How Do You Know When She’s the One?

by Brett & Kate McKay on May 8, 2008 · 163 comments

in Dating, Marriage, Relationships & Family

When we wrote 14 Ways to Affair Proof Your Marriage, several people rightly pointed out that the best way to obtain a happy and faithful marriage is to marry the right person. But how do you know when you’ve found the right woman to settle down with?

When it is comes to getting hitched, guys get cold feet for two reasons. Some guys are uber-picky.

They have a list in their minds of their perfect wife characteristics: hot but not slutty, smart but not nerdy, skinny but a good cook, etc. Unfortunately, no real woman can live up to the fantasy, and these guys stay perpetually single. The second type of guy looks at others’ failed marriages, particularly his own parents, and won’t get married because of the fear of choosing the wrong woman.

The truth is that knowing you’ve found the right woman to marry is not rocket science. The decision to marry my wife was the easiest decision I’ve ever made in my life. Here are five guidelines that guided me on deciding my wife was the one for me:

1. The relationship goes smoothly from the beginning. The best relationships I have seen, including my own, happened completely naturally from start to finish. The couple meets, they get along swimmingly, they start dating, and then they get married. My wife and I never had a single dreaded “DTR” (Define the Relationship) during our courtship. Everything about our relationship felt like the most natural thing in the world. We never broke up and got back together. Or even considered doing so. In contrast, many couples break up and get back together numerous times. They fight and then make up and then fight again. I’m not saying that men in such volatile relationships should not get hitched. But the volatility will inevitably continue into the marriage. Whether that volatility is acceptable is up to each individual man and their sense of the strength of that relationship.

2. She gets along well with your family and friends. Now there may be exceptions to this rule: your girlfriend and one of your friends or family members may simply have clashing personality traits. But in general, it is a red flag if your girlfriend does not mix well with your loved ones. Think about it-your family raised you and made you who you are, and you picked your friends based on your common interests and values. If she doesn’t like them and they don’t like her, then it may mean you are not seeing something important about your girlfriend that they see. When you are in love, it often blurs your vision and judgment. Your loved ones have an outsider’s perspective on the relationship. This doesn’t mean you should break up with a woman just because your friends and family don’t like her. If you are sure of your relationship, be confident in moving forward with it. But it is wise to seek honest feedback from others.

3. There is nothing major you want to change about her. There will always be differences and conflicts in a relationship. But if there is something truly significant about your girlfriend that you wish she would change, then that is a red flag. In the initial stages of a relationship, when your brain is bathed with love chemicals, you may be willing to overlook the flaw or even find it strangely endearing. But after several years, when the love chemicals have ebbed, this flaw may begin to grate on your soul. Remember, people seldom change, and marriage won’t make her change either. If there’s something about your girlfriend that you know deep down you can’t live with, than it’s time to move on. You’re wasting both of your times.

4. She’s your best friend. Physical attraction and chemistry are obviously crucial to any relationship. But at the core of the relationship should be a strong and deeply rooted friendship. Forty years down the line you’re both going to be soft, wrinkly, and saddled with low libidos. What’s going to hold your marriage together when you are old and gray is your friendship. Therefore, if you feel like your girlfriend is your best friend in the world, there is a very good chance that she is the one for you. Do you want to spend all your time with her? Does she make any situation from going to a ballgame to doing your taxes more enjoyable? Do you feel like you could tell her anything and that she knows more about you than anyone in the world? Yes? Well then, she’s a keeper.

5. The thought of marrying her doesn’t scare you in the least. While the image of a man shaking in his boots and having second thoughts the night before his wedding makes for good TV and movie plots, the reality is that when you are marrying the “one,” you won’t be scared at all. Throughout the entire period of dating and being engaged, up until the night before my wedding, I never had a single second thought about my impending nuptials. The only thing I felt was happiness and excited anticipation. Like all of these tips, your mileage on this one may vary. I’m not saying that if you are nervous you shouldn’t get married. But if you go back and forth every week about whether you have made the right decision, you may want to do some serious soul searching.

At my wedding my father-in-law said, “Marriage is not about finding a person you can live with, it’s about finding the person you can’t live without.” When you find that woman, you can be sure she’s the one.

{ 159 comments… read them below or add one }

1 yoga May 9, 2008 at 4:02 am

14 Ways to Affair Proof Your Marriage <<<<

2 a husband May 9, 2008 at 4:20 am

I think something really important is knowing that there isn’t just “one” person out there. I don’t mean that to sound unromantic, but when you decide that you want this one to be “the one,” then from that moment on — every single day — you choose that one to be your one.

I don’t want to be too wordy, but marriage is a commitment, and having the thought of “did I marry the right one?” will only make you question that commitment.

3 A girl May 9, 2008 at 4:39 am

I agree with “a husband”. People get so caught up in finding “the one” that they forget that everything in life is a decision. Human nature can be fickle and changing – but what makes us go beyond our lower self and achieve our greater potential is by honoring our word and living by principle. The same applies to marriage. A marriage requires commitment, dedication, and work just like everything else in life.

4 Marly May 9, 2008 at 5:21 am

I am divorced and spent about 5 years fighting for 50% custody of my two daughters. After losing just about everything financially, I am finally back on track professionally and my kids are doing great.

However, I doubt I’ll marry ever again. If I do, my child support will go way up if I marry a woman who works out of the house, or I could be liable for major alimony if she doesn’t. I believe in marriage in the abstract, but many of the laws today in most states make marriage a trap for men, especially given the 50% divorce rate, and the very punitive, anti-male laws enforced in family court, a civil court where Constitutional protections do not apply.

Unless one wants children, why would any single man today want to get married?

5 TiSport May 9, 2008 at 6:42 am

nu inteleg …cred ca e interesant

6 Sam May 9, 2008 at 6:54 am

Another thing…listen to what your family and friends think about her. I think you should really be careful if everyone is telling you that she’s not a good choice, even if everything else seems to be going smoothly. A 3rd party point of view is very helpful…its like watching someone play chess. When you are outside of the game…you can can see bad and good moves that the person playing can’t see :)

7 fathersez May 9, 2008 at 8:01 am

I liked this article. Though I had some diagreements with my wife to be, in general I can say “YES” to all your suggestions.

I also added in “Can you trust her?” and “Will she make a good mother to our children, a good sister in law to my siblings, a good daughter in law to my parents and a good friend of my friends”….or something along those lines.

And we got married. Now 5 kids and 23 years later, I will marry her all over again.

To all those guys out there staying single, you are really missing out.

Cheers

8 Yoav May 9, 2008 at 8:05 am

#5 is not serious

What man isn’t a BIT scared of getting married?

9 Dave May 9, 2008 at 8:44 am

Some people want to get married because of their personal morals prohibit pre-marital sexual relationships. That would be one solid reason why a single man who didn’t want kids would get married.

10 Charlie May 9, 2008 at 10:31 am

DAVE-
Not wanting to have sex until after marriage is setting yourself up for potential sexual unhappiness. It is really best to find out if you are sexually compatible before the wedding.

11 Oogie Pringle May 9, 2008 at 11:06 am

#4 is the best way. My wife and I have known each other since we were 13. We did start dating until we were 17. Yes we had our ups and downs, as any couple at that age would, but in the end, we kept coming back to each other. We’ve now been married 27 years, and it’s still going string.

