Although times have changed, and women aren't exactly looking for a knight in shining armor, many of us grew up with the hope that there was one man out there that was just for us, and we were just waiting for that moment when he'd walk in the door, the earth would shift on its axis, and we'd know. And it's hard to let go of this romantic notion, because you want it to be true. You know who I'm talking about: the One. Yup, the "S" word.
The Myth of the Soulmate?
Plato, that dashing Greek philospher, wrote about love and the idea of soul-mates in his brilliant work Symposium. There's also the notion of beshert (our destiny) in Judaism, or the idea of reincarnation and the reunion of soul mates in many Eastern religions. Unarguably, the notion of one perfect and destined partner out there for us, has been compelling.
The hard part of the soul mate thing is that since none of us bring perfection to the table, that we're bound to eventually disappoint each other if we're expecting our soul mate to to be able to offer us this perfect relationship.
So maybe it's more helpful to think about searching for an awesome fit; someone we choose to take the huge risk of opening our hearts with, sharing our life with.
Are You Driven by Practicality or Passion?
Some women are pragmatists. They'll tell you that they're looking for a man who they are at least moderately attracted to, but the pragmatist is primarily looking for a guy who is trustworthy, steady, and reliable. For these women, passion takes a backseat, if the other qualities are present.
The question here is if this minimal to moderate attraction can grow to sustain your interest, and if you will be satisfied and stimulated by your man.
Other women are driven by passion. They will only be satisfied with a man who they have knock-you-over-with-a-feather type of chemistry with.
Sometimes it's hard to tell if this man will also have enough of the other qualities to make a great partner.. you know.. intelligence, reliability, well rounded-ness, and trustworthiness, over the long haul.
Questions to ask yourself when deciding if the fella you're steadily seeing is really The One:
- Do you feel excited at the thought of your guy meeting your friends? Your family? Your co-workers?
If you have some hesitation over this, or if you feel that you need to explain or make excuses about him before introducing him to the people you are closest to, he's probably not the right one for you.
- Do you believe in him?
Can you whole-heartedly support this man's hopes and dreams without inwardly rolling your eyes, or talking trash to your girlfriends about him?
- Does this man bring out your best, highest self?
Does your guy encourage you, offer you support, and tend to come from a place of respect rather than a place of distrust and judgement? The lower self can be critical, sharp tongued, and selfish. The higher self is able to focus on being positive, respectful, giving the benefit of the doubt.
- Can you guys talk to each other?
Really talk. And really listen. Can you tell him how you feel about practically anything, and have him really listen to you? Yes, guys tend to want to fix things after listening, but this is different. If you spend more time arguing about who's right and who's wrong than you do trying to understand each other, this is a sign that he's probably not the One.
- Do you have things in common and shared interests?
Do you genuinely like doing at least one thing together, in addition to your own separate activities?
Think: jogging, dancing, going to live music/theater/sports events, home renovation, gardening, writing, traveling, cooking, etc.
You don't need to be joined at the hip, but this is the kind of thing that brings a couple together and enriches your relationship. If you're always resenting each other's interests, this can chip away at your couple-dom.
- Does he make you laugh?
This one can't be underestimated. Life is what happens when you're busy making plans. So, if you aren't with someone who has the ability to laugh at the absurdities of the world, at themselves, and WITH you, then he might not really be the One.
- How's the drama factor?
If your partner's life is frequently fraught with high drama (conflict with co-workers, friends, or family, or there is always a crisis brewing (financial, employment loss/instability) or he allows the ex-wife or ex-girlfriend to continue to kick up drama, this might not be the relationship fit for you. High drama=bad. Low drama=managing your life's challenges in a mature way.
Last but not least, consider if:
- you'd rather be with this man more than any other adult being
- have difficulty imagining boredom when you are together
- you feel your heart race a little when you see a text, email, or his name flash on your phone
- you have confidence that you can work through any challenges that arise in a respectful way
- you feel like you need to kiss this man, look into his eyes, and grow old together
Interested in some of the ways a guy knows if YOU are the right one? Check this piece out.