the happiest and most committed couples out there continue planning cool things for the future so that they always have something to look forward to!
Couples who continuously make plans for big things in the future are happier because they’re less likely to feel like they’re in a relationship rut.
5 They Tell Each Other Secrets That They Don’t Tell Anyone Else
What’s one of the first signs that you’re truly comfortable opening up to someone in a whole new way? You suddenly feel like you can tell them things that you wouldn’t tell anyone else.
According to Psychology Today, telling someone a secret makes us feel closer to them. It’s because not only do we know that we can trust this person, we’ve acted on it and made ourselves vulnerable. And if they prove that we can truly trust them, well, it means we’ve made a good decision. Trust is one of the most important aspects of a long-term relationship.
4 They Motivate Each Other To Change For The Better
This is one of the biggest, most important signs that your relationship is absolutely the real deal. You can tell when you’re in a great relationship because you truly encourage each other to change for the better. No, this doesn’t mean pushing one another to become someone else, or thinking that a guy should “change for you.” It means that you love each other so much that you genuinely just WANT to be the best possible partner that you can be.
You want to make them happy, and you want to love yourself as much as they love you.
3 They Commit To Healthy Habits Together
Sometimes, it can be tough to motivate yourself to work out. Understandable! There aren’t many people who truly enjoy getting out of bed early to go to the gym, or lifting weights after work when deep down, all they really want to do is relax on the couch.
According to Psychology Today, the couple that works out together really is the couple that stays together! Committing to healthy habits together will have you both looking good and feeling even better, and you will have some new hobbies that you can enjoy together, too! There are no downsides.
2 They Daydream About Growing Old Together
Couples who truly see themselves staying together for the long haul won’t be shy about talking about it. Talking about the far-off future shouldn’t be scary for a couple who is truly committed. They will be able to talk about the future freely and imagine being a grandma and grandpa, sitting on their front porch and talking about the good old days.
When it’s real, you’ll be able to tell, because you’ll be able to discuss all of your crazy plans for the next 10, 20, 30 years—and he’ll be so amped to hear them!
1 They Communicate Honestly When They’re Upset
One of the biggest things that set serious couples apart from the rest is their dedication to really sit down and work things out when they run into some kind of difficulty. According to Your Tango, it’s so crucial for couples who want to make things last to really dig deeply into their feelings and express what's bugging them. You can’t just let a problem simmer without addressing it—that will only make it turn into a bigger fight in the end. You’ve got to be able to manage honest communication when you are upset, no matter what.