12 Anonymous May 9, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Not really… but that is something that two people can argue about all day long.

Having sex prior to marriage sets you up for potential sexual unhappiness. Think of it in terms of ice cream. If you try all the flavors and end up with something less than the best for the rest of your life, you are always wishing you had your favorite flavor. However, if you have only ever tried vanilla, vanilla is good ice cream and you enjoy it blissfully unaware of what you are missing out on!

As was stated previously, it is a moral decision that some people make to be chaste prior to marriage. If you really think sex before marriage is a wise decision, then I am not going to convince you otherwise… especially via little messages on a blog. You have got to make your own decisions.

13 Jetpacks May 9, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Add to this list: Does she get along with HER parents?

Very revealing if she doesn’t.

Also: Does she eat?

Eating disorders are rampant.

14 Anonymous May 9, 2008 at 1:18 pm

You are right on all counts. I was nervous before the wedding, but that is because neither I nor my wife likes being the center of the attention.

15 Brett McKay May 9, 2008 at 1:33 pm

I wasn’t. Just a little nervous.

16 Kate McKay May 9, 2008 at 1:38 pm

I agree with the idea of that marriage involves committing to the one you married. But I also believe in the idea of “the one,” the idea that there really is something akin to soulmates.

I do think that for every person there are many people in the world they could marry and have a happy and solid marriage. But I also think there are a few people, or maybe a single person out there who is your perfect soulmate.

17 Brett McKay May 9, 2008 at 1:41 pm

“Unless one wants children, why would any single man today want to get married?”

How about to have a constant companion and best friend, someone to share all the ups and downs of life with? Life is far more fun and fulfilling with someone by your side. There’s an expression I heard once, that said something to the effect of, “shared sorrow is half sorrow, shared joy is double joy.”

18 Corey May 9, 2008 at 2:15 pm

There is no way around the fact that marriage is work. But everything in life of value requires work. To simplify it even more, to make a marriage work only requires two people who choose to stay married. Marriage is not all the movies portray it to be, it has both good and bad. But going through this with someone else makes it all the better.

19 Cameron Schaefer May 9, 2008 at 2:18 pm

I think an important factor in knowing if she’s the one is whether or not you are proud to introduce her to your friends and family.

One of the best things about my wife was how I felt having people meet her when we were just dating and then engaged. I knew that she was incredible and would never embarrass me or make me feel awkward in front of those closest to me.

If you are scared to have your friends and family meet her, chances are, she’s not the one for you.

20 Anonymous May 9, 2008 at 3:25 pm

The choosing of the right person to be your wife is probably within the top 3 decisions of your life that will either build you or break you. The best thing one can do is to pray as early as possible in one´s life to have God bring you the right person He has for you. One thing that I would suggest is to look into your chosen one´s family to see if there is any family history of divorce. This brings an iniquity and mental traumas that are really difficult to work with. So if possible check that she comes from an stable family with good Christian principles in place.

Many blessings,

Art Gonzalez
Check my Squidoo Lens at: Quantum Knights

21 Adlyn May 9, 2008 at 3:36 pm

beautiful picture where did you find it!

22 Tim May 9, 2008 at 3:46 pm

i would add that for a great marriage – there should be no obvious difference between the pre and post marriage relationship.
My point being that the relationship should be great before the marriage. Getting married , having a wedding, etc will never fix a bad relationship.
Also – don’t get wrapped up in the wedding day and def don’t get into debt. Its one day and the marriage will last forever!

23 Brett McKay May 9, 2008 at 4:06 pm

I get most of the pics for this site on flickr.com.

24 Phil May 9, 2008 at 4:37 pm

brilliant article, I’ve come to expect great advice here by now, but this is probably the best I’ve seen.

I have a different problem which this article doesn’t adress: I found ‘the one’. She knows me better than I know myself and just to be near her makes me happier than logic dictates should ever be possible.
To me, she is perfect in every way, and what frankly terrifies me is that I mean that literally.
I’ve thought about almost nothing else for over a year now, and I am quite sure about how I feel. Simply put, there could never be anyone else for me. She told me she loves me too, and I believe her, but she’s in a long-term relationship which shows no sign of ending. No idea what, if anything, I can do.

Congratulations (and a fair bit of jealosy) to all who managed to end up with their soulmate.

Thanks to Brett and Kate for the consistent superb advice and to the commenters for some very interesting and well articulated debates.

25 bob May 9, 2008 at 4:40 pm

good point, but what about pre-marital sex with someone you intend to marry?

26 Kate McKay May 9, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Have you ever come right out and told her that you love her? What is keeping her with this other guy?

27 Roman May 9, 2008 at 6:01 pm

What a great post. It made me want to be into some sort of relationship again…too bad I only encounter bad experiences. I guess every single thing has a right timing for everybody, including right relationships with the right person.

28 Night Writer May 9, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Those are useful points to consider, Brett. I’m thinking, however, that there are certain questions a man ought to be asking (and able to answer) about himself to determine if HE is marriageable. Meeting Miss Right doesn’t guarantee much if you don’t have a clue (or a willingness to learn) about how to be Mr. Right.

So, what are those questions? I’ll get back to you on that – I feel a blogpost coming on!

29 Phil May 9, 2008 at 7:38 pm

Yes I have, we’ve both been quite open with each other about how we feel, which is great, and we spend a lot of time together.

I wish I knew what is keeping her with the other guy, it’s a question I’ve never had the courage to ask her. I’ve talked to him a bit and he’s nice enough, but nothing special. I do have a bit of a theory though:

four years ago, she went out with a guy who would sometimes joyride. Understandably, she didn’t like this so she asked him to stop. He did, and they had a fantastic relationship for two years until he left her for a very attractive blonde. Almost immediately, he realised his mistake and apolised to her, saying he wanted her back if she would have him.
She was hurt, but still wanted him back too. However, she didn’t want him to think that he could walk all over her so she said no, intending to let him think about his mistake for a couple of weeks and then take him back.
That night, obviously angry at himself, he stole a car and crashed. He was killed instantly.
She couldn’t blame him, so she blamed herself, hated herself and was admitted into hospital for severe self harm several times over the next few months.

Sorry for the tragic account, she’s a lot better now, and I think it is a testament to how incredibly emotionally strong she is that she can even still feel love after going through so much pain because she allowed herself to be vulnerable.

Perhaps she’s with her boyfriend because she isn’t all that close to him, maybe that’s the only sort of relationship she can let herself be in. At least like this, she can’t get hurt the way she was before.

If that’s the case, I can certainly sympathise with her. When I first realised I loved her, I fought it with all my strength, I hated myself for it. I don’t like feeling vulnerable and powerless, I don’t like having no control over how I feel.
With time, and a lot of thinking, I’ve come to appreciate that only by relinquishing control and accepting that some emotions are much stronger than I am can I experience the ridiculous happiness I feel whenever I even lay eyes on her, something I never could have even imagined before. I’m glad I love her, and maybe someday she’ll overcome her fears, I don’t know.

I’d also like to say thanks for your reply. It’s amazing that you actually care about the problems of a complete stranger, and it’s great for me to actually be able to get all this stuff of my chest.

