By Ruthie Dean for churchleaders.com
How do you know if the guy you’re dating is “the One”? Will you “just know”?
The scary part about marriage is most people make this decision of gargantuan proportion in love, which by definition means your mind is hazy from all the 3 a.m. make outs and the sheer thrill of thinking no one has ever loved like this before.
Dating Michael for me meant my journal entries were frequent and swirly, with emotional statements in all caps like “MICHAEL DEAN IS THE GREATEST … AND HE LOVES ME!” I will tell you that I knew he was “the One” the first month we started talking; he knew I was “the One” after he saw me perform a Taylor Swift song with some kids I was babysitting. Long story.
But how do you know? How do you know if the man you are dating is the person you should spend the rest of your life waking up next to?
We’ll talk more about this in Real Men Don’t Text (which is now just $7 at Amazon and Barnes and Noble), but it isn’t necessarily true that you’ll just know when you meet him. The ability to discern if your guy is right for you depends on who you’ve dated in the past and whether or not you know what a good relationship looks like.
For example, if you’ve only dated players or even mediocre guys in the past and suddenly you decide your boyfriend is “the One,” I would caution you to take a step back and really evaluate. Sure, he may be better than all the other guys you’ve ever dated … but you don’t marry better, you marry BEST. Amen from the married ladies?
Let’s look at a few characteristics of “the One”:
1. Your friends and family agree.
Most of them, at least. If most of your friends and family think your guy brings out the best in you and will be a great person to start a life with, that is a very good sign you might have found “the One.”
You’ll want to be careful here with extremes. If everyone in your life has raised concern—parents, friends and most people who know you well—I promise they are not trying to bully you; only to care for you because they can often see red flags that you can’t. But it’s unreasonable to think that everyone will agree with your decision, so don’t worry if just a handful of people don’t like his taste in music or his career.
Is he trustworthy? Kind? Forgiving?
Character makes marriages stand the test of time. Character is who he is when no one is looking.
Does he do what is right or what is easy? Men of high character bring out the best in you. Are you a better version of yourself since meeting him? Will the two of you be better together rather than apart? These are all great questions to consider in making this choice.
3. You don’t want to change him.
Do you love him just the way he is? Does he love you for you? If you have major changes you’re hoping happen in his life, he’s not “the One.”
You can’t marry someone hoping they’ll change; just like he shouldn’t marry you hoping you’ll wake up one day and be a different person. Major changes sound like, “I really hope he stops drinking”; “I’m praying for him to believe in God”; “I’m hoping he’ll open up to the idea of children.”
You love being with him. You have fun together. If you couldn’t make out with him, would you just enjoy being around him? Are you friends?
The rich companionship in marriage is my favorite part. I’m telling you, Michael Dean makes me laugh more than anyone I know, and I have more fun with him than I could’ve imagined.
5. He is a servant leader.
Lately, I’ve heard horror stories of “Christian men” berating their wives and running their households like a dictatorship.
Jesus demonstrated for men the way husbands should love their wives—leading by serving. Michael is an incredible example of this style of leadership, and he never demands that I “submit to his authority.”
Can you trust him to lead your family? Or will you have to do all the heavy lifting?
6. You are on the same life path.
Do you want the same things from life? Is his idea of success converting a Muslim country and yours is living down the street from your parents and traveling to the Caribbean every year? Does he want to live in a shoebox apartment in New York, but you can’t stand the city and long for a quiet house on acres of land? Talk about the future now and seriously consider if compromise is possible or if you need to move on. It may not seem like a big deal now, but it will become one.
7. You have a voice in your relationship.
Does he make you feel special? Do your opinions matter, or is it all about him?
You will suffer in the long run if you have to put your dreams and goals on the back burner because he doesn’t see them as valuable.
Chivalry doesn’t mean you’re not a feminist and it isn’t degrading.
Does he care for you and keep you safe? Treat you with respect? Do you feel special when you’re with him? Would he get in a fight on your behalf?
Passivity is eating away at many men, and you want to marry a man who rejects the urge to sit back
Ruthie Dean is a book marketer at Harper Collins Christian by day and a dreamer and writer by night. She and her mustache-enthusiast husband call Nashville home. Their relationship book, Real Men Don’t Text is in bookstores.
For more on Ruthie Dean: ruthiedean.com
Originally posted at churchleaders.com
8 Ways To Know He is the ONE