1. Distance. You should be able to spend a few days apart from each other without self-destructing. You shouldn’t be so co-dependent that the thought of going a few hours on your own sounds impossible. You should have your own lives. You should have your own hobbies. You should be independent enough to survive on your own, even if you would rather be together.

2. A dry spell. If you’re not in the mood for a while, or if a sickness makes it impossible for you to sleep together for a few weeks, then your whole relationship shouldn’t fall apart. You should like each other for more than your bodies. You should enjoy each other’s company, even when you aren’t stripping down, even when you’re simply sitting in silence on the opposite ends of the couch. Your person should be more than someone who gets you off. They should be someone who gets you.

3. Your pasts. You probably aren’t the first person your partner has ever loved — and you have to be okay with that knowledge. You have to accept their past. You have to accept they have baggage and unresolved issues from their old relationships. Even though you’re their future, you have to be okay with their past. You can’t hold it against them. You can’t be upset with them for something they did before they even met you.

4. Your small, daily arguments. You’re going to have small disagreements every once in a while. It’s impossible to be in a relationship with someone without having silly little arguments with them about the dishes and the laundry — so what’s really important is how you handle those arguments. Do you treat each other with respect? Do you come to fair compromises? Do you make sure you’re both satisfied in the end?

5. Jealousy. No, your partner shouldn’t be flirting with other people or swiping through dating apps. However, if you’re jealous of their favorite celebrity or a mutual friend they have, you should be able to push through that jealousy. You should rest assured they want you and only you. You shouldn’t be concerned they’re going to leave you for someone else. You should trust they mean it when they say they love you.

6. Family drama. Your families probably aren’t perfect. If they see your parents or siblings or cousins at their worst, it shouldn’t impact your relationship. They should stand by you, no matter who raised you. Your family shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for them. It should be something they deal with because they love you, because they want to support you at all times.

7. Personal issues. If you’re suffering from mental health issues or are grieving the loss of a loved one or are simply feeling off, your person shouldn’t distance themselves from you. They should stick with you. They should encourage you. They should be there in whatever way you need. They shouldn’t run away at the first signs of trouble. They should be there with you through your best and worst moments. TC mark


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