30 Dan May 12, 2008 at 6:34 am

I wish there was more information on this topic available on the Internet. Great post!

31 Hayden Tompkins May 12, 2008 at 8:31 am

When I met my husband (10 years my senior) he absolutely did not believe in marriage. It was so well known that his girlfriend gave him a birthday cake with a groom-running-from-a-bride topper.

When I asked him about it later, he said that he absolutely couldn’t imagine his life without me, and that I brought out the man he always felt he could be.

Above all, he knew he had my absolute loyalty. I had warned him ahead of time that I wasn’t into ‘starter marriages’ or ‘test marriages’. That the only way he was getting out of our marriage was when you could pry my cold-dead hand off of it.

Apparently, he found that ROMANTIC. Who knew.

32 Proposals May 12, 2008 at 11:43 am

Loved the article, but more importantly it makes me realize the one I am with is ‘the one’ and I Love her all the more for it. Thanks for the reassurance!

PS. Great topic keep it up.

33 herr May 13, 2008 at 9:03 am

Great tips. Though I think there are still more factors. And I know, I have not met the one of my life yet!

34 Anon May 13, 2008 at 10:09 am

Totally disagree with the first criteria. While I think that “going smoothly from the beginning” is a positivite in any relationship, a rocky relationship at the beginning does not mean that you should throw in the towel. My wife and I broke up 10 or 15 times while dating. I think we had at least 20 “DTRs” It was really back and forth for the first several months and eventually we broke up for what I thought was for good. Quite a bit of time passed and I realized that I couldn’t live without her. We were married just a few months later and are very very happy. We don’t fight, have no major problems and I really can’t think of anything I’d change in our relationship. What I realize now was really our problem in the beginning was lack of commitment and agreement on the type of relationship we should be in (I wanted a little more freedom than she did). Our fights and consequent break-ups were never about lack of compatability.

35 Brett May 13, 2008 at 11:11 am

@Anon-There are definitely exceptions to every rule. I’m glad you’ve found happiness.

36 Justin May 14, 2008 at 10:05 am

I have to call B.S. on this list. My ex and I met all the criteria, yet our marriage went down in flames after 10 years. I’m not going to go into why it ended horribly and abruptly.

Perhaps a warning: people change, mostly for the better but occasionally (as in my case) they change for the worse. Do not compromise your morals to keep your marriage together, it only delays the inevitable. Be prepared to fight and fight hard when it gets to court.

37 Wee Wille May 14, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I forwarded this to all my dating friends – to encourage some to break up and others to get married. This list exactly matches my wife and me – we’ve been together 7 and married 5 and still ON FIRE!

38 quirkyalone May 15, 2008 at 5:37 am

Nice. This accurately describes my marriage and I agree with every point.

39 Alessandro May 15, 2008 at 5:45 am

I think the list is a fair one, although perhaps not universally applicable. Two things I might add are: (1) Listen to what friends and family say about her; and (2) Pay attention to how she interacts with and treats others.

Often when in the midst of a romance, we can be oblivious to our girlfriend’s faults. Sure, we might notice the little things that bother us, but it is remarkable how we are capable of ignoring egregious faults — or acknowledge them and find some way of rationalizing them or discounting them. That’s why we should bring her home to mom. Mom will tell you after a few interactions with her what kind of woman your girlfriend really is. Some moms are more difficult or more unfair than others, so in that case, listen to what other friends and family have to say. Thinking about my past, it’s amazing how many relationships ended with me finally acknowledging problems that I had stubbornly ignored but that others had noticed months or even years earlier.

The second thing is to pay attention to how your girlfriend or fiancée treats other people. If she is frequently degrading of other women, if she talks ill of co-workers, if she is indifferent to the plight of the poor, elderly, or handicapped, if she cheats or steals (even the little things) or tells little white lies all the time, she’s giving you evidence that you should extrapolate to your own relationship with her. She might act like she loves and adores you when you’re with her, but if she is friendly and supportive of others when they’re in front of her, only to backstab them in some way when they turn around, then chances are she’ll do the same to you one day.

I think “opening our eyes” a bit more can really help to find the right woman. On that note, I’ll add that one should take his time. An engagement should be between 1-2 years long, and you should know her for at least that long before you pop the question. Don’t propose after you know her for 3 months, get married at 9 months… chances are, you’ll be divorced in a year.

40 Alessandro May 15, 2008 at 5:51 am

Oh, something else you might find interesting…

On my blog, I recently commented on an article from Atlantic Monthly entitled “Marry Him! The case for settling for Mr. Good enough.” This story is from the reverse angle, of a 40-year-old woman who ponders why she never got married (mainly because she was too picky and held many feminist convictions). In the end, she regrets having turned down so many “Mr. Good Enoughs” on the search for Mr. Right.

It makes for a very interesting read, even for us men.

The original article is here: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/single-marry
and my commentary is here: http://www.miserere.org/m/archivedposts/323

41 Mrs. Potts May 15, 2008 at 7:14 pm

My new husband just sent this to me, and I must agree 110%! We met a year ago on an internet dating site, and the rest is a wonderful tale of respect, friendship and love. We are the best of friends, and can’t even remember what life was like before we met. We got married ( on the sly) exactly one year to the day after he “e-wink’ed me. We are planning a “wedding’ for June, where we will reveal our elopement for sentimental reasons. I never thought I could be loved like this, and I love knowing that my man is “the one” for me!

42 Jono May 15, 2008 at 9:24 pm

Just this last weekend I was at my Uncle and (new) Aunt’s wedding. It’s both of their second marriages, and at the reception during their speeches they mentioned that while they had had their rough patches, and did call the relationship quits for a little while, in the end they new they had to get married “because despite all the rough patches, it was harder being apart than it was being together”.

43 Gus May 17, 2008 at 10:40 pm

#2 Very True!! I was going out with a very hot chick and was really caught up in the relationship. But all of my friends, and specially my female friends agreed that she was not the right girl.
After we took some distance, I saw that she was a kind of two sided person. In one hand she managed to convince me she was very sweet and lovely, but in reality she had a really bad atittude and was constantly mistreating people that she wasn’t interested on making a good impression.
So, some women, not all, can be very deceptive. Be careful, and do your homework! Find out what is she like when she is not around you.

44 Anon May 20, 2008 at 1:26 pm

I love how this is written by Brett AND Kate McKay. I’d love to see #5 rewritten from an HONEST point of view. Let’s face it, Brett. If your wife wasn’t writing this with you, rather than telling us how you weren’t nervous, you’d be giving us the truth about how freaked out you were at the thought of having one sex partner for the rest of your life.

45 Mark - Productivity501 May 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I know a guy who runs a bunch of marriage seminars. He contents that a successful marriage is less about marrying the right PERSON and more about doing the right THINGS.

While you can marry someone who is difficult to get along with–most people fail in their actions after marriage. Often both parties turn into jerks. :)

46 Nen June 2, 2008 at 6:47 am

this is actually a good piece of advice…but I wonder if you have the same guidelines for the ladies? how do we know the man is the right one for us? I hope Kate can give us her insight on this – how did you know that Brett is the one you’re gonna marry…..if you have any ideas it will be a big help for us ladies….. sometimes females can be so darn blind…. =)

47 Kate McKay June 2, 2008 at 8:57 am

Hi Nen-

Brett and I came up with this list together, so I think the guidelines listed apply equally well to men and women. The only other thing that comes immediately to mind is:

-Is he ambitious? A lot of women initially find very alluring the free spirited, drifter type. He’s unique, he’s deep, he’s interesting. But eventually women realize that he’s a bum who’s never going to “find himself.” This is not to say women need to find a guy who’s hell bent on climbing the corporate ladder. But he should be setting some goals and taking steps towards attaining them.

