All relationships have their ups and downs, their good and bad times. Given that no romance is perfect, it can be hard to know when a relationship is good enough. If you're wondering if your guy and the relationship with him is worth the trouble, it's time to ask yourself some important questions about him, you and what the patterns of your relationship can tell you about your future.
You're Better With Him
It's important to ask yourself how being with him has changed you and whether it's for the better. Look for signs that he brings you more in touch with your authentic self. If you like the changes you're making to yourself as a result of his influence in your life and if they're changes you know you'll always be proud of, this is a point in his favor. It doesn't matter if you feel like those changes are more about your efforts than his; if his presence in your life is good for you as a person overall, he's probably good for you.
He's Better With You
Whatever the frustrations are, if he's showing signs of personal growth, chances are he will continue to do so. Bear in mind, however, that true personal growth is lasting; if he makes false, temporary displays of improvement to gain your favor back when you're unhappy with him, this is a form of manipulation. If you truly inspire change in him, it will be gradual and apparent to all who know him. According to psychologist Randi Gunther, "keepers," or people who can sustain healthy relationships, are consistently "self-accountable." Gunther writes on the website Psychology Today, "They clearly put knowledge ahead of ego-preservation and seek ways to help their relationships stay successful." The personal growth may be slow and the frustrations you deal with as you both grow together may be difficult, but look for signs that the growth is happening.
The Bad Doesn't Outweigh the Good
Ask yourself if the bad things in your relationship, or about him, really outweigh the good things. Remember that it's easy to get caught up in the emotions of the moment, good or bad, and forget about the opposite end of the spectrum and how it feels. Excitement will fade over time, but if trust and intimacy is growing overall, your bond will grow stronger, and the trust will reduce frustrations and conflict. If your interactions with him are getting worse and more contentious, however, chances are they will continue to worsen.
You Want It to Be Worth It
If you want him to be worth it, listen to your heart in spite of how he looks on paper. That doesn't mean your feelings are necessarily right, but they should get a vote. A strong desire to stay with him will help you weather conflicts and frustrations and will drive you to understand him better and build trust, especially if that desire endures during tough times.
- Psychology Today: Four Signs Healthy Love Is On Its Way
- Psychology Today: Who Are The "Keepers?" The Behaviors of Successful Long-Term Partners
- If He's Not The One, Who Is?: What Went Wrong -- and What It Takes to Find Mr. Right; Lisa Steadman
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