If your relationship has any of the following features, it’s amazing you’ve found a person that fits with you so well and is prepared for an adventure of a life with you. Most of us are familiar with the term “ride or die,” but have no idea where the term comes from or how it gained mainstream appeal. Stop trying to manufacture the man of your dreams because you’re only setting yourself up for failure. Find a man whose goals, plans, and future you’reassistingwith, not wholly creating.

We all have a unique approach to life, but a true friend will respect your opinions, applaud your civic-mindedness, and see value in your outlook. Ride-or-die friends don’t let differences become barriers in relationships. Instead, they support your decisions and stick with you, even when they might see things differently. A partner who is ride or die will spend time getting to know you. They’re happy to just spend a few moments each day talking to you.

Regardless of what he is doing, a partner who wants a “ride or die chick” wants you to jump through hopes to prove your loyalty — even when he’s the opposite. You promised and proved countless times that you are committed and devoted to him. Your partner’s lack of trust for you in this regard could the simple fact that he isn’t really committed to you, either. His fears of you being unfaithful could be a projection of his own infidelity if you’re committed and haven’t done anything to prove otherwise. He will always show his love and appreciation for you in a way that is healthy; he won’t ever use love as an excuse to treat you poorly. He knows that he found a person who is willing to fight for him, no matter what.

“There’s always more to learn about another person, no matter how long you’ve been together,” therapist Christie Sears Thompson, MA, tells Bustle. When you stay curious about each other and spend time each day asking each other deeper questions, you’re parking lot hotel building a strong emotional connection that will help your relationship last. Still, despite my negative experiences with ride-or die-culture, I do believe in a positive, healthy version, one that represents a deep sense of love, respect, and loyalty.

While I am aware of the ways I have performed harmful ride-or-dieness throughout my life and career, I am still learning to move away from this need to automatically sacrifice myself for those who wouldn’t do the same for me. This complex reaction belongs to so many first-born daughters of immigrants, to so many women and femmes, to many of us who grew up in one-parent and/or unstable homes. For years, I thought my tendency was a sign of compassion, maybe something even noble, but I’ve realized it is a toxic trait because it is a morphed reflection of the noxious version to ride-or-die.