We all dream of a happy ever after–who doesn’t–but, unlike in Disney movies where boy meets girl and they ride off into the sunset to a fairytale ending all within a matter of minutes, real life is trickier. Most women have to go through trial and error with a number of Mr. Wrongs before they finally find "The One." If you’re in a relationship now, how do you even know you’re headed there?

A lasting relationship is founded on trust–and trusting your partner requires maturity. A whole lot of it. And you know you’re in a mature relationship if:

1. You have realistic expectations of your partner.

No, he does not "complete" you, nor do you him. He will not break into a love song in the middle of a baseball field or show up at your front door bearing flash cards to pour his heart out. At most, he’ll probably pay for dinner, and that’s as romantic as he can get, but you know that he doesn’t love you any less.

2. No one struggles for control.
At this point, it doesn’t matter anymore who loves who more (nor is it a point of debate), or who’s supposed to say sorry first after a fight. You don’t need to ask your partner’s permission to do something or go somewhere (if you do, it’s usually for input). You’re equals, and you’re both comfortable with that fact.

3. You don’t need constant reassurance.
How many fights have you had in the past just because the other person didn’t say "I love you" back? A lot, we bet. But if you’re in a mature relationship, you don’t even have to wait for an answer. You just know.

4. You’re happy about your partner’s success.
You’re his biggest fan and his loudest cheerleader. You admire him for doing what he does best, and you can’t tell your friends enough how good he is at work. You let him grow in his career, even if it means frequent overtime work, and you recognize that his success does not make yours any less significant.

5. Him being friends with members of the opposite sex does not worry you.
When you’re unsure about where you stand in your relationship, anyone from the female specie who stands within a five-meter radius from your boyfriend is a threat. That girl giving him the sideways look? Checking him out. That officemate laughing a bit too loudly? Totally into him. When you’re in a mature relationship, however, you’re confident that even if your partner has the chance, he will choose not to stray.

6. There is a future to speak of.
At a certain point in a relationship, especially if you’ve been together for a long time, you’ll feel the need to take it to another level–whether that’s living together, proposing marriage, or talking about starting a family. If your relationship has plateaued and the guy seems to be content with what you have, it might be time to rethink things and evaluate if you’re on the same page.

7. Your attraction goes beyond the physical or the material.
While a pretty face or a flashy car no doubt makes a great first impression, these are not what keeps a relationship thriving. A stimulating conversation, his ideals, how he can turn around a bad situation to make you feel good–these become more essential as you mature into your relationship together.

8. You choose your battles.
You no longer have big fights about him not texting you good night, and he doesn’t have to tell you anymore not to wear that short skirt to the office. You realize that it’s all just a waste. of. time.

9. Your partner’s needs come before yours.
The term "BAE" sums it all up beautifully–Before All Else. If that’s not how you feel about your partner, maybe you need to have that dreaded talk.

10. You can admit you are wrong and not feel you’re being judged.
There are no perfect relationships, and sometimes one of you might do something that may upset the other. You know you’ve reached a certain level of maturity when you can own up to your mistake, not put the blame on something (or someone) else, and move on from that episode, knowing you won’t use that as ammunition in future argumentseven if you could.

PHOTO: Pixabay; GIFS: Giphy

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