Today’s topic is “Finding The One”. I wish this post was around when I was dating, it would have saved me a lot of stress! 😉
I hope that this post helps you resolve doubts and know if you’re relationship is on the right track. But most importantly, I hope it helps you make dating and relationship decisions you feel peaceful about!
1- How do I know if I’m settling or being too picky?
It’s important to have expectations! But having too rigid of expectations can get you into trouble. Don’t end it because they don’t check every box. Really, think about it, do YOU check every box?
Here are some realistic and unrealistic expectations that will help you in finding the one. You can gauge whether your expectations are too rigid or too flexible.
- I will feel physically, emotionally, and intellectually attracted to them
- We will love spending time together, but support each other’s family relationships and friendships
- We will have a strong friendship
- We will be honest and communicate openly
- We will have disagreements and arguments, but we will commit to work through them
- My family may or may not like them. I will listen to their concerns, but ultimately, I decide if they’re who I want to spend the rest of my life with
- We will be respectful and loving towards each other
- We will love each other’s true selves while also committing to help each other improve
- We will share core values
- They will not have any of my deal-breakers
Everyone wants the perfect partner, but few people want to be the perfect partner.
After reading this list of realistic expectations, I suggest making a personal list for finding “the one” and ask yourself, “What can I do to work on these qualities in myself?”
- They will look like XYZ, make X amount of money, and have a degree in X
- They will drop everything for me, spend all their time with me, etc.
- I’ll never stop feeling butterflies around them
- They will always know what I want without me having to ask for it
- We will agree on everything
- We will never fight and always be happy when we’re together
- My family will adore them as much as I do
- I will not have to compromise; they will be the one to apologize first
- They will always know what to say and do
- They will love my family as much as I love my family
- I will not have any doubts
- They will become a better person/be nicer to me once we get married
This list is not all-inclusive. If you would add anything to either list, let me know in the comments!
2- How do I know if I’m jumping in too fast or taking it too slow?
Research shows that the happiest, most successful married couples date for an average of 18-24 months before getting married, but there are ALWAYS exceptions, you are not a statistic!
There is no perfect formula. What this research really tells us is that couples who get to know each other deeply before committing to marriage are more successful than those who don’t take the time to do so.
It also tells us that couples who continue to put off marriage or wait until it’s convenient are generally less successful than couples who prioritize and invest in their committed life together.
If you feel like you’re taking it too slow:
Think about what might be going on below the surface (fears, insecurities) that influence you to put commitment or marriage off, or keep you in an on again off again relationship.
If you’re worried about jumping in too fast:
That’s totally normal! You’re dating based on consideration rather than impulse. Doubts are a healthy sign of maturity, but so is commitment.
Think about why you’re rushing.
Do you think marriage will fix your problems or make your baggage and insecurities go away? (Btw, it won’t). Are you rushing in fear that they will lose interest, or because you feel pressure from others?
If you’re still in that stage where you think you’ll never fight, it’s too early. Marriage is not conflict free. You should know how your partner acts when they’re upset, sad, angry, or disagrees with you.
The questions in Answer #3 might help you learn more about each other’s communication and conflict management styles.
If you love being together, know each other deeply, have discussed important topics (like in Answer #3) and worked through differences together, and are still both committed to committing to each other, then you’re probably not rushing. Just because the time frame is shorter than what you’ve been told is “normal”, doesn’t mean you’re not ready!
It’s good to have some things figured out, but you don’t need a 20-year plan and every life experience under your belt before you commit.
3- What questions should my partner and I talk about to make sure we’re a good fit?
Finding the one takes a lot of talking! When deciding whether or not to commit, really get to know each other.
If you’re serious about your relationship, virtually no topic should be off limits! Talk about everything. Seriously, everything!
This does not need to happen in one conversation. Ideally, you should discuss these things on a regular basis, over time.
Many couples don’t discuss their “deal breakers” (like having kids) before marriage and struggle with it for the rest of time. Make sure you’re on the same page about those deal breaking topics before getting married.
P.S. If having/not having kids isn’t a deal breaker for you, no problem! Just make sure your partner feels the same.
