If you’re in a serious relationship, you’ve probably found yourself wondering: Is this the person for me? Even if you’re single, you’ve likely asked yourself: How will I know if I’ve found the one? Wondering about your romantic future can be a massive source of stress. And while there isn’t a formula for a lifetime of companionship, there are certain rules of thumb that are important to remember—and that can be useful for staving off any anxiety about your love life. In a recent episode of The Thrive Global Podcast, in partnership with iHeartRadio and Sleep Number, Arianna Huffington spoke with journalist, activist, and self-proclaimed life-liver Elaine Welteroth about falling in love and maintaining a thriving relationship. Here are three important reminders about the person you’re meant to be with that we gleaned from their conversation.
It’s not always love at first sight.
There’s a dominant narrative that suggests true love is binary: It’s either instantaneous or it’ll never materialize. That means that if we don’t feel instant sparks, we immediately dismiss that person as a potential partner. But while some love stories may begin with a magnetic connection, others (like Elaine Welteroth’s!) may be more gradual. “We actually grew up in the same church. I’ve known him since he was 12,” she told Huffington. “He had these huge glasses. He was a nerd with a capital N and I was into bad boys. I wasn’t really checking him at all, but I always remembered I loved his smile.” Welteroth’s experience is proof that falling in love can truly be an evolution.
They will call you out when it’s necessary.
The person you’re meant to be with should be an accountability partner, helping you become a better version of yourself. For Welteroth, that means her fiancé calls her out from time to time. For example, Welteroth told Huffington that she was recently on speakerphone with a friend while simultaneously sending an email (we’ve all been there, right?). Suddenly, her friend paused and said, “for G-d’s sake, Elaine, stop texting!” Her fiancé, who overheard the conversation, turned to her and said, “That’s what I’m always telling you!” Welteroth laughed as she recalled this instance and said, “I felt a little bit of shame in that moment and realized I needed to get it together.”
They should feel like home.
The person you’re with should put you at ease—and feel like an extension of your home. Welteroth knew her fiancé was the one because, as she put it, “He was literally cut from the same fabric. I think what they don’t tell you about love and dating is that the person you marry is the person who feels like home. It’s not necessarily the person that you pant over or you spiral out about—it’s really the opposite.”
Listen to the full conversation here.