My younger sister recently had a rough break up. And with any serious break up, heartbreak, sadness, or loneliness, the inevitable question of “Will I ever meet the right person?” comes up.
Watching her experience has brought back many memories of my own rough and tumble path that led me to my husband. The boyfriends, the dates, the friendships even—it was all leading me somewhere, slowly forming the image in my mind of the person I was looking for.
They say “people come into your life as teachers,” and as I look back, there were lessons in each bout of heartbreak—sometimes impossible to see at the time, but crystal clear as I look back now.
The obvious lessons were easy to learn. For example, a cheating boyfriend will quickly teach you the importance of honesty and trust—that one didn’t take years of reflection to become clear! Or that small secrets early in a relationship can lead to major mistrust later on.
In marriage you must entrust your future to your spouse—you make vows trusting that they will stand by your side, in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, no matter what may come. As you embark on each challenge in life, you must trust that your spouse will be steadfast.
But one of the hardest lessons for me to learn was what kind of person fit best with me. I am what they call “type A.” in all of its intense, outgoing glory. For years I thought that my perfect counterpart would be someone to balance me out. How could I be with someone just like me? I felt I needed a laid back mate that would bring calm and perspective to my life rather than add fuel to my fire.
Surprisingly, for me, this was not the answer. I learned that while I certainly didn’t need a mirror image, too much difference left me unable to relate. I needed someone who complemented me, but also understood me, appreciated my personality, and could keep up, if not push me further.
But the most important lesson I learned is timing is everything. This one took patience, faith, and came with a side of frustration and questioning. As I watched so many of my friends get married and start families, I wondered when my turn would come. When would I find the right person who would put all these worries aside and I would “just know”?
But the beauty was in the wait, because while I searched, life was happening, and I became confident and happy with who I was. I formed strong bonds with my friends and prioritized what I was looking for in life.
I told my sister these things and tried to help her gain the perspective I have, but unfortunately I know that perspective can only come with time. You can’t impose it on someone else. My sweet sister is still so young. Her path may not have just begun, but she’s definitely got some road ahead.
I did find the right one about seven years ago. We have a solid relationship built on honesty and trust. We are not exactly alike, but we share a drive, decisiveness, and passion for life that makes us a great match. It’s definitely no fairy tale and we have our challenges and arguments. We learn everyday how much work marriage really is. We actually only dated for about a month when we first met before parting ways only to reunite six months later.
But the timing was right, we knew. And the journey was so worth it.