I was speaking with someone not too long ago who asked me “How do you know, really know, if the person you are dating is the “right” one for you? That is a very good question. However, I am not sure they liked my initial answer. The quick answer is you don’t “know”. There is no one secret formula for knowing for a fact if someone is the “right” one for you. That being said there are ways to increase the odds that the two of you are a match for life.
First and foremost, take a good look at yourself. Ask a few questions like “Do I love “me”…do I respect myself and my time…could I live without him or her or better yet, do I “need” him/her or do I chose that person”?
To the question of respect, the reality is people…any person, will only come to respect you as far as you respect yourself. Without self respect, respect of your time, energy, choices, you leave yourself open for be taken for granted. Even worse you leave yourself open to be taken advantage of.
To the question about living with or without a person, the question of “need”; well, Scott Peck said it best when he said “It is better to need someone because you love them than it is to love them because you need them” (The Road Less Traveled, 1978). A “need” based love will only carry you so far.
To the first question, love of self; how do you share your love? My Christian faith is part of what informs my work. According to this faith the greatest commandment second only to “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt.22:38). This makes perfect since to me as how do we share a love we have yet to come to know?
Next look at how that person is with others. First do you understand what it takes to be intimate and close to another person? Do you know/understand what it means to experience that oneness we often feel we could only read about?
Next ask yourself important questions like does he/she have integrity and are of good character? Does this person “need” you in their life? There is much danger in picking a life partner who “needs” you. Imagine where you will be when there is no longer a need. Scott Peck in the Road Less Traveled said it best when he said “It is better to need someone because you love them than to love them because you need them”.
Are you “in love” or have you chosen to love? Ask yourself what it is about the person you love. If most of your answers are about how the person makes you feel, you must look closer for this suggest you are “in love” and have not yet chosen to love. On the other hand, if you come back with answers about that person which is outside of how they make you feel, you may be on a good path. Scott Peck Suggest:
“…the experience of falling in love is invariably temporary. No matter whom we fall in love with, we sooner or later fall out of love if the relationship continues long enough. This is not to say that we invariably cease loving the person with whom we fell in love…the feeling of ecstatic lovingness that characterizes the experience of falling in love always passes. The honeymoon always ends…Falling in love is not an act of will. It is not a conscious choice”
This may sound glum, and hopeless. Yet it is quit to the contrary. Think about it, some one chooses you (or you chose them) not based on what they need from you, but on who you are as a person. When a person choose you they have so much more to offer you as their need does not get in the way of growth for each of you. I have been known to saw one of the scariest things I ever did was to marry my wife. This usual brings a chuckle, yet it is true…Julie did not (does not) need me. She simply chose me and all that brings, good, bad, and indifferent. What an honor to be chosen.
Next time how well do you know him/her?
Have a wonderful week!