48 Asa June 4, 2008 at 3:11 am

I’ve got some questions for Brett.
What were your relationships like before you met Kate? What did you learn from your previous experiences that helped your relationship with Kate? And how long have you and Kate been together now?

49 rdk June 15, 2008 at 9:18 pm

“-Is he ambitious? A lot of women initially find very alluring the free spirited, drifter type. He’s unique, he’s deep, he’s interesting. But eventually women realize that he’s a bum who’s never going to “find himself.â€? This is not to say women need to find a guy who’s hell bent on climbing the corporate ladder. But he should be setting some goals and taking steps towards attaining them.”

Though I think This has cost me great relationships, I will throw my 2 cents in….I resent this. Women and men get lost. Through the last quarter century society has changed, and equality, dual income families have changed the face of “Family” and “Relationships”. Now it is not the sole responsibilty of the man to be the breadwinner, and maybe it is time we as a sex explore whom we want to be, to expand our horizons…..But somehow that is unacceptable, and we get labeled BUMS! A man who labeled a woman a bum for not having clear carrer goals would be heavily chastized.

THis is why equality is not advancing. No one can have cake and eat it to. You can’t go through 50 years of change and re-evaluate yourself, and change, and not expect the other sex to change and give them space to re-evaluate their stance

50 Dragonfly July 3, 2008 at 4:39 am

rdk – I’m all for equality, and believe ambition should be expected from both parties. Yes, men and women are susceptible to being lost, but if you’re deciding to settle down with someone ‘for the long run’ both parties should have compatible goals, and be able to talk and agree about where they see each other going. Whether a woman’s ultimate goal is to stay at home and be the best mother she can be, or to climb the corporate ladder and be CEO (both should be acceptable, and there are stay-at-home dads too!), just HAVING goals is an important beginning for both people. The next step is working out how you can best help each other achieve them. :) I mean, who better to go through the trials and rewards of pursuing something meaningful in life, than the person you love the most and intend to spend the rest of your life with?

51 Slim July 12, 2008 at 8:44 pm

When do I know she is the one? When she doesn’t run away and she isn’t that scary to look at and be with.

52 Marisa July 18, 2008 at 4:08 am

Really good article. Even though not enough, considering there could be 10 or even 100 women that can be that way in a man’s life.

Choosing one takes more. Perhaps a woman is the right one because the man simply loves her?

53 Clare July 19, 2008 at 7:05 pm

In response to Kate’s ambition addition, I think it is an INCREDIBLY important factor. I do agree that it applies to both men and women, but in my experience it is usually the men who are more likely to remain in their “comfort zone” than women overall. Also, a man without at least some ambition is going to be less likely to take those important RELATIONSHIP steps that take some effort (ambition is not just important in the career world but also on a personal level) such as moving in together or proposing. I would also like to note that having ambition not only implies that you HAVE goals, but you are mature enough and willing to take the steps to reach those goals (in my opinion, the effort is more important than the goals themselves). Excellent observation; the ambition factor was definitely what ended my most recent LTR.

54 gabriel kalaluka July 22, 2008 at 10:03 pm

this always a difficult and scary subject to tackle, coz my worsed fear is getting stuck in a marriege that does not work, let a long be devorced with children involved.

55 Mia August 11, 2008 at 9:32 pm

@rdk

Being one of those women who was with a ‘bum’, I fully agree that it’s not the sole responsibility of the man to be the breadwinner. But it’s not the sole responsibility of the woman either which is what tends to happen with bums.

I would be happy to support my man while he tried to find his mission in life if he was in active pursuit of it. I was not, however, happy to support a guy who claimed to be trying to find himself but spent all day (and night) playing video games instead.

I don’t think a man these days would accept a woman who expected to be looked after & supported while doing little in return. Neither will a woman. That’s equality.

56 Antoine August 13, 2008 at 8:29 am

I have been seeing this woman on and off for a year now. The reason I say “on and off” is because I have broken up with her several times. The thing is, is that I find other women I come across to be much more attractive and I get intense feelings when I look at other women who are more beautiful than her. I cannot help this and it happens alot. HOWEVER, this woman and I get along very well: our conflict resolution is perfect, we have fun together, we laugh together, always have something to talk about, I enjoy spending time with her, all of my friends and family like her, etc. etc… I just cant get over the fact that I am much more attracted(physically) to other women and that I get an emotional type feeling with other women just by looking at them that I do not get with her..

57 Martin August 25, 2008 at 9:29 pm

@Mia – I agree with you.
I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, after surviving a chronic depressive cycle. Everything was going wrong for me, from bank debts to rage at the office to losing my apartment and supposed friends. My girlfriend who i’ve been with for a year stood by me through all of it even though at some point i told her that we should break up seeing how my life had taken an Unbelievable turn for the worst. Picking up the pieces and pressing on was and still is, hard to say the least. Finding a companion who will support you through it is even harder. I am grateful that i have someone like that in my life, because they are Scarce

58 John August 31, 2008 at 9:03 am

This is totally 100% correct. I knew after 2 months that she was “the one” and proposed after 6 months. We’ve now been married for over 9 years and have 3 wonderful children. Great article!

59 Brian August 31, 2008 at 11:09 pm

My woman was a bit shiftless in her desires and wants. She is 27 and still at home, but, in her younger days stayed with a dead beat for 5 some odd years, the result was having a kid. While excellent as a mother and very compatible with me, she has kind of floated along. I see her as kinda jaded through a constant barrage of crap she has gone through. I could understand – to an extent.

Career wise, I’ve always had a clear goal. Being younger and single, I had issues with ambition from time to time, staying in that comfort zone, but when I start seeing the world passing by me at the age of 25…I kinda feel left behind. That, and the fact, my woman has a kid jump started me a bit more. When I made the commitment to be with that particular woman…I knew she and the boy came as a package. I have no regret in the decision and found it refreshing to have a bit of stability compared to younger girls I had been with. Much less selfish.

I had my life and place organized, but a relative passed on and I had to take a hiatus to tend to my family. Of course, that, and getting laid off has put a pinch on my confidence and some on our relationship. Sure, unemployment pays the bills, but it has left our dreams together kind of put on hold…almost a bit stagnant.

I had noticed my drive to move forward inspired her ambition. While looking for good, supporting jobs, I study my trade to better my prospects. I understand the traditional breadwinner concept and do believe that is necessary…still tough any more on single income families to make it. My ultimate goal would be to make enough to where she could go to school and find something she wouldn’t mind doing as a career, not just a passing job. She doesn’t give me bs excuses about “finding herself”. I’d ultimately want her to not have to depend on me or any one else.

That, and the fact the family dynamic just doesn’t work as well with the potential in laws. Although, we get along just fine…she lives in *their* house. There will be some conflict for control.

