I would not say that my husband is “the one” for me. We don’t have a perfect relationship. I wouldn’t even say that I am head over heels in love, nor that I ever was.
However, I am very happily married. My husband and I love spending time together. We spend our Saturdays snuggling on the couch watching our favorite TV shows, or doing our grocery shopping together, or taking adventures exploring our city. We discuss our future and desires. We are a partnership.
My friends and family would say that it seemed like I waited until I found the perfect man for me. I never really dated in high school or college. I didn’t settle for less than my standards. My friends often said that the first man I would date was the man I would marry—and they were right.
So what do I mean when I say that I never found “the one”? Let me explain.
Media and culture tell us to find the spouse that complements us completely, one who we feel madly, passionately in love with. The popular message is that there is just one soulmate for each person, and that finding that person is like finding a needle in a haystack, a result of luck or fate or some combination of the two.
But this idea sends me into a flurry of questions: how would I ever be able to find the guy?! What if he is in Italy and our paths never cross? What it I accidentally marry someone who isn’t “The One”? Furthermore, I don’t believe there is such thing as a “perfect fit” for me or anyone else, simply because I know that people are not perfect.
So while I was looking for a husband, instead of looking for perfection and perpetual butterflies, the question I started asking myself was, “Can I see myself spending the rest of my life with this guy?”
To assess whether or not my now-husband Darren was someone I could spend the rest of my life with, I had to ask myself a few specific questions.
- Do we hold the same beliefs? It is important for two people who are doing life together to be walking in the same direction with the same values and belief system.
- Are there any blatant red flags? A few examples for me included things like disrespectful attitudes and behavior, current drug and alcohol abuse, and if my friends and family disapproved of the relationship.
- Do we communicate well? This is so essential to a working, healthy marriage, as well as to any healthy relationship.
- Do we have the same life goals? This one is harder because sometimes life goals can change, but it’s still helpful to have a sense that you are moving in the same direction instead of opposite ones. One example is having a family. If one person wants a huge family and the other wants no children that could be a deal breaker. Talk about those things before you decide to marry someone. Premarital counseling can be a helpful way to discuss some of these big topics, too!
- Do I love this person? This question needs to be asked, but should not be the only question that’s asked. Of course there needs to be some level of attraction to who you are marrying. But it’s also important to remember that choosing to marry someone is a commitment that should be upheld forever, even when feelings of being in love fluctuate.
When I asked these questions about Darren, he passed with flying colors. He is now “the one” for me, and that will never change because I have chosen to make him my one and only and to actively love him the rest of my days. I don’t have to worry about if I made a wrong choice or agonize about whether or not I found my soulmate, because I know that we are both committed to each other for life. It is the act of committing to each other that makes us “right” for each other.
I love living with my best friend. There is no one I’d rather run errands or snuggle on the couch with. In fact, the mundane things of life are the things that I most enjoy doing with my husband. Grocery shopping with him is sometimes the highlight of my week. I may not get any butterflies in my stomach, but my heart is filled with love.