You can spot them easily in the movies — the couple that’s so clearly meant for each other. But in real life, it can be harder to detect a perfect match.
That’s especially true when that “match” involves ourselves. Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in our relationships that we don’t even ask ourselves if we’re actually a good fit.
INSIDER talked to Talia Goldstein, CEO of white glove matchmaking service Three Day Rule , and Susan Winter , an NYC-based relationship expert, to find out the major signs that a couple is a good match.
If a relationship demonstrates each of these attributes, that’s how you know it’s built to last.
1. You travel the same way
Finding someone who agrees with how and where you want to travel makes all the difference.One of the easiest ways to tell if you’re a good match with your partner is to plan a trip together.
“A good match is people who are willing and wanting to travel the same way,” Goldstein said.
If one of you wants to hop in a RV and road trip to Mexico, while the other wants to fly first class and stay at a five star resort, that’s a sign that you aren’t a good fit.
“It’s indicative of your lifestyle,” Goldstein said. “It could lead to problems down the road.”
For example, these lifestyle difference could come into play when it’s time to buy a house or pick an education path for your children, the expert explained.
“If you have a really narrow mind about the way that you travel, you probably have that same mindset in other aspects of your life,” she added.
2. Your personalities release tension, rather than causing it.
It’s important for passion to be present in a relationship, but it’s not the only thing that matters. In fact, in most relationships, Winter says it’s better to know how to calm your partner down — and for them to know how to do the same to you — than to rile each other up.
“Rather than ignite each other’s anger, your dispositions diffuse each other’s reactivity,” Winter told INSIDER. “This is of supreme importance in long-standing relationships.”
This might not always be sexy, but it does offer a good sense of support, which is vital for long-term relationships .
3. You have common interests that you love doing together.
It may seem intuitive, but a great way to tell if you are a good match with a person is to determine whether you have common interests.
That doesn’t mean that you just like the same sort of art or listen to the same sort of music. Instead, good matches not only enjoy similar things — they like doing those things together.
“There should be at least two or three things you really like to do together,” Goldstein said. “It should be about spending time together.”
And so, if you’re a couple who, for instance, enjoys going on long walks together, playing board games together or watching the same sport games together, you’re likely a good match.
4. The relationship doesn’t feel like hard labor.
All relationships require work. But there’s a difference between toiling away at something for what feels like a paltry reward and working towards something that makes you happy.
“[With your perfect match] there’s an inner sense of solidity and safety with that makes you feel content,” Winter told INSIDER. “There’s a lightness about your relationship that makes it clear this person is indeed your perfect match.”
In short, you should always feel that whatever effort you’re expending is worth it and matched in some way by your partner.
5. You’re with someone who makes you feel good about yourself.
It seems like common sense — you should be with someone who makes you feel like you’re at your best. But of course, a lot of people end up in relationships where they don’t really feel like themselves.
“Relationships where you truly feel like you’re the best version of yourself — that’s the best way to see if you’re a good match,” Goldstein said.
Being in a relationship where you feel like yourself means that you don’t have to stretch to come up with topics to talk about.
It’s also when you feel at home with their group of friends, or feel comfortable lounging around in your pajamas with the other person.
6. You know how to communicate when you’re upset.
Conflict resolution looks different for every couple, so it’s important to find a partner who matches your own style of tackling issues.
“Rather than having resentments linger or issues go unattended, you find that with your perfect match you’re able to attain conflict resolution,” Winter told INSIDER.
Whether that means having conversations as soon as a problem emerges or giving yourselves a few nights to sleep on things is up to you — as long as your partner agrees with it, too.
7. Your relationship has the right balance.
Most of the successful pairings Goldstein has witnessed involves people that strike a perfect balance, where one of them is “the star” while the other is more of “the rock.”
“I found that the majority of my success stories fall into those categories, where sometimes one of them is outgoing and the life of the party, where the other is more stable and supportive,” Goldstein said.
People with different energies tend to compliment each other, whereas those who are both super outgoing or both extremely introverted don’t always go the distance.
“If you have the yin and the yang, they balance each other out,” the expert explained. “I’ve found that balance works really well in a relationship.”
8. You don’t compare them to past relationships.
“This is perhaps the most common marker of being in a good match,” Winter told INSIDER. “You’re not anxious, you don’t feel as though you’re walking on eggshells, and you sense that your partner is with you for the long haul.”
This doesn’t mean that you should expect all your anxieties about the world to melt away as soon as you meet the right person. But worries that your current partner doesn’t live up to your ex’s standards, or worries that you don’t live up to their ex’s standards, should be significantly diminished.
And, in this case, when you know, you’ll really know.