How can you know the person you are dating is THE ONE?
Recently, a friend of mine told me she bought a popular magazine targeting younger women that had the headline "Is He Really The One?" She said it was the reason she bought the magazine, rather than the flashy article they had on a new sex position or the article on how to impress him over Thanksgiving.
Of course, being curious about how this particular magazine might have answered the question "Is He Really The One?", I asked her what it said.
If I remember correctly, the article went into some detail about separating darks from whites (laundry) together, something about cooking together, having incredible feelings when you kiss, and then closed with a comment that he'll hold your hair back when you get sick. Hmm... really?
I think human decency requires us to look after someone who is sick -- but is holding hair back when someone vomits, doing laundry, and enjoying cooking together REALLY signs we found "the one?"
I've had several long-term relationships where we totally enjoyed cooking together, doing laundry together, traveling on trips together and spending countless hours doing whatever we'd dream up that day for fun. We also talked shop together about our careers together, too. Yet, I'm not with any of those people today. And I've seen many other people get divorced who had all that stuff going on. So, what gives?
The difference here is the difference between EGO and SPIRIT. Our EGO looks at the hot company the guy runs or his stock options that just vested or his flashy car or nice muscles. Our EGO looks at her great body and how all the other guys say how hot she is. But our SPIRIT looks for something else.
Our SPIRIT (higher-self) often doesn't pick the person we fall in love with. Although we frequently see people fall in love at first sight in a movie or on television, the actual reality of those relationships being the ones that last are pretty rare.
How can you tell a Soul mate from an Ego mate?
1. Do you show each other equal levels of respect? If either of you are putting the other on an unrealistic level it is likely that the relationship may eventually topple from its foundation. Also, with unequal respect, love will not be balanced, either.
2. Do you have similar or at least compatible goals? When my ex-wife and I divorced I knew it was because we had incompatible goals. Once we had graduated from college we were on paths that split wide and far apart. It wasn't that she didn't love me, because she did. She had a goal to create a nice little two-kid family and live to see her kids graduate and get married. I, on the other hand, had other aspirations that didn't include kids for quite some time. Compatible dreams, vision, and goals are the most important things to look for in relationships, because they are the root of issues that could eventually derail the relationship train if they are incompatible. See the article on The Purpose Question for more help with compatible life paths.
3. Are you comfortable with each other? In a book I read a few years ago called Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, by Mira Kirshenbaum, many of the questions the author asks about a suspect relationship are questions about whether you like the other person's looks, smell, taste, etc. The idea being that if your partner grosses you out you're headed for trouble. This is also a bit of an Ego play, though, so I think it is important to pay attention to where those feelings are coming from.
4. Are your spiritual beliefs compatible? How do you answer spiritual questions? Do you believe in God? What is God to you? Do you believe in prayer? How often? What do you think of Heaven or Hell or other spiritual concepts of eternity? Do you believe we have freedom of choice or is our life pre-determined? To what extent? How do you feel about spirits or angels? These are all questions that can help you determine your spiritual beliefs. Notice: I did not say RELIGIOUS beliefs. Many people make a happy couple even though they have two separate religions. Yes, this may present challenges when you decide which religion to raise children in (many decide both, letting the child decide), but religion is not a true barometer of relationship success or failure. Spiritual beliefs, on the other hand, are highly important.
5. Are you infatuated or do you have your feet on the ground with your lover? If you think they are practically perfect you may be overlooking things due to feelings of infatuation. The biggest challenge I encounter is that when I am infatuated, I am often blind to that type of logic and won't hear anything of it. Sometimes infatuation has to run its course as we need to learn certain lessons. However, if we can avoid the lesson and save both people in the relationship from getting a broken heart, then all the better, right?
6. Do people you know think you're a good couple? Ok, sounds stupid, but I've seen people whose potential mother-in-law couldn't stand them (or even speak to them). Does that sound like a supportive environment? Our support system needs to be supportive of a relationship. That is why we have our support people (family, friends) attend weddings in the first place: to be witnesses and agree to support the marriage in good times and not-so-good times.
7. Do you feel safe, empowered, and valued by your partner? If you cannot fairly answer "yes" to being safe, empowered and valued, you're likely missing a key element. I learned this from Jessica Haynes, Aspiration Advocate, (see Jessica's article on AspireNow called What Brings Happiness) and check out the AspireNow Advisor for more information about safety, value, and empowerment.
8. If your lover has lots of side Ego-perks, such as a kick-butt job, a hot car, high-brow social status, or a model's body, how would you feel if the particular "perk" went away? If they gained weight, would it matter? If the stock market crashed (see: Demise of the Dot-Bombs) and those dot-com options they hold which were worth millions suddenly are now worth less than toilet paper, would you still love your partner?
9. How do you get along with their friends? Again, this is a support system issue. If you think their friends are pigs, jerks, sleazes, or users, it is highly unlikely you're going to fit into their scene.
10.Does your partner assume responsibility for previous relationship failures (learning experiences)? If they don't, they're going to learn again with you. Blame and resentment are not fun to hold onto. If one or both partners has not yet learned to forgive past grievances (see Letting Go Of The Past, Forgiveness, and Surrender) they may create some new grievances with you. If you hear blame and resentment in descriptions of past loves, you're highly likely headed for pain in your new relationship.
11. What does your internal spirit guide, your higher self, say about the match? When you get quiet and meditate about them, how do you feel?
12. Last, is the timing right? If they're in a relationship now, this may not be the best timing. Have they healed from past relationships? Are they able to love their own self, first? These things are important to resolve PRIOR to getting into a new relationship, otherwise, you may be resolving them together, which can be quite a bit more difficult than on our own. Timing is key to when we meet, in terms of developing all the other characteristics we've discussed.