How do I Know He/She is the One?

If you don't want anyone else, and haven't for at least six months to a year, then you should have gone through enough ups and downs and ins and outs by then to show that you can work well together. You can't just have seen each other on weekends - those are "vacation relationships" where you're always having fun together. You need to really have seen each other when you're happy, when you're sad, when you want to be together and when you DON'T want to be. Marriage isn't a 'when it's convenient' thing. It's a "stay with you ALWAYS" thing.

You and your partner need to both be best friends for each other. You should be able to talk about anything, share how you feel, disagree without fighting. If you are yelling at each other sometimes, or if there are topics you completely avoid, then something is wrong. You need to be able to share anything, because believe me, life is rarely smooth. There WILL be bumps - some serious - in the future. It's only through talking and joint work that you can get through them.

Some people obsess over being happy together forever. First, no human is always happy. But they learn to find happiness even in rough situations. Your life-long happiness in some ways that has little to do with what you are both *right now*. People change incredibly over the years. Even if you both are perfectly happy right now because say you both scuba dive together all the time, what happens in 10 years when you don't scuba dive any more? If that was what made you happy and the ONLY thing, then the relationship will fall apart. That's what happens to many people, they base their relationship on some "thing" - great sex, a love of baseball - and when that "thing" goes away, they don't have anything else.

So again the key is to stay *best friends* in your relationship. If you're always best friends, then no matter how you change over the years (and you WILL change), you'll keep that friendship. If he learns a new hobby, you'll learn it too. If you want to travel more, she'll travel with you. You have to keep working at it, constantly, to always grow together. If you just sort of 'drift' and assume the relationship will somehow take care of itself, you'll grow apart.

So that's the key. If you are committed to working *every day* to keep the relationship happy, and if your partner is also committed, then it will work. If you both are always open and honest with each other and trust each other and talk together, you can work through anything.

Quiz: Is This Really Love?

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