Here’s a list of questions to help you open up a dialogue about crucial topics and make sure you share core values.
This list is not all inclusive! Ask/tell your partner anything else that’s significant to you.
- How often do you want to have sex?
- Do you have any concerns about intimacy in marriage?
- What other expectations do you have about a sexual relationship?
- How will we manage our money?
- Will we share a bank account?
- Do you have debt?
- How much transparency and communication do you want to have when managing finances?
- Will we make all spending and budgeting decisions together?
- What do you value spending money on?
- What rules would you want to establish for our marriage?
- What boundaries do you want to set for our relationship?
- Is there anything that would be a deal breaker for you?
- Do you want to have children?
- If so, how will we raise them?
- How were you raised?
- What did you appreciate about your parents’ parenting styles and what would you do differently?
- How will we divide household duties?
- What are your expectations for our roles as a partnership?
- What are our life plans and how might that affect our roles and responsibilities over the years?
Other Helpful Questions
- How did your family resolve conflict and how do you want to resolve conflict in our marriage?
- What are your career plans?
- What are your religious/spiritual beliefs and how much influence does it have in your life?
- What are your life goals?
- What was your childhood like?
- Have you ever experienced any trauma in your life? How has that affected you?
- Do you have any hang ups about committing to a more serious relationship?
- What are your relationships with your family members like?
Sabe and I still talk about these things. They can change over time, and you really can never know enough about each other.
4- How do I know I’m in a healthy relationship?
Signs of a Healthy Relationship
- We challenge each other to be better and call out each other’s toxic behaviors
- We support and encourage each other
- We allow each other to grow and don’t keep each other in a box
- We feel safe and secure around each other
- We take responsibility for our actions
- We clearly communicate our needs and strive to meet each other’s needs
- We celebrate each other’s successes
- We trust each other
- We clearly communicate our boundaries and honor them
Signs of an Unhealthy/Toxic Relationship:
- I feel like I to have to betray myself to meet their needs and receive love
- I feel like I’m walking on eggshells around them
- I/They need constant validation
- I/They try to control them/me
- We try to one-up each other and get jealous easily
- They talk about our relationship problems or negatively about me to others behind my back
- They put me down in front of others
- We have no clear boundaries
Read “5 Habits of Happy Couples” for more info on healthy relationship advice!
If you noticed unhealthy signs in your relationship, that’s not reason to end things. No one is perfect, we ALL do and say toxic things sometimes.
It’s more important to pay attention to patterns.
If you’ve addressed toxic behaviors in your relationship multiple times, but your partner continues to dismiss your concerns and has no intention of improving, that’s a better indicator to end things.
5- Why do I fall for people I know aren’t good for me?
The age old question!
One theory is that we attract the love we think we deserve. We make choices that serve our underlying insecurities and fears.
If you seek relationships with someone you know you don’t want to commit to, you may be afraid of commitment. You use your unsuccessful relationships (that you sought out) as an excuse not to commit.
You are drawn to narcissistic people who act like they are cooler than everyone, including you. You have low-self esteem and think that a relationship with them will make you cooler. OR, you want them to be your “savior”.
You have a hero complex and want to “fix” everyone. You are drawn to the brooding, “broken” type and love the feeling of being the only person they let in.
Think about the “bad guys/girls” you’re attracted to, and consider what underlying insecurities or fears draw you to them.
These examples sounds pretty messed up, but they’re common. I’ve gotten into the wrong relationships for similar reasons.
Toxic people manipulate vulnerable people into falling in love and staying with them.
If you know what a healthy relationship looks like and believe you deserve it, you will stop falling into this trap. Love yourself the way you want to be loved.
Read “4 Reasons Why Self-Love is Essential in a Healthy Relationship” and “How to Overcome Insecurities in a Relationship” to learn more about self-love in relationships!
One More Thing
All things considered, it’s much more important to focus on creating a beautiful relationship than finding “the one”.
Too much focus on finding the one can actually distract you from finding the right person. When you worry about if they’re majoring in something on your checklist, you forget about whether or not you made a meaningful connection with them.