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20 Little Signs You’ve Found The One

20 Little Signs You’ve Found The One

Whenever a couple that has been married for a long time tell the story of how they met, they can always pinpoint the moment in which they knew they found “the one.” Though there definitely is that moment of clarity in which you realize you would rather be with this person than anyone else in the world, there are also many small moments leading up to such an incredibly epiphany. If any of the following apply to you, you might want to start thinking about taking your relationship to the next level.

1. Seeing them makes everything better

Everyone has awful days where they just want to crawl into bed and never come out. But the right partner will erase all of the pain you’ve gone through all day, and make you realize just how lucky you are. The instant you see their face, you’re able to remember why you put up with the garbage you deal with at work all day: because you want to make a better life for them, and for your future together.

2. You can share your hopes and dreams with them

When you’ve found the one, you want them to know everything you want out of life. You share with them even the most farfetched dreams you’ve ever had, because with them by your side, you actually feel like you might accomplish all of your goals. Even your silly childhood dreams become a tangible possibility when you have someone to support you on your journey.

3. You can admit when you’ve made a mistake

I’ve seen so many relationships around me fall apart simply because both parties failed to be able to admit they messed up. When you find the one, you feel comfortable admitting mistakes because you know your better half won’t hold it against you in the long run. You can trust that they’ll accept your honesty and you’ll be able to work toward a better relationship in the future.

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4. You want to make their life better and easier

When you’ve found the one, you start living for someone other than yourself. You sacrifice every fiber of your being to make sure they have an easy go of it. Even if you’ve had a long day, you’ll come home and want to immediately start cleaning the house and cooking dinner for them, so they can relax for a bit. If they forgot to get something at the store, you’ll gladly hop in the car and go get it, even if it means missing out on your favorite show. For that one person, putting their comfort ahead of your own is of utmost importance.

5. You don’t do certain things without them

If you have made it a habit to watch a certain show together every week, you would never watch it without them. If going to Rita’s for a gelati is something you only do with them, you don’t go without them by your side (unless you’re picking something up for them!). If they’re on a diet, you won’t bring home Chick-Fil-A for yourself. When certain things become your “couple” things, you know you’ve found someone special.

6. You argue seldom but passionately

Everyone argues once in a while, but like I said before, you don’t harp on insignificant moments just to prove “I’m right.” You let most things go, but when you do have an argument, you aren’t insulting or rude. You simply show your passion for whatever it is you’re arguing about, and you also listen to what the other person has to say. Again, these arguments aren’t about getting your way, but more about finding a common ground on which you both can build.

7. You resolve arguments amicably

Like I said, when you’ve found the one, you don’t care who’s right or wrong in an argument; you just want to improve your relationship. When you’ve found a person who you actually like more after an argument, you can be pretty sure you’ve found a good one.

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8. You’re upfront when something bothers you

From the moment we started getting serious, my wife and I started living by one rule: If it bugs you, sleep on it, and if it’s still bugging you, bring it up. This has worked wonders for us, and it’s part of the reason we rarely get into fights. By the next morning, we’ve had time to put things in perspective, and more often than not we realize what was bothering us the night before isn’t that big of a deal (especially if it’s not a chronic habit). If it is worth bringing up, well, see number 7 above.

9. You love getting random texts from them

Everyone knows the feeling of getting butterflies early on in a relationship. Not everyone knows the feeling of getting butterflies in a relationship that’s been going strong for years. I’ve been with my wife for almost seven years, and I still smile every time I get a text from her. It shows that, even when she has work and school on her plate, she still has me on her mind in some way. And we both still find little ways to keep our relationship fresh, even after all this time.

10. They know what to order for you

Scenario: You’re waiting to be seated at a restaurant, and you have to use the bathroom. You come back to find your table ready, and the waitress has already brought over a cold glass of your favorite beer. I’m pretty sure all men can agree that a woman who knows what beer to get you has found the most direct pathway to your heart. As for what women want…? Okay, I’ve been with one for seven years, and sometimes I still struggle a bit with this!

