Wonder if this one’s The One? Below are some telltale tip-offs you two are headed for happily ever after — plus, five clear-cut clues that spell bad news.
First, the good news: You’re headed toward happily ever after if. . .
1. You discover quirky things you have in common
It’s one thing to discover you both like the new Coldplay album. It’s another to discover your tastes or habits jibe in more surprising ways. “What confuses people is that they think they’re a match because they have things in common that many people have in common, like favorite books or songs, so they’re fooled into thinking they’re on the same wavelength,” says Sam R. Hamburg, Ph.D., author of Will Our Love Last? “The more uncommon and surprising your similarities are, the better.” That was definitely the case for one Rochester, NY dater named Patrick McAvoy. “I have this weird habit of belting out what I’m doing in song, so when I started dating Bethany, one morning I started singing ‘Here I am, in the shower...’ to the tune of Jesus Christ Superstar,” recalls the 29-year-old. “When she started singing back, making up more words to the same tune, I couldn’t believe it! I knew it would work out.” And it has for three years so far.
2. Neither of you flinch when the future comes up
It’s a new-couple nightmare: One of you blurts out something like, “Ooh, next summer we should go to Greece” and then freezes, fearing the other person will think, “Next year? We don’t even know if we’ll make it to next month!” But if you and your date don’t bat an eye or better, smile and agree you’ve successfully crossed a crucial divide. “It’s a sign that you both feel stable in the relationship,” says Sharyn Wolf, author of So You Want To Get Married: Guerilla Tactics For Turning A Date Into A Mate. So while we don’t suggest making plans with your date for next Christmas, take careful notes on what happens if you do mention some advance planning.
3. It’s super-important that your friends like your new partner
You thought introducing your date to your parents was the ultimate test? On the contrary, introducing him or her to your friends is even more pivotal. That’s because while you can’t choose your family, you can choose your friends, so they reflect the person you’ve become over the years. So if you find yourself prepping your pals about someone you’d “really like them to meet,” it’s a sign you’re seeing this relationship as more than just a fling. “When I introduced my girlfriend Yvi to my friends, I was completely nervous beforehand because we were from such different worlds — she was a Hispanic girl from Newark, and I was a banker from the Jersey shore,” says Dave Koczan-Santiago. “And truthfully, things didn’t click right away. But when I realized how important it was to me that they all like each other, I knew the relationship was a bigger deal to me than I even thought it was. Now here we are, 10 years later, happily married.”
5. You constantly stumble across things you want to share
Most couples will exchange a few “thinking of you” phone calls or emails when they’re apart. But if you can’t walk down the street without tripping over some funny story to tell later or can’t leave a store without thinking at least once, “Oh, my sweetie would love that…” then things are rosy indeed. Basically, it’s a sign that while you may not realize you’re thinking about your date, you are and just can’t help it, explains Wolf.
Amy Spencer is a free lance writer based in New York City. She has contributed to Glamour, Maxim, New York and Real Simple.