FIND YOUR PLEASURE author and talk show host Cynthia Loyst, who’s been with her partner for about 20 years, reflects on a few of the signs that you’ve found your perfect match and that you’re in a healthy relationship.
I’ve been in the same relationship for almost twenty years. I still look at him and wonder at the magic that brought us together. I’d be lying if I said it’s been all sunshine over the years—we’ve definitely had tough times. But despite those challenges, there is no doubt in my mind that he is a great one for me. Notice that I didn’t say “the one”—I think that idea is a load of crap. Imagine if your “one” was born in another part of the world? Or another century? How awful! But I do think there are a handful of people we may come across in our lives who are good fits for our unique quirks.
Here are some ways to know if the person you’re with is right for you:
You Know Yourself
You, my friend, like everyone else, are imperfect. You have your own unique genetic makeup and personal history that has contributed to the person you are, and you’re willing to own up to your shortcomings and mistakes. You’ve learned how to communicate in reasonable ways, and you expect the same from your partner. You also know your value and understand that your pleasure isn’t dependent on another person, but entirely rests on your own shoulders. Whomever you choose to be with will be a complement, not a necessity.
You’ve Kissed a Lot of Amphibians
Maybe it’s a few frogs, toads, or even a salamander or two. You paid close attention to what those different types brought out in you: Your confidence or your insecurities, jealousy or trustfulness, calm or unease. You’ve learned from your mistakes and know what works and what doesn’t for you, and now can recognize someone of worth.
You Enjoy Intimacy Together
You know your body and what’s good for you, feel safe exchanging ideas about pleasure, and aren’t performing for your partner’s pleasure. You and your partner recognize that sex will ebb and flow throughout a long-term relationship and know how to create intimacy beyond sex.
You Share Values
I know a couple who have been together happily for more than twenty-five years. She’s Palestinian and he’s Jewish—they’re basically a microcosm of world peace. They listen and communicate well and aren’t rooted in a need to be right at all times. Take a page from their book and sort out whether you’re on the same page when it comes to certain topics—religion, children, circumcision, vaccinations, abortion, equal rights, and money are a few that come to mind. It’s best to have these talks sooner rather than later.
You Realize the World Isn’t Black-and-White
Nor is it fifty shades of gray. In fact, it’s a spectrum of colors. The world is complex and can bring joy and pain, and you may be confronted with challenges that can’t be foreseen. If you’re open, you won’t make ultimatums or run away from confrontations. Ultimately, you’re both confident that you can face any challenges with your partner in an empathetic and carefully considered way.
You Bring Each Other Pleasure
Relationships should add something meaningful to your life, not make you feel sad, unheard, lonely, or angry. All relationships go through times when you don’t delight each other as much, but as long as the good consistently outweighs the bad, you’re doing something right.
For more of Cynthia Loyst’s deeply personal insights into how to get to the heart of what you want in all aspects of life (whether that be family, home, work, love, and/or sex), pick up a copy of FIND YOUR PLEASURE: THE ART OF LIVING A MORE JOYFUL LIFE.
If you enjoyed this list, you may also like 7 Kinds of Kisses and What They Mean.
Excerpted from Find Your Pleasure by Cynthia Loyst. Copyright © 2020 by the author. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.