11. You pick up each other’s signs in social settings

As an introvert, I can only handle being out so long. Same with my wife. We both reach a point where we are ready to go, but aren’t in a position in which we can be rude about it. Knowing your significant other well enough to know when they’ve had enough and are ready to go home is a sure sign that you care deeply for them.

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12. You know when to leave them alone

No one said you have to spend every moment of every day together. Sometimes, even if you want to be right next to them, they’ll want some space. I know my wife needs a few minutes to herself after a long day of work, so during that time I’ll get dinner started or pick up a little around the house. By the time we sit down for dinner, I know she’ll be ready to share her day with me, regardless of how good or bad it went.

13. You encourage each other

This goes along with the earlier entry about sharing hopes and dreams. When you’ve found the one, you want all of their dreams to come true. It could be supporting them on a diet or pushing them to go back to school to further their career. You simply want to see them succeed, and will be there to help every step of the way.

14. You know how to cheer them up

When they’re in a funk, you know exactly what to do to make things a bit better. You know them better than most anyone else does, and you also will go to greater lengths to make them happy than anyone else would. Even on their worst day, you that picking up her favorite flowers, or his favorite flavor of ice cream, will make them smile. You might not be able to fix the problem right away, but you can make facing it just that much easier.

15. You listen to the same story over and over

I’m guilty as sin of this one. I tell the same stories about my younger days constantly, and instead of cutting me off, my wife humors me, lets me laugh about it, and ends up laughing along with me. I mean, you get to a point when you know everything about each other, so you’re bound to run out of stories to tell. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a trip down memory lane every once in a while.

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16. You can make anything fun with them

Grocery shopping alone is the most boring (and frustrating) errand in the world, as far as I’m concerned. However, going to Giant with my wife is simply another moment in which to make a memory. When you have as many inside jokes as we do, the grocery store is full of endless comedic material. When you’ve found someone who can make shopping for frozen vegetables entertaining, you’ve definitely found the one.

17. You’re cheesy as heck around them

You have a completely different sense of humor when you’re around the one you love. You can make the corniest, silliest jokes possible, and know that you’ll both crack up about it. You don’t feel the need to “be cool” around them, and you can let yourself go.

18. You put effort into gifts for them

Like many guys, I’m not the best gift-giver. My family would rather spend money on experiences than material things, so I grew up not being “gifted” (sorry for the pun) with the ability to pick out good presents. That changed when I met my wife. Whenever a special occasion comes around, I go out of my way to find something special, and even go as far as making something for her that shows just how much I care. I knew she was the one when I actually felt like being crafty just for her. If you’ve ever gone shopping for yourself, and ended up finding something special for your significant other instead, you’ve probably found the one.

19. You’re intimidated by how you feel for them

Being in loooove is definitely a scary proposition. When you’re just starting to get the feeling that “this is it,” you’re actually scared of the feelings you’ve been having. That’s simply because you’ve never felt that way before. You might even push her away at first, which I unfortunately did for a while. Don’t fight it. The rest of your life will be so much easier having the one you love by your side throughout it all.

20. You wouldn’t trade them for the world

Along with being intimated by how you feel for them, you might be hesitant to give up “the single life.” Sure, settling down means you probably won’t have those late nights with your friends for much longer, and you’ll have to make decisions as a couple instead of independently…but who says these are bad things? When you settle down with the one you love, you’ll wonder why you wasted so much time at the bar in your younger days, and you’ll wish you had gotten on track a bit sooner. When you find the one, your life will change immensely. But you’ll be totally okay with that.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

What Makes People Poor Listeners?

Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

How To Be a Better Listener

For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

1. Pay Attention

A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

2. Use Positive Body Language

You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

According to Alan Gurney,[2]

“An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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Be polite and wait your turn!

4. Ask Questions

Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

5. Just Listen

This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

6. Remember and Follow Up

Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

  1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
  2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

8. Maintain Eye Contact

When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

Final Thoughts

Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
[2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
[3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
[4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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