Recently, I reread an old blog post (dated 24 June 2005) on the topic of on finding “the one”. It brought back good memories of those days when I was newly in love and feeling so excited that I finally found “the one”. Thankfully, after 15 years he remains “the one” albeit older.
With the benefit of a hindsight and the fact that I am now a specialist in romantic relationship, I like to tackle this topic once again, examining the criteria that I had used then. Let’s look at the criteria that I had used in determining that my now husband of 11 years is “the one”
1. Free to be myself.
Right from the first meeting that we had, I felt comfortable being myself as we interacted. The conversation was easy, and I could sense that he was being authentic as well. As trust builds between us, we continue to reveal our true self, good and bad, to each other. When you feel that you are not free to be who you are in the relationship, this is a warning sign that he/she is not “the one”.
2. The relationship is life-giving.
In the past 15 years, we have grown as individuals and as a couple. While there are fundamental differences between us and conflict resulting from them, we know that we are good for each other. This motivates us to work harder to communicate and understand each other. Growth is a key ingredient. The relationship gives me a sense of purpose to keep striving and be a better version of myself.
3. Trust and reliability
Quoting from my earlier post –“I know that I’m his priority not just because he tells me that often but his actions show it. I can honestly say that I can wrap my life and put it inside a box and give the box to him to manage”. Trust is one of the foundations of relationship. There is no perfect relationship so there are times when the trust is violated. What’s more important is the effort in building that trust again when injury happens.
4. We against the world
“Can this person go through hardship with me?” is a valid question that we should ask. It takes two hands to clap in the relationship and while it is hardly equal, both must be willing to go through challenges in life together. When I got to know my husband, I already had a rare disease. He made the decision to stick by me when he could have given up; and that says so much of the person that he is. To have a resilient relationship, the individuals in that partnership must be willing to face challenges with courage and determination.
5. Commitment to each other
When we found each other, we were ready for long-term commitment and couldn’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together. You know you’ve found the one when you stop thinking if there was someone “better” out there. To have a lasting relationship, it is critical to choose and invest in the relationship daily and not take it for granted.
6. Shared dreams
“Two is better than one” was a
phrase I heard at a wedding many years ago. This is another factor to consider. Dreams drive us to strive hard, something that we live for. I believe that when a couple decides to get married,
there is always a dream that they share. The shared dream that my husband and I had were to experience life together, be supportive of each other’s dreams and raise a happy family together. There
is much room for each of us to pursue our mission in life and be willing to make certain sacrifices to support the other.
What I didn’t know that I do today about finding “the one” is that there is no perfect relationship; only good enough relationship. Also, I cannot count on my relationship to give me happiness because that is not the point the point of a marriage. Falling in love is easy; staying and making that commitment to love even when it’s difficult is another story. A lasting relationship is one where both partners put in the effort to understand self, stay connected and practice kindness, generosity and forgiveness.