Ah, the age-old question that has confounded mankind since the beginning of time. I bet even Adam and Eve wondered about this one, although, of course their options were quite limited!
When I announced in my church youth group that I was going to get married, the first question was: is it love or arranged?
Here in India, many marriages are still arranged by parents, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, provided the couple know each other well beforehand. Now that’s the subject line for another blog post!
I told everyone that, it was indeed a love marriage as they all suspected. There was much oohing and aahing, much to my embarrassment. Then, one of my friends in the group asked me the question:
“How do you know he’s the right one?”
I was baffled. I didn’t know what to say.
How do you quantify a gut feeling?
Did I really have reasons for having chosen this man to be my husband?
If we were to go about examining this problem closely, the answer is both very simple and very hard. The simple answer would be, the “right” person, would be the one who has the qualities that you are looking for in a partner or spouse. The hard answer would be, you never really know, and there isn’t really a perfectly “right” person for you out there.
However, having said that, there are definitely some basic boxes that need to be ticked.
1.RESPECT FOR YOU:
Do they treat you with respect and love?
How do they behave when you fight?
Do they say unforgivably hurtful things or God forbid, even raise a hand against you?
Now I’m one who believes that a relationship without conflict, is a relationship where there is no communication. No talking = no differences of opinion = no conflict. That’s nothing to be really proud of. However, the way you handle yourself when you are at your worst is what really dictates your character. That’s what you need to look for when you are making a decision. Fighting fairly is important, even professional boxing doesn’t allow blows below the belt.
2. RESPECT FOR OTHERS:
A friend once told me, if you want to know what a person is really like, look at how they treat those below them. How do they talk to their driver, their maid, their gardener, the waiter, their juniors at work? Are you comfortable with the way they behave? Because when things get ugly, that’s how they will talk to or treat you.
3. BAD HABITS:
Do they have bad habits or addictions that they cannot kick? Now, I’m not talking about the occasional drink or smoke here (unless that’s a deal breaker for you).
Does this person have something in their life that is consuming them completely? It could be alcohol, drug addiction, gambling, pornography or excessive spending among other things. Now, an addict, will hardly ever admit that they have a problem. You have to be watchful and identify whether they can control their habit, or if it is controlling them.
You may think that things will change, or your “love” will change them. This is what people in abusive relationships think too. It’s just this once. Then, one day you realise it is the twentieth time, and still, nothing is different. Months or years down the line, you will end up heartbroken, wondering why you invested all this time trying to fix something that can be fixed only by the person who created the mess in the first place.
4. THE FUTURE:
What does this person want in the future?
What do they want from life?
Does he want to concentrate solely on his career for the next five years while you want to settle down and have kids?
Does she have to travel often for work, while you hate a long distance relationship?
Does he want to live with his parents while you long for a home of your own?
Talk to each other about what you both want. If there are major life decisions for which you cannot reach a common ground, then you both know things will be tough moving forward.
This is a simple one. Do they make time for you? How easy is it to get a hold of them when you need them or even when you don’t? Do you have to take an appointment and wait in line to talk to them?
I do understand that we all lead very busy lives. When you’re at work or in college, nothing else is on your mind. But we all have 24 hours in a day. Out of that you can definitely spare five or ten minutes everyday for their loved one? Now, I have an infant who is constantly demanding my attention, but I make it a point to at least contact people by messaging if I can’t call or talk on the phone.
Unless it is an extreme circumstance, you really have to examine where the priorities of your partner lie if you aren’t at the top of their list to contact during the day. Having said that, please don’t be a high maintenance partner who expects your significant other to drop absolutely everything to attend to you, every time. Set feasible goals for time to be spent together.
There maybe many more things in your list for the right partner which only you know.
My two cents worth is, don’t be blinded by good looks, money or position.
Looks fade with time, that’s a fact. Hell, the dark circles under my eyes from all the baby induced sleep deprivation makes me look like a tired panda. I’m definitely not the glowing bride I was 4 years ago.
Money is a touch and go thing. One day you may have a lot of it, the next day you may not. It really shouldn’t be a factor to choose a partner. But obviously, be practical, make sure you have enough to live and then some.
Position and career are also equally fragile things. He maybe the CEO one day, the next, he maybe at home without a job. Be prepared for all eventualities, and be there to support your partner not only through the good times, but also the bad. Most importantly, be sure that your partner would do the same for you!
Personally, my answer to the question of :
How did you know he’s the right one?
He persisted with our relationship and persevered. When the going got tough, he stuck with it and never gave up. He wasn’t a man of mere words, he didn’t create sand castles in the air. He was a man of action, and made things happen. He is humble and treats people with respect. He is righteous, upright, loyal, honest and just.
He is the one person in the world who doesn’t just ask how the baby is doing, but asks how I’m doing!
That was enough for me. It still is. It always will be.
Good luck to all of you in search of a partner in life. It isn’t always easy to know, but once you choose, give it all you’ve got and demand the same in return.
We all deserve love, not just when it’s convenient, but constantly, and in abundance!