Simple enough, move out and get a place so *our* family can strive. The boys grandparents spoil the hell out of him. I come from a relatively cut and dry family of “rights and wrongs” well established…and clear consequences for transgressions. That upbringing has been vital to my character.

Of course, while the woman has similar wants and dreams as I…Most of the weight is on my shoulders. She does carry her weight, but doesn’t have the resources much beyond that. I don’t mind the task, but it sure is discouraging every time a promising job comes up that would allow me, financially, to hold that weight…and it doesn’t come to fruition.

My old lady has had a bit of a rough upbringing, especially being left as a single mother having to move back home. But, despite her circumstance and challenges, she has made great strides from where she WAS and where she is now.

The woman and kid is there…love them both to death. And, despite the rough currents, she sticks it out with me. But both my career and family are at a bit of a stand still. I have to tackle both a lingering sense of hopelessness, the barrage on my confidence as a provider, and a fleeting dream that I just want to have.

We both come from similar upbringings, near poverty and working damn hard for everything we ever had. But damn the circumstances I end up finding myself in. Its one thing to screw your own life up and know it, its another to have it turned up side down by factors completely out of your control. I guess it’s a good test of our relationship and builds a bit of character all the same.

Well, that’s my two cents. I do get a little long winded at times, so please excuse me :)

60 the_planarian October 8, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Originally Posted By AntoineI have been seeing this woman on and off for a year now. The reason I say “on and off” is because I have broken up with her several times. The thing is, is that I find other women I come across to be much more attractive and I get intense feelings when I look at other women who are more beautiful than her. I cannot help this and it happens alot. HOWEVER, this woman and I get along very well: our conflict resolution is perfect, we have fun together, we laugh together, always have something to talk about, I enjoy spending time with her, all of my friends and family like her, etc. etc… I just cant get over the fact that I am much more attracted(physically) to other women and that I get an emotional type feeling with other women just by looking at them that I do not get with her..

@Nen – Clearly you are not discovering a need within yourself that is being fulfilled.

Re-read #4 at the bottom here over and over until it becomes clear.

Cheers!

-=*+[z']+*=-

61 Lada October 9, 2008 at 8:18 am

Great list, but perhaps a bit idealistic.

If it were so easy to meet someone that met all of this criteria from the git go, I doubt the divorce rate would be topping 50%+. Truth is, we work with what we’ve got, and we all have different needs and upbringings. It’s a bit unrealistic to expect that your spouse is going to be perfect in every aspect, and even if he/she is in the beginning, that can change.

I especially disagree with the “DTR” comment – communication is a fundamental part of every relationship. Just because puppy love carries you through the first stages, it doesn’t mean that after 20 years, you’re not gonna need to talk openly and frankly about a lot of things.

I wish the author the best in his relationship, but his constant affirmations of what a perfect and carefree ride his relationship has been from the start to wedding bells is a bit annoying to those of us who make the effort to quite consciously build the types of relationships we want in our lives. The BAD times are the true test of a relationship. If you’ve never have any, are you sure you know what you’re placing stock in?

62 sab November 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Very well written!

63 joshua December 19, 2008 at 7:08 am

im just at school but i have such strong feelings for this girl who, despite knowing and being my friend from when we were 4 years old, she doessnt seem to care about me much. we’re not the best of friends at the moment but still good friends and even though i know she likes me at least a little bit. she doesnt want to go out with me at the moment and it makes me think its not going any where. she said going out might risk our friendship a few months ago. should i move on, ask her again or something else? please give me comments on this it will really help.
joshua
13
i go to tapton school sheffield

64 Lou January 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm

It is not only a matter of meeting the correct person but, also meeting the correct person at the correct time. We had a mutual friend tried to put us together on two occasions one year apart and it was disastrous both times. Instant loathing. We met a year later and it clicked in 1970.

Note to Dan, the first poster: get off of the internet and seek.

65 kearnj January 13, 2009 at 4:25 am

Certainly people can change. I was with a woman who I intended to marry, for six years. At the end she decided make some changes in her life which included ending our relationship. This happened a year after I moved 600 miles to be with her. I haven’t found anyone who I relate to on that level or even comparable, and it’s been over a year.

66 atacgene January 16, 2009 at 9:55 am

Refer to “Kearnj 1/13/09″ : Doesn’t it totally suck when you found someone you think is the right person for you but she thinks otherwise and decide to leave the relationshIp? Aferall, the willingness to stay and work through a relationship is most important factor.

Also I totally agree with “Lada 10/9/08″

67 RichS1 January 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm

These are all really critical things to consider before taking the plunge. The great thing about information today is that you can get it so immediately online, which is largely the venue I should thank for helping me out in every way prior to proposing to my now wife. I wasn’t ever glued to the computer for every little thing, but it’s nice to just search certain questions or concerts online and see what articles pop up; along with what reader advice/comments reflect upon each article.

Along with asking my friends (and computer) as to what I should consider before popping the question… I approached my proposal the same way. Now married for 2 years, I would absolutely recommend doing your engagement ring research online. I wasn’t sure what material to get my wife’s ring in, so started researching different precious metals. From there, I used a couple of different sites for the rest of my research: precious platinum.com and engagement guide.com. I went with platinum for the ring – had to splurge! It’s a funny thing, what happens when you realize what your future ring is supposed to stand for… it’s SUCH a huge deal. Hands down, platinum is the best material to choose. It’s quite rare, looks incredible, has an outstanding lifespan (no wonder so many antique jewelry pieces are made of perfectly conditioned platinum, right?), it’s pure, strong and ‘restorable.’ Best of luck to you all out there who are ready to take the next step. Certainly make sure that he/she IS the one before taking action. It sounds obvious, but reading up on pointers like those mentioned in this article is CRITICAL before deciding to propose.

68 CECiL March 1, 2009 at 7:09 pm

In response to your post, I have come out with a faster and easier ways to know straight away whether she is the one for you. WARNING : Not for those who are medically adverse.
My response is here : http://cecilathome.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-to-know-if-you-have-found-right-one.html

69 Some guy April 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm

In response to not having sex before you get married i’ve always said: “Never buy a pair of shoes until you’ve tried them on.”

70 Simon April 15, 2009 at 11:30 am

People change with time, physically and mentally. There’s no guarantee that the woman you are marrying at 25 will be the same woman in 5 years time. If you really love each other, move in together. Why let the church or even worse the state (and relative laws) intrude? When a relationship ends, everybody is hurt to begin with. There’s no reason to add financial ruin to emotional ruin, given the woman-biased law men have to abide by.

Cohabitation= Yes.
Marriage = No.

71 Jerry April 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm

RE; Mark on may 8th 2008

Being a divorced man myself,I agree very much with Mark. And I have heard/read
that some figures say the divorce rate at 60-66 % in the U.S.
However,I dont believe man and woman were meant to live alone. In other countries,were the laws are SANE, men and women simply live together in better harmony. It is these so called liberated womens groups (and spineless politicians) that are corrupting the balance of nature.My suggestion is to simply try them all and keep only the best as “friends”. A good friend most likely wont try to screw you…in a bad way that is.

72 Ali H. April 22, 2009 at 6:51 am

I wish I’d seen this article before my first marriage. Tho in hindsight, I may or may not have heeded the advice! The other bit of advice I would give is learn from your mistakes! Oh, and admit it when your wrong, shut up about it when your right.

