Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if your partner is supportive of your life goals–especially if you’re blinded by your own wants and needs related to them. For instance, you could convince yourself that they’re supportive because they ask about your dreams, but if that’s all they do, you might just be hoping that they are.
One thing is clear: having a supportive partner makes it easier to pursue your dreams, since you won’t have to deal with the added stress of constantly trying to defend what you want to do with your life. A good partner will not only encourage and listen–they’ll also appreciate your motivation and even find it sexy.
Is my partner understanding of my passions?
Here are some signs that you have a motivating, supportive partner on your hands.
#1 They are understanding of your schedule, and don’t make a fuss when you need to cancel or delay plans. This doesn’t mean you should always skip out on time with your partner, because that makes you a workaholic *or hobby-holic, depending on what your passion is*, but when there’s a pressing deadline, or you’re needed for a special project, your partner should be able to put their selfishness aside and understand that you have other commitments.
If your partner cries, gets upset, picks an argument, or develops an attitude about the situation, it means they want to always be your number one priority, which shouldn’t be the case in a healthy relationship.
#2 When you need help, they do their best to be available. For instance, if you need their opinion on something you’re working on, and your partner says “I don’t know,” they either don’t like it, or they don’t care enough to form an honest opinion. A supportive partner will always help, offer suggestions, give their unbiased opinion, and lend a helping hand, even if it is just a simple coffee run. [Read: 18 undeniable signs that you have found “the one”]
#3 Talking about your accomplishments has become one of their favorite things to do. If your partner tells their friends and family about your accomplishments and can’t wait to share the news, even if you’re being coy about them, then it’s safe to say they’re proud of you. This means they are not only focused on their own goals, but are happy about yours, as well. There should be a sense of appreciation present.
An unsupportive partner will often fail to mention your accomplishments either because they don’t care or because they want their own accomplishments to take the limelight, instead.
#4 They ask questions about your day-to-day work, as well as special projects, stresses, or promotions. Note that this doesn’t mean they ask how your day was as a greeting, and then tell you about their day, instead. This means they genuinely ask several questions about whatever it is you’re passionate about.
They ask what you did, get into your stories, appear to pay attention, ask about projects and what they entail, congratulate you on promotions, and generally just enjoy talking to you about what you’re up to. They’re completely at ease with the possibility of talking about it for as long as you need to, and they share in your stresses and joys.
#5 When something happens at work, they are the first to offer advice and suggestions. It’s always a bright idea to stay independent when it comes to problems. Over time, you learn that relationships are about support, but not direct problem-solving, unless those problems are issues that directly relate to your relationship. For instance, venting about work and listening to their advice is different from expecting them to solve the issue for you.
The more of your own burden you carry, the more they can worry about their own burdens. A supportive partner will offer advice and listen, and maybe even suggest ideas, but at the end of the day, will still let you solve your own problems. [Read: How to love someone without smothering them]
#6 When you accomplish something noteworthy, or even something small, they show genuine excitement. Picture a scenario where you come home and tell your partner your idea was a big hit at the meeting and everyone is considering you as a lead for the new company project. If your partner jumps up, hugs you, and showers you with recognition, then it’s safe to say that they might be your number one fan.
If your partner simply acknowledges the news without so much as a “congratulations,” then they don’t really care, or they aren’t very supportive of your accomplishments. It seems pretty basic, but something as small as this can have an impact on a relationship. Resentment can put out the fire in your relationship, and feeling unappreciated can make you feel like you’re not good enough.
#7 They are keen on listening to your stories, and don’t tune you out or use their phones during the conversation. If your partner doesn’t ask, either because you blurted things out before they could ask, or because they’re forgetful, a good sign that they’re still supportive is if they give you their full attention when you’re telling them about your passions.
This means they put their phone down, look you in the eye, ask questions, react appropriately, and follow all the other sure signs that they care enough to listen. If your partner simply nods, agrees to something at the wrong time, and asks questions that make no sense, you know they’re not that interested.
#8 Every time you want to quit on your dreams, they refuse to let it get the best of you. There are points in everyone’s career when they feel like nothing they do pans out correctly, either because they can’t seem to cope with the stress or they’re just uninspired. During these times, a supportive partner should listen and offer advice, just like stated previously, but they also shouldn’t let you throw in the towel and walk away from all you’ve worked hard to accomplish.
Instead of letting you quit a job or give up on trying to make a good impression, they ought to be the first to tell you you’re taking the easy way out, and they aren’t afraid to make you see reason.
#9 They trust you around the people who share your passions, especially in an environment filled with singles. Obviously, everyone tends to work with both men and women, but there are times when there may be more of one gender than the other at work, and this could cause problems at home. For instance, if a man works in a publishing house with several women, it could cause tension at home with his wife or girlfriend.
A supportive partner understands that the single people around your place of work aren’t a real source of worry, and they don’t make a giant fuss about it, especially if they know how much the job means to you. [Read: How to build trust in a relationship and make it last]
#10 When you’re tired or stressed, they’ll do nice things for you. A good, supportive partner will do more than simply be there for you and let you vent; they’ll go the extra mile to make your life a little easier when you get home. Anything from a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to running you a warm bath speaks more than words ever could. These little things may not involve traditional communication, but they’re your partner’s way of expressing their love, appreciation, and desire to help wherever they can.
Having a partner that supports what you do or want to do is a one-way ticket to having a harmonious relationship, and something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. When a partner doesn’t fully support your goals, it shows, and not only does it put a strain on your relationship–it also takes its toll on your career. Someone who loves and admires you for who you are and what you do will never put you in a situation where you have to choose.
[Read: 15 rules of being a good partner in a relationship]
Whatever you choose to do in life, a partner that supports you is always a breath of fresh air. They help pick you up when you’re down, and they share in your glory. You know you’ve got a keeper if your partner encourages and supports your goals!
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