You’ve known your other half for a respectable amount of time. You positively enjoy each other’s company. Maybe you’ve lived together, maybe you haven’t. Maybe it’s complicated and you have a few things to agree on – or maybe everything between you seems wonderful, and you expect it to be so forever. Maybe it’s the time in your life when you may be ready to settle down.
Should you try and keep things going as they are? Or should you take a leap of faith and propose to your beloved? Alternatively, should you accept a proposal? Is your partner the ONE? It can sound like an easy question. Do you love them? Yes. Do they love you? Yes. High-five!
On the other hand, it can be very complicated. How could you possibly know what circumstances your little family could get into in the future, and whether your beloved will continue to love you and be right for you? And, without knowing that, how can you possibly know whether they are the ONE?
There are no guarantees. Each person is immensely complicated, if not unknowable. We also can change, get weighed down by the disappointments of life, grow apart.
“There are no guarantees. For fear, none are sufficient. For love, none are required.” Emmanuel Teney.
Just focus on whether your partner is the right person for you right now.
Is your partner the ONE? 10 questions to ask yourself.
1. Do you trust your partner? Are you confident that he or she will avoid a course of action that would hurt you – provided you tell them how you feel about the issue? If your partner ever hurt you, did he or she sincerely apologize and never do it again? Life is complicated, people have quirks, but it is not unreasonable to expect that your beloved will not (absent extenuating circumstances) intentionally hurt you or make you unhappy.
2. Think about the one thing that you need in your life. You obviously need more than one thing in your life, and your priorities may change over time… but there must be something relatively enduring and paramount. No one person can give you everything – but you should be getting that one most important thing from your spouse. If you are insecure, it may be unconditional support and belief in you. If you are frazzled, it may be calm. If you are young and ambitious, it may be wise guidance. If you are afraid, it may be someone who will take responsibility. If you have family on your mind, it may be someone who will care for your children. Or maybe it is just someone who will travel the world with you. Can your partner give it to you?
3. Does you partner make you happy? Of course your relationship has ups and downs, but do you have a feeling of calm, supportive environment where you can be happy – whether you may fail, become ill, or just need something?
4. Think of the qualities of your partner that annoy or upset you the most. Your partner is a mere human. Know that these qualities will likely stay – in fact, you will be seeing more of them as time goes by. Do you have a positive way of thinking about them? Let’s say you get annoyed that your partner does not get around to doing something, instead just spends their time relaxing. Can you learn to appreciate their ability to relax in stressful circumstances, so they can also help you relax? Is it something that you could live with, day in and day out, because there are other things about this man or this woman that matter more?
5. Think of the difficult situations the two of you have been through. How serious was the crisis? How did each of you react? What have you learned about your partner and the way you interact? Do you have an idea how your partner would react to a crisis in the future, and can you handle it on your side?
6. Do you have compatible ideas about having children and caring for children? What about caring for parents? Spending free time? How do both of you feel about religion? About politics? You don’t always have to agree, but you should have an idea of potential future conflicts. Which gets us to…
7. How do conflicts get resolved? Can both of you rely on your sense of humor to make light of the situation and give each other space? If you stop talking for a while, is that so you can think about it and come up with a possible constructive solution? If it doesn’t come naturally, can one or both of you learn to approach conflicts more constructively?
8. Some matters are just more important to some people than others. No one should be asking you to compromise over matters of principle. But the burden of compromising should be shared. Are you sometimes prepared to compromise? Is your partner sometimes prepared to compromise? If there are any matters of principle over which one of you is absolutely NOT able to compromise, can the other person show flexibility? Which brings us to…
9. All right, something goes wrong. Nothing’s ever perfect. You simply cannot agree on an important matter. Sometimes people – who are otherwise great for each other, but part ways over a matter that seems super important at the time – cannot find a better mate for a really long time… Think carefully about the kind of problem that what would cause you to give up on this person. You’ve gotten so far. Never break up over one thing. There are ways to manage ONE irreconcilable difference. Change perspective, move to a different place, find another job, spend less. If you cannot make the problem go away, see if you can make it less important.
10. And finally, here’s a bit of wisdom from Zig Ziglar: “If you marry the right person, and treat that person wrong, you certainly will have ended up marrying the wrong person. However, if you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could well end up having married the right person after all. In short, it is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person”.
We’d love to hear from you! How did you know that your beloved was the ONE?