73 Tim April 23, 2009 at 10:38 am

Great article and advice. I agree with a couple other comments saying you should really listen to what your friends and family have to say. I wish my brother would have then he would not be recently divorced. I also found that asking a lot of very important questions before getting to the point of marriage is also essential. If you want to learn more go to my blog. http://questionsforrelationships.blogspot.com/

74 Mzilikazi Mbhedla May 14, 2009 at 11:49 pm

These are the best practical tips i have ever heard with regards to relationships.
With my first girlfriend, it never worked from the onset. When i told her i like her she shut the door in my face and made me feel so wrong for wanting to date her. Prior to this we had been friend for around 2 years.
She eventually came to her senses and we went out, but it was the most volatile thing ever, ups and downs, more than i could ever care to count.
In summary it just never worked, i should have taken the que from the beginning, i wasted so much time.
Thank you for this piece!
Art Of Manliness is the best site i have ever seen!!!!!
I love you guys!

75 mythago May 21, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Great advice. I’d add, also, that if your girlfriend and your friends and family don’t get along, take a hard look at *everyone* – not just the girlfriend. Of course you want to listen to outside input, especially since you’re not objective. But what may be going on, also, is that your girlfriend is bringing some unhealthy patterns to the surface. Some guys, I’ve noticed, really prefer a dynamic where they are the ‘eye of the storm’ – where their mom dislikes their girlfriend, or their bros are always putting down the Old Ball and Chain – and they’re the center of attention.

76 mb June 4, 2009 at 1:53 am

I’ve been in a committed relationship for nearly 10 years. Here is a different perspective on this topic:

The Past: Everyone has one, and the other person needs to be able to deal with it. Although some remnants (good or bad – encountering an ex, a nostalgic conversation with a friend, …..) may drift into the present, the past will always be the past. If one party can’t deal with the other’s past, the relationship is a non-starter because the past never goes away. Lessons can be learned and people can change, but relationships can’t grow if they are hindered by the past.

The Present: This is where we always live, whether climbing the corporate ladder, living the dream, or being a bum in our parent’s basement. The only difference I see between these three is planning and execution. I don’t need to tell you that no matter how well thought out, plans don’t always work out perfectly even with the best execution. Sometimes, plans change (purposely or accidentally) for the worse or maybe for the better. Have you ever been lost and discovered a great part of town or taken a detour during a night out with friends and had the best time ever? Similarly, earning a living and having ambitions are ways to reach personal and professional goals but the beginning and end are rarely connected by the neat straight lines of planning and execution. I was a consultant at 25 with a master’s degree and hated it. The issue of timing throws another wrench into the mix. I had no idea what I wanted to do professionally when I first graduated college and I would have been a mess in a relationship with anyone. In time, most people find direction and figure out what they want.

I’m rambling. The point is that goals and ambition are important but they change throughout a person’s life. They are just as important as having complimentary lifestyles, morals, and expectations. Are your lifestyles, moral views, and expectations compatible? Can you resolve problems together? Do you trust each other? Regarding timing, are you in a place (emotionally and professionally) in your life where you want to be in and can manage a committed relationship? Is your partner? I don’t remember who said it earlier, but growing in a relationship requires making the right decisions, the right choices and being ready to dive in.

Sometimes, couples agree to disagree about issues and, instead of growing a relationship in certain directions, they choose to maintain it (i.e. keep status quo). A bad sign is if you’re doing more maintaining/status quo-ing and less growing, especially in the early stages. The worst sign is if there is no growth because of destructive behavior. I’m not very religious, but I believe a sin is when someone intentionally inflicts pain (emotional, physical, psychological) onto another without just cause (most of the 10 commandments describe ways to hurt other people or yourself). I don’t blame anyone who avoids being in a relationship because of their experience in a destructive one. Those who do are either courageous or insane (a definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result).

The Future: Sorry to be cliche, but life is a journey (not a line) and you meet people at different points. Think of two people’s lives as squiggly lines that intersect. Its easy to imagine that intersecting point. I imagine marriage as these lines being side by side from that intersection until the end. Can you picture a future life with this person? Not only friends and family, but kids (or maybe not, depending on preference), bank account & finances, a home, all or most of your leisure time (weekends, holidays, extended vacations). It’s not bad if you can’t see this clearly, but if you’re a professional surfer and she hates the beach then maybe you should consider staying friends. Not knowing if it will work is different than being certain that it won’t work. The future is never certain, and I’m sorry to hear about all the people who have been screwed but it is hard to grow without taking the risk.

I don’t remember why I started writing this. I was searching for an answer to something else. Hopefully, this helps someone out there.

77 Phillip July 16, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I have had 1-4 all happen, but since I wasn’t ready for number 5 yet, they all eventually left, which leads me to possibility that women love commitment and marriage more than the man.

78 Phillip July 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Hayden,

I didn’t believe in “starter marriages” either until I came home one day and my wife had suddenly moved out.

79 FRANCISCO CRUZ JR July 21, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I AM REALLY CONFUSED BC I HAVE BEEN WITH MY GIRL FOR TWO YEARS AND WE KEEP SAYING HOW IT WOULD BE COOL TO GET MARRIED WE HAVE MET ALL OUR FAMILY MEMBERS AND ALL WE ALL GET ALONG BUT THIS SUMMER SHE HAS BEEN HANGING OUT WITH HER FRIENDS ALOT AND I DONT C HER AS MUCH BC HER MOM MAKES UP THINGS AND TRYS TO CONTROL HER WHAT SHOULD I DO OR WHAT CAN I DO

80 Chris July 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm

I’ve been with my girlfriend for 1 year. She’s 9 years older than me (36, i’m 27) and she’s the first person I’ve fallen for and loved, and I love her deeply. We were good friends before that, and i’ve always been fascinated by her taste and ability to see different sides of things. She has enabled me to be the person I always imagined I had the potential to be. Because of the age difference and my poor historic batting average, I have become insecure, thinking “with this in my back pack, I can start living the life I imagined, she’s too old so get on with it”. Because of these thoughts I grew insecure about our future, and I’ve been fantasizing about other women (no one in particular, just in my mind) who better suit the ideal i imagined before meeting her (eg. not 9 yrs my senior). I almost broke up with her a few times, but got back to her, thinking that “hang on, this is what it’s about, right? You search until you find that person! And she is that person for me”. Everytime we got back together, I cursed myself, thinking “You can’t possibly know that she’s the one, you have way too little experience. Ditch her and do what all the other guys are doing; go online and meet girls until you are more comfortable”. She has also questioned how suitable she is for me, regarding the age difference, introducing all the more uncertainty. But she loves me more than anyone in her past and she wants to be with me, I’m sure of it.

Too address the bullet points:

1. The start was bumby, I’ll not get into details, but it involved her choosing me over my best friend.
2. My friends and family adore her, and not one has mentioned the age difference.
3. There is one thing I wish I could change, of course I wish she was younger. On the other hand, If she was, she might not be as wonderful as she is. And its not that i’m uncertain whether it will change, because I know what it will not.
4. She is my best friend and the person who understands me better than anyone in the world.
5. I’m terrified of marrying her because I am so afraid my insecurity will have the best of me and I’ll have to leave her. Again this is partly because of her age, I am so afraid I’m wasting her time.

