After several toxic relationships, my friend Valerie finally met James. They have been married for ten years now.

James is not the most physically attractive guy on the earth, but he is one of the most confident, yet humble, men I have ever known. And I think that’s one of the reasons my friend still feels butterflies in her stomach when she sees him.

I always thought Valerie deserved someone exactly like him by her side; someone with whom she could build a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

There are a few inherent inner qualities confident people like James usually have in common, especially when it comes to relationships.

1. They Are Focused on Their Life Purpose

A healthy relationship can only be made by two emotionally independent individuals who love their own lives.

James considers his relationship with Valerie a top priority. However, he doesn’t desperately focus on it all the time — that is, every minute, twenty-four hours per day. He doesn’t obsess over it. He is a freelance designer and loves what he does. And he knows the importance of having a life purpose outside of his relationship.

It’s more than just spending some time apart — which, of course, is essential too. It’s the importance of walking on a lifepath you love, of being passionate about something that contributes to defining your identity.

If each partner fully lives their own life in and outside of the relationship, their time together becomes unique and memorable. You can’t rely on your partner to feel complete. You need to feel whole before entering a relationship. Only then can you truly be part of a happy relationship.

How to apply this, in a nutshell

To feel whole on your own, without relying on someone else to be happy, you must live a life that fulfills you; you need to have a life purpose and be in love with it. You have to find what you love and then spend time on it.

And whenever you feel something in your relationship is slightly off, take some time to get back in touch with yourself, with who you truly are, and focus on your life purpose. It will help you recharge, which will benefit your relationship.

2. They Are Not Afraid to Give

Diego, one of Valerie’s exes, was always afraid people would take advantage of him. One day Valerie had to attend a conference and asked him if he could accompany her. His response was, “Will I get something in return, or are you just using me?”

If you are always afraid to give because you think others will take advantage of you — or won’t give you something in return — you might have to ask yourself where this fear comes from and work on it.

If someone asks you a favor, it doesn’t necessarily mean they intend to use you. Oftentimes, it means they trust you and know they can count on you, especially if they have a close relationship with you.

Unlike Diego, James is not afraid to make small gestures for Valerie, even if that sometimes means doing it without receiving anything back immediately. He does things out of love. This is a sign of confidence.

How to apply this, in a nutshell

We are all inclined to want something in return when we give. However, high expectations can often ruin relationships. If you struggle with this, ask yourself this question: “What is preventing me from feeling the joy of giving, without expecting anything in return?”

3. They Never Feel Threatened by Others

This is a big one.

Valerie is gorgeous. Many guys often try to flirt with her or just stare at her. And of course, she politely declines any flirting attempt.

What I like about all this is James’ reaction. He sees what happens, he sees all the people staring at Valerie when they are together, but he behaves as if nothing is happening. He knows his wife is attractive, and genuinely compliments her every day.

However, he doesn’t feel threatened by other guys hitting on her. And this happens because of two simple reasons: he is confident and he trusts Valerie – also because she showed him how much she’s into him.

How to apply this, in a nutshell

There is always the possibility that someone may look at or try to flirt with your significant other. So, get over it. Trust your partner and remind yourself of your own value and why they chose you. And don’t focus on what you can’t control, focus on making your relationship unique, instead.

If your partner gives you reasons not to trust them, you shouldn’t be with them.

4. They Don’t Engage in Passive-Aggressive Behaviors

If a confident, emotionally mature partner doesn’t like something you did, they will tell you upfront. They won’t use their actions to punish you; they won’t let you wonder why they are behaving weirdly; they will use healthy communication instead.

Insecure partners instead use passive-aggressive behavior to teach you a lesson. They communicate through their actions.

One of Valerie’s ex-boyfriends, Lucas, is a perfect example of this. Whenever he was angry about something Valerie did, he’d punish her through his actions, rather than express his thoughts. He’d arrive late for a date on purpose, and hold a grudge for hours.

Confident partners don’t do this. They never engage in passive-aggressive behaviors when they see something they don’t like. They communicate assertively instead.

How to apply this, in a nutshell

If you need to give your partner negative feedback about something they did, choose assertive communication. Let them know how much you appreciate them first, and then communicate your needs, without making them feel criticized.

There’s no need to punish anyone.

5. They Are Into Self-Improvement

One day I went to visit Valerie, and James was sitting in the living room on the sofa, reading Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris.

I asked him for how long he had been reading personal development books, and he answered, “For ages. I love reading self-improvement content; you never know where it takes you.”

When you are genuinely motivated to improve yourself, it means you know there’s always something you can learn, and that you can always create a better version of yourself.

It doesn’t mean you are insecure or unhappy with who you are. Instead, it means you are aware of your strengths, and you want to maximize and leverage them through self-improvement; it also means you are humble enough to see which are your weaknesses and focus on where you can improve. You expect more from yourself because you know your potential.

Someone who is into personal growth loves to improve who they are in a relationship, which means they try to be a better partner every day.

How to apply this, in a nutshell

In your relationship, ask yourself: “Is this what the best version of myself would do?”

Learn to speak your partner’s love language. Become familiar with the concept of polarity and maximize your leading energy. These are all things that will help connect more with your partner and keep the spark alive in the long term.

Confidence in a relationship has a lot to do with how we perceive ourselves. When you feel good about yourself, your attitude in a relationship is positive — and your partner can feel it.

It’s all about how much you are in love with your life. And ultimately, it’s about being emotionally mature enough to build a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

Get access to exclusive self-improvement and relationships content, subscribe to my free newsletter here.

Featured Image: Adobe Stock

Article originally published in The Truly Charming