If you want to be in a happy romantic relationship, then you need to have a supportive partner. If you don’t know what to look for, here are the signs.
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.
[Read: 19 rules to be good partner in the relationship and make anyone feel lucky to be with you]
The happy signs of a supportive partner who pushes you, motivates you, and helps you become better
Here are some signs that you have a motivating, supportive partner on your hands.
1. They understand your schedule
Not only are they understanding of your schedule, but they also 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. They help you
Whenever 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. The celebrate your accomplishments
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 care about your life
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. [Read: 16 secrets to a perfectly happy relationship]
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. They offer advice
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. But 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: Am I too clingy? 15 signs you’re clingy and overstepping boundaries all the time]
6. They are your biggest cheerleader
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 leader 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. [Read: 19 signs of a relationship that hurts both and how to fix it ASAP]
7. They give you their full attention
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 or your small successes. [Read: How to be a good person and 32 ways to transform into a better human]
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. They support and encourage your dreams
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 as 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. [Read: 15 good qualities of a person that makes them a very good human being]
9. They trust you
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. They do nice things for you
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.
11. They share the load
When you walk through life with a partner, you want to know that they share the burden of life’s everyday activities. For example, they help with the household chores and have an equal split. They don’t lie around on the couch all day while you cook, clean, do laundry, and mow the lawn.
A supportive partner knows that if they are lazy and don’t pull their weight in the relationship, then you will become frustrated, exhausted, and resentful. [Read: Healthy relationship – 27 signs, qualities, and what it looks like in real life]
12. They aren’t selfish
Selfishness comes in a lot of different shapes and forms. It could look like someone playing their video games 24/7 and ignoring their partner. It could be only doing the things they like to do and not thinking about your opinion.
In order to be a supportive partner, a person has to put the other person’s needs at least equal to – if not before – their own.
When they do this, then their partner feels loved and cared for. But when they are selfish, they feel like they are last on the priority list. And no one likes to feel that way.
13. They spend time with you
It’s difficult to be a supportive partner if you don’t spend time with your significant other. That doesn’t mean that you have to spend every waking moment with them. However, you do have to spend quality time on a regular basis. [Read: A lack of attention and intimacy in a relationship – is it time to walk away?]
This can be accomplished in different ways. It could mean regular date night, conversations over dinner, or simply sitting in a park and talking about life. It’s important to have a deep emotional connection with your partner, and spending time with them is one of the ways that it gets accomplished.
14. They are affectionate
Everyone has their own level of need for affection. Some are not very into hugs, cuddling, and holding hands. But even if they aren’t, a supportive partner still does this so that they can show their partner through body language that they care.
Nonverbal communication – like being affectionate – is so much more believable than words. It’s easy to say “I love you” but it’s more difficult to act that way if you don’t feel it. So, supportive partners show their love through their body language. [Read: 28 cute ways to show affection in a relationship even if it feels awkward]
15. They aren’t unreasonable
Some people tend to be irrational and overact about every little thing whether it is big or small. If someone explodes and loses their emotions very easily, that is not very supportive. In fact, it’s quite volatile.
A supportive partner keeps their emotions in check and remains very reasonable. They put everything into perspective and look at everything with a positive mindset. Their partner is not afraid to talk to them about anything.
16. They communicate well
A supportive partner knows how to communicate in an effective manner. They don’t yell, scream, or name-call. And they also don’t just keep their opinions and feelings bottled up inside. They know how to work through problems effectively. [Read: Lack of communication in relationships – how to fix this]
Whenever any disagreements arise, they will be logical, rational, and view their partner as their teammate, not an “enemy.” They work together with their significant other to find solutions that are the best for both of them.
17. They are empathetic
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see any situation from their perspective. That doesn’t mean they have to agree, but it does mean that they try to feel what their partner is feeling.
When someone isn’t empathetic, it makes people feel unheard and unloved. So, all supportive partners are capable of not only feeling empathy but communicating to their significant other that they understand them and are trying to see the world through their eyes. [Read: How to show empathy and learn to understand someone else’s feelings]
The good side of having a supportive partner
Having a partner that supports what you do or wants 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: 50 secrets and early signs of a healthy relationship that make a great one]
Whatever you choose to do in life, a supportive partner 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!