So.

We broke up a week ago and haven’t gotten back together. I forced myself to do this because I had to explore this uncertainty and give it a real voice rather than to shove it aside and hope for the best. I told her I had to sink down to the bottom and shine a flashlight on whatever things are down there, and then possibly get perspective and an idea of what I want to do.

I am desperately confused. I’m a “thinker” in that i analyze everything from all angles (which gave me good grades and makes me good at my job as a quantitative analyst), and as a result read blog posts like this one trying to get answers, substituting for my own lack of experience. And I want so much to beleive that this confusion has some substance more than just what comes naturally after a break up.

Can age differences be overcome??? Can lack of experience be overcome??? This is not a sexual issue, we are both more than satisfied.

Any reactions greatly appreciated. Sorry for the lengthy post, but it’s therapeutic. Had to be done.

81 jerry bohinkle August 14, 2009 at 12:20 pm

ok i have this problem i like 2 girls 1 girl i have known longer but plays these mind games with me i know she loves me and all but i dont really know how i feel
and this other girl i met her one day at a get together thing she is really cool we hit it off right away but idk if she would be better for me

82 Marie August 31, 2009 at 1:07 am

The love of my life decided to leave me because I wasn’t ready to have sex with him..
Typical cliche teenage story, I’m 17 and he is 18…I truly think we did love each other, even from the perspective of the 17 year old that I am…but if he loved me, wouldn’t he have waited? He did *wait*, a year and a half, but the whole time he would accuse me of making him “miss out” on what other teenage boys were doing and how I “ruined a great relationship.”

We are currently friends, we have been best friends from the beginning, and we still have very strong feelings for each other…I just don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t be with him because he puts sex on such a high pedestal, and I can’t be without him because I love him to death…sex has been our only problem from the beginning (well it’s quite important, can’t say “only”…but we click on all other levels, we even do have the same sex drive except I am determined to wait and he isn’t).

To the men in love, how would you react?

83 Brett McKay August 31, 2009 at 1:58 am

@Marie-

If the guy doesn’t respect your wish not to have sex then he doesn’t respect you and your beliefs and desires, basically who you are. Period. And if he doesn’t respect you, even if you love him, there won’t be a happy future down the road. If you want to get more guys’ opinions, try posting your question on the forum on the Community page……

84 John August 31, 2009 at 1:05 pm

1. The relationship goes smoothly from the beginning.
What kind of dreamworld fantasy is this? No relation will ever go ‘smooth’. Either both partners have what it takes to make a relation work, or they don’t. Relations are hard work on both sides.

2. She gets along well with your family and friends.
Sure, that’s really great advice if you have controlling and disfunctional family and friends. They’ll even make the choice for you, won’t they?

3. There is nothing major you want to change about her.
Why would you want to change someone, minor or major? Isn’t that control?

4. She’s your best friend.
Acceptable. It’s very unlikely you’ll get involved with an enemy.

5. The thought of marrying her doesn’t scare you in the least.
Agreed. However: “Marriage is not about finding a person you can live with, it’s about finding the person you can’t live without.” Now that sounds pretty needy to me. Aren’t we losing our individuality a bit there? Sounds like you’d have to be joined at the hip.

85 Katie September 15, 2009 at 9:21 pm

i hate it cuz its right

86 Fingersoup September 28, 2009 at 11:37 am

@Lada – As much as you say that the bad times are the true tests, If your significant other IS the bad time, then it’s probably not going to work out. If, during the bad times your only thoughts are to leave them, you probably should. On the other hand, if your only thoughts during rough times are “how can we work it out together?” then you have a winner.

@ Anon – If you truly love the person you are going to marry, then you WON’T be afraid of making love to only one woman for the rest of your life. That person will continue to satisfy your sexual needs. If you need more than one woman, and your spouse isn’t into your swinger lifestyle, then she’s not the one for you.

@ Marie – I agree with Brett. If a guy is willing to break up with you because you won’t sleep with him, he doesn’t respect you. A guy who respects you should be comfortable waiting for a time when you’re ready. Some guys may try and move the relationship forward, ahead of your comfort level, but as long as you stop him gently but firmly, and explain that you’re not ready at this stage of the relationship, he should be understanding and will stop that particular advance.

@ John – ahh the devil’s advocate:

1. Just because a relationship goes smooth, doesn’t mean that there won’t be bumps along the way. Life introduces bumps. But if your encounter with these life-bumps cause relationship problems, then she’s not right for you. If you end up stronger because of it, by weathering the bumps together, then your relationship is running smoothly.

2. I would have gone the opposite of this… If you think your family and friends are controlling, or dysfunctional, then what should you care what they think? On the other hand, assuming healthy family relationships, people have often been blinded by “love” and ignored the calls of reason from family. sometimes the person you date really isn’t that nice to others….

3. Nobody’s perfect. I’m not the neatest person in the world, and my girlfriend would love it if I made a little less mess when I cook (but she won’t let me stop cooking – she likes the food too much! :P). Likewise, I wish she’d keep certain things organized in the kitchen a lillte better instead of just throwing things into random drawers…. These things aren’t deal-breaking changes, but they are changes we’d like to see.

4. Won’t get involved in an enemy? You’d be surprised what people will go through for sex. Songs like “Figured You Out” by Nickelback, and “So Happy” by Theory of a Deadman show what becomes of sleeping with the enemy… And I’ve seen people fall into that mess more than once….

5. Needy isn’t a bad thing in this case. When looking to marry, you’re not looking for a roommate who can only help you pay the rent, and doesn’t steal your food… You’re looking for a lifelong companion that will be a shoulder to cry on when times are tough. You are looking for someone who, if they ask for something from you, you want to give it to them, even if it is outside your means. And you want to do this because you know they’d want to do the same for you. It’s someone you can rely on through thick and thin. At some point you realize that this is a person you NEED to have in your life. Life as you know it, would pale in comparison to life without that person. Not joined at the hip – everyone needs personal time to themselves… But joined at the heart – sharing each others’ joys and sorrows – coping with each other’s difficulties and coming out stronger in the end.

87 mp October 20, 2009 at 4:44 pm

greetings all!
I’m a big fan of your site and send regular updates to all my friends and family.
Need a bit of advice though: I just returned from a weekend of vacation with my boyfriend’s family. This was the first time I had met any of them, and spent time with 20 of his closest. This includes parents, brother, cousins, and his best friend.
My boyfriend is a very solid, dependable, loving man but chose to play this moment off very casually. In the end, we both had different view points on what it means to meet a man’s / someone’s family. After discussing it we see where the other stands, however I am not convinced that he is as serious as I am. We are a new couple so this is acceptable, and I am relatively patient. My question for the community then is: If I am sure about him, but can tell he isn’t sure about me what is the best way to wait? Or will I bet waiting for nothing?

88 Ratuke October 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm

me and my ex were exactly like what this article says. Everything was perfect and then I had to move. We stayed together and everything was going fine and then she left me because she “didn’t love me anymore.” I still feel like she’s the one. What should I do?

