I remember the exact table in my favorite restaurant where my dad and I sat the day I told him I was getting married. It was a two-top, in the back against the wall. The smile on my face mirrored his as I shared the news.
I was twenty-four and giddy about the life that lay ahead of me. I’ve written before how I have always felt supported by my dad, and this day was no different. He received my news with excitement and asked just one question:
“How do you know he’s the one?”
My fiancé and I had dated for just under a year when he asked me to marry him. But I knew much earlier in our relationship we would be spending the rest of our lives together. Why? It’s not that he was perfect, or that we had everything in common, or some other common reason people give for ‘knowing.’ I knew my husband was the one for me because he challenged me to be the best version of myself. Simply put, he believed in me.
I had dated guys in the past who had tried to change me, but this was different. My husband knew even in those early days I was not perfect. But he could see the person I had the potential to become, even underneath my rough exterior.
I had a bad habit of making snarky remarks. He was always quick to lovingly call me on it, pointing out that the way I was speaking to him was inconsistent with who I was and who he knew I wanted to be as a person. His light-hearted push back was genuine and endearing in a way that made me appreciate him as a man.
He wasn’t interested in supporting me to become a better person for his sake, but for mine. I have never been good at admitting when I am wrong, which contributed to a fair share of misunderstandings during the ten or so months we dated. Instead of taking this as an affront, my husband was always generous in helping me see each situation for what it really was, a simple misunderstanding. Instead of engaging in a blame game scenario, he was patient and gracious.
His commitment, the fact that he kept showing up emotionally in our relationship even when it was hard and I was difficult to deal with, showed me I could rely on him to be there for me.
I finished explaining all of this to my dad and waited with bated breath for his response.
“Well,” he said between bites of his lunch, “sounds like he’s the one.” “Yeah,” I said, “I think so.”