15 Questions to Know If You've Found the One

Before you make a commitment, give yourself this quiz.

Posted Feb 08, 2019

You want to make a commitment or your partner does and is nudging you.

You're anxious.  

Maybe your parents divorced. Maybe you've had a divorce or bad unexpected breakups. How do you know you've found a good match? Your gut feeling may not be right or your gut may not be sure. It's also true that your choice of who to marry or have children with may be the most important choice you ever make.   

Science does have some answers, and Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., a professor of psychology at Monmouth University, has compiled a list of 15 questions to help you evaluate your relationship. As he says, you have to answer the questions honestly. Don't make it complicated. Just ask yourself these questions and quickly write down either "yes" or "no."

  • Does your partner make you a better person, and do you do the same for them?
  • Are you and your partner both comfortable with sharing feelings, relying on each other, being close, and able to avoid worrying about the other person leaving?
  • Do you and your partner accept each other for who you are, without trying to change each other?
  • When disagreements arise, do you and your partner communicate respectfully and without contempt or negativity?
  • Do you and your partner share decision-making, power, and influence in the relationship?
  • Is your partner your best friend, and are you theirs?
  • Do you and your partner think more in terms of “we” and “us,” rather than “you” and “I”?
  • Would you and your partner trust each other with the passwords to social media and bank accounts?
  • Do you and your partner have good opinions of each other—without having an overinflated positive view?
  • Do your close friends, as well as your partner’s, think you have a great relationship that will stand the test of time?
  • Is your relationship free of red flags like cheating, jealousy and controlling behavior?
  • Do you and your partner share the same values when it comes to politics, religion, the importance of marriage, the desire to have kids (or not), and how to parent?
  • Are you and your partner willing to sacrifice your own needs, desires, and goals for each other (without being a doormat)?
  • Do you and your partner both have agreeable and emotionally stable personalities?
  • Are you and your partner sexually compatible?

The best answers for all of these are an easy "yes."

As you read them, did you find yourself rebelling against the implicit ideas here about what makes a lasting happy love match?

You might think that sacrifice shouldn't be required. According to Lewandowski, science isn't on your side. 

If you're the one who won't sacrifice, it's possible you're not ready for any commitment and you need to accept the consequences—you may have to let your partner go.

If your partner won't sacrifice, and you've been accommodating, recognize that you deserve better and probably won't be able to keep this up happily for long. 

Maybe you tend to be jealous and see it as a positive sign of a big investment. Ask yourself whether you'd be that way with any partner or if your current partner has a history of infidelity or promiscuity or dishonesty in general. If your partner makes you especially nervous, that's not a good sign. If you're frequently jealous, realize that you're trying to control your partner out of insecurity and this could drive your partner away.

If your sex isn't great, you might think that's not important enough to be a deal-killer. But could you talk to your partner about things you wish were different?

The all-time red flag is if you know you are expecting your partner to change, or that he's expecting you to change in some big way. That's no time to make a commitment. Yes, I know you've heard this a hundred times. Take it seriously. 

One good test is to imagine that the trait you want to change does change but in the wrong direction. Your man drinks too much—and starts getting drunk every weekend. Your partner is obese—and instead of losing, gains more weight. Your partner puts his work ahead of you and breaks plans a bit too often for your taste. Now imagine that he gets a promotion or starts a business.

In a long-term relationship, people do change over time and not always for the better. That's one reason the first question is important: Do you feel your relationship will help keep both of you going in the right direction? It's also why respectful communication is essential.  

My guess is that most readers will find at least some of these questions aren't a sure "yes." That doesn't mean you have to run for the exits. But it might mean you're not ready to decide.