89 Carlos November 11, 2009 at 2:15 am

@ Chris

I am in exactly the same boat as you (and i mean everything you describe is the same) albeit i’m 35 and she’s 42 and being from completely different cultures, we have been together for a long time almost 9 years – and now also just broke up to see if i can figure out what i want. Kids are even more of a worry for me coz its either now or never. She moved out and we are not calling each other otherwise i makes it even harder. So now we don’t talk and slowly she starts to fade a bit but i am also very scared i’ve made a huge mistake and that will never be someone who gets me like she does. The kids question i don’t know how to get over that – i need another few years and she doesn’t have them. Of course there are a few things that i don’t like about her such as the 2 or 3 hours it takes her everyday to get ready (dress and makeup) being not a patient guy and on an intellectual level i would like to have more of a challenge, i think but for the rest she is perfect.

It took me ages to get my career going and she was there to support me and now i finally have things on track and now the worries come of what is next. Never thought about marriage and kids before and now i am able to afford them it seems its too late for us. It’s driving me nuts and really don’t know what to do

Another thing i also worried about is in 8 years she’s gonna be 50 and i’ll just be 42/43 – as selfish as it may sound i am worried i might not find her attractive anymore

Maybe i am just a selfish prick who does not stand by the woman helped to be where he is now. And the other side is if i don’t explore these now i will hurt her even more at a later stage…

90 John November 16, 2009 at 1:16 am

I would just like to add another one:

The thought of getting her pregnant doesn’t scare you.

I’ve been with girls where I’m so incredibly worried about getting them pregnant that I will never have unprotected sex (even if she’s on birth control) with them because I’m just not really into them. On the contrary, the thought of getting the girl I’m currently with (and in love with) pregnant doesn’t scare me in the least.

91 Jessica December 5, 2009 at 11:44 pm

i would like to add that if you really have think is this person right for me should i marry him/her and i mean like you really have to think then thier not right for you. being with someone and knowing that thier the right person should just come natural if you have to waunder then no if you have to look on the internet to find out also then definitaly not this should be a question you can answer on your own if you can then their not the one.

92 Christopher December 17, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Thank you. Thank you very much. I am in love with this woman but I am one of those who has seen a crippled marriage destroy a family. I was unsure of myself not of my love. This has set me properly on the right bearing. Thank you very much gentleman, you have a lifetime reader now.

93 Ross January 5, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Ive been with my girlfriend for almost six years. I’m proud of her, she’s one of the nicest, kindest people Ive ever met and all my friends and family love her (in fact I’m sure that some of my friends like her so much they’d actually love to have her as their girlfriend!). I still find her attractive, she’s my best friend and I trust her 1000%. But there are one or two things that have been causing me to doubt our relationship recently.
It bothers me a little that, in the beginning, we sort of just met right away and started dating, and there was no real lustful, angst-ridden chase, as there had been with some girls in the past (most of whom had turned me down!). It worries me sometimes. Sometimes I think a relationship needs that initial surge of want and emotion, and then after a while when the dust has settles you take a look around and see what you’ve got. The dust has certainly settled in my relationship, and I find myself looking around wondering if this is really where I want to be. I think it is, but I’m not sure!
Also, lately Ive been getting a little worried about the fact that we don’t ever really seem to have any of those incredibly deep, challenging conversations that you see in movies all the time. Good Will Hunting is one of my favourite films of all time, and at one point the Robin Williams character says something about his wife being his soul-mate because she “challenges him, and opens things up to him”. I have really stimulating conversations and disagreements with some girls at work about books and films and music etc, but with my girlfriend, to be honest, it doesnt seem to be like that, and it scares the hell out of me sometimes. She inspires me in other ways (how kind she is, and how much she loves me) but I guess I’m just afraid to look ten or twenty years down the line and see us walking around bloody B&Q or somewhere just bored senseless. And it’s that kind of thinking that leads me to thinking what a relationship with one of those other girls might be like – would it be more fiesty? challenging? etc. I don’t know. All I know is that I’ve been thinking about it too bloody much recently, and I sense my doubts are really started to affect our relationship, and that’s what hurts the most. Anyone know what the hell I’m talking about, or is it just me?

94 Sebastiaan January 8, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Wow, but what if you find the one when you are already married, I mean my marriage was all the opposite of any of those five points pointed out above, the COMPLETE opposite.. and now I did meet a nice woman who completely fulfills those 5 points..

95 Justin January 11, 2010 at 9:09 am

I have been with my gf for a year and a half and I have been thinking about about marrying her and she has been hinting towards it also. This article was very informative, but our relationship was not really that smooth at first actually. I started going out her with the intent to use her, but I ended up falling for her. It seems like the things that bothered me at first have went away she doesn’t really do some of them anymore and it seems like I started accepting some of them i guess. My parents love her and so does the rest of my family. I can tell her anything and shes seems like my best friend. The main issue is that I just don’t feel excited about asking her to marry me, and I wonder in my mind if shes the right one frequently. She pretty much meets all the things in most “is she the one type advice” except for the part that I am scared about the marriage part and wondering if it would be a mistake to marry her. I am the type of person that over think things also so maybe thats all it is.

96 Robert January 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Here’s my problem. I’ve never met a better girl than my girlfriend, and I’m 99% sure that I could never find anyone who would love me as much as she does, or support me, or put up with all my stupid little ways and insecurities like she does. Why then, do I always seem to have one bloody foot out the door? Why is it that every time a girl smiles at me in the street do I get a feeling in my gut like she’s the one to make all my dreams come true? Why is it that every time I fantasize about a relationship with one of those other girls it’s always so great, and challenging, and there are never any problems? Does this mean that my girlfriend isn’t the one for me – or is it all just down to my own stupid self-doubt and insecurities? I mean, how do you see the truth, and commit to it 100% without ever looking back. i mean it’s not like there would ever be any problems with any of the other girls I find myself thinking about, and I doubt any one of them would love me and put up with me as much as my girlfriend does. WHEN IS IT GOING TO STOP!?

97 Tina January 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I am totally in love with a man that is younger than myself and he is also with me. We are of two different races. He is white and I am black. We have the same job and friendsthat think we are great together. What do you do when the family want give you a chance because my color is different even though I am a great woman.

98 A Single Being January 20, 2010 at 12:59 am

reading this has made me realize how much i love my to be wife, shes everything to me and cant go a single day without her, thank you for having this here for people to read

99 Vu February 18, 2010 at 3:07 am

Total agree with Jessica
1. If you have to ask then she is not the one
2. When you find the one you will through your inward witness

100 Mad woman in love February 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Hi all,
This post is great certainly has given me much to think about. i have been with my guy for nearly 9 years we were both very young when we got together (15) but have a house, bank account etc together now.

He is the most amazing person and most of the initial points seem to fit, however we do have our quirks like all couples. He has always said he wanted to get married one day and i have always said that i am not really that bothered and a bit of paper wouldnt make our relationship any better. He has always known that i would say yes if he asked. Also he has brought me some fabulous jewelry so if he was going to propose he should have done so by now, but he is quite shy.

I am certain he is the one, and since this is the 21st century i am considering proposing to him but am unsure of how. Can any guys tell me what they would like if it was them? Any clues and advice will be considered seriously. I have been thinking of a designer watch with an inscription maybe but then i dont really want him to have a watch that says will you marry me on it for the rest of his life.

Am i really mad for considering this?

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