“Are you worried that you might be in the wrong relationship?”
“Do you constantly think that the grass is always greener?”

“Does your friends and family think you’re making the wrong decision?”

“Are you scared of commitment with your partner?”

“Do you wonder if true love really exists?”

Once the honeymoon period of your relationship is over, you’ll often find yourself sitting back and evaluating if the person you’re with is really the one for you. By this stage, you’ll hopefully have plenty of information to go on. You’ll have spent a lot of time together, explored your sexual desires, mixed with each others’ friends and family, travelled, and talked about the future. You’ll have had your fair share of disagreements, juggled work ambitions with couple responsibilities, and perhaps even moved in together.

With this being the case, your next step is to figure out what to do with all of this information. You don’t want to ignore or downplay it, but rather use this knowledge to try and understand whether to move forward or get out. This is often easier said than done! It can get so confusing, and everyone has their own opinions on your situation! As well, time is ticking by, you might be getting older and therefore you think you don’t have the luxury to be selective. Well, choosing the right person is one of the key decisions you’re ever going to make – so take some time now to get clear about your future.

5 areas to consider when deciding if your partner is the one:

1) Healthy Communication

This is a key area that must be working well with your partner if you’re going to move forward. You need to be able to have a voice in your relationship and be able to acknowledge each other. You also need to feel at ease with complimenting and building each other up (particularly in public), as well as manage conflict as it arises and move forward together as a team. In the end, your communication style needs to both make you feel loved and allow you to address issues and keep growing together.

2) Sexual Compatibility

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together – sex and affection is still important! You need to be compatible in this area, from kissing through to experimenting with fantasies and desires. You both need to know about your turn on’s/off’s, romantic needs, favourite positions, and expectations around frequency of sex. Being able to talk openly is the key to all of this, and you need to be prepared to prioritise sex and affection even when your lifestyle becomes hectic.

3) Time Spent Together

One of the biggest issues that can destroy a relationship is lack of time together. Therefore, you need to be having weekly regular time catching up and connecting. It may be dinner, breakfast or an afternoon coffee, spending time doing a joint activity in the week-end or even booking a hotel and making a special evening of it all. Whatever the case, it has to be regular, and you both need to feel like the relationship is a priority over everything else (e.g. friends, work, family, fitness, etc.)

4) Strong Positive Feelings

Having strong, positive and consistent feelings towards your partner is crucial if you’re going to move forward with them. It’s no good trying to make it work if you’re not in love, don’t feel special with them, or are constantly having feelings of doubt, being trapped, scared and angry. Sure, there’ll be times when you get upset with them and might feel frustrated, but the underlying love, appreciation and respect is still there. You need to have an unwavering feeling of certainty that this person feels right for you.

5) Shared Values and Goals

If you want a future with your partner, you need to be on the same page with your values and goals. Make sure you’re clear with your partner about key topics like having children, religion, schooling, politics, money management, alcohol/ drugs/ gambling, parenting styles and monogamy. Anything that’s important to you – get it out on the table and see if you’re in agreement. Also, get specific on where you want to be in 6 months, 2 years, 5 years and 10 years regarding shared couple goals (e.g. moving in together, engagement, marriage, kids, travel, house etc.) This will give you clarity about whether your current partner is really the one for you.

For more advice and free relationship tips go to www.johnaikenadvice.com