I think this is one of the most frequently asked questions that young people in relationships or dating ask others or secretly ask to themselves or maybe Google late at night when those deep thoughts come creeping in. Now, Google knows a LOT so I don't know how well I can compete with that...but I can share with you what I've learned from personal experiences and you can take from it what you'd like.
It was never my plan to get married young. In fact, at 20 years old marriage hadn't even crossed my mind. I was just trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I specifically remember that year telling my mom that "I didn't want to get married for a long time and just wanted to focus on my career and school”.
You see, I had just gotten out of an on-again, off-again relationship with my ex boyfriend which lasted roughly 3 years in high school to my first year of college. It was a toxic relationship to say the least, but honestly looking back that relationship taught me a lot. It taught me to set boundaries for myself and the relationships that I allow close to me, it taught me what I want in a future husband and father to my kids, but most of all it taught me not to settle.
Ultimately, it demonstrated to me what a big decision it is to trust someone with your heart and what love actually means. I hope that this post will serve as an encouragement to you to be patient with such a big decision and give a few pointers to you on how to know if this person is the "right one" and how to find that "right one”.
Things to Thoughtfully Consider Before Looking for the "Right One”:
1. Where are you looking for your significant other?
If you want a guy/girl that is into partying look at those kinds of places, if you want someone who is into health/fitness go there, if you want someone who has similar beliefs to you, go to church! ;) This might seem obvious, but consider where and with what kind of people it is that you spend most of your time.
2. Make a list
This is something that really helped me! Make a list of qualities you want in a future spouse. Now, look at that list and honestly consider if you can bring these qualities and more to another person. Which brings me to the next point…
3. Self Improvement!!!
Use this time of being single wisely! Now I'm not saying you can't enjoy being single and have some fun, but during this (short) amount of time you have use it to the fullest to become the best version of you that you can give to someone else. Take time to discover who you are and what you enjoy, cultivate a skill, experience other cultures, exercise, whatever it is to prepare yourself to be able to add to the life of another human being and possibly other little humans in the future. It is so important to discover how to love yourself so that your love can overflow into your future & current relationships.
So how did Feliks and I meet? Through my brother actually! (The best way to meet someone in my opinion) I knew that my brother already liked him, which was a big deal. Feliks was modeling at Nordstrom at the time and I just "happened" to come there while he was working and we spent his lunch time talking. He was going to Russia for 1 month so I thought I would never see him again...we stayed in touch while he was gone and spent the whole summer together once he was back getting to know each other. That was back in 2014, it was the most exciting and fun time ever! One year later we got married, I was 21.
That might seem fast to some, but going into our relationship I knew what I wanted. I had made a promise to myself (based on the list that I made) that if Feliks' #1 priority was not to be focused on God I wouldn't continue this relationship. No further questions would be needed, it didn't matter how much I liked him, how funny he was, how attractive or how well we got along, it was the thing I would not budge on. I made this promise to myself because I didn't want to waste time (his or mine) and I knew that the source of many arguments in a marriage can be a difference of beliefs.
Now I know that many of you may not have a relationship with God, but that was one of my personal non-negotiables and I made that distinction before getting too emotionally involved which I think is so important! Once too many attachments are made it can be way more difficult to go back. Whatever your non-negotiables are with your future significant other, write them down and do not settle! I promise you will save so much time, tears and heart break for yourself and them.
After being married to my best friend now for almost 4 years, I can tell you confidently that I now know what love is because of him, he is my soul mate. We have so much fun together and genuinely enjoy being together 24/7 we do everything together, even work, and never get sick of the company. We are not perfect, arguments still happen every once in a while but we are able to get through them and actually grow closer despite disagreements.
So what have I discovered love to be? Love is more than a feeling that's for sure! Love is a choice. Just like any other emotion. Love is waking up everyday and choosing to love the person that you have made a commitment to. That's what marriage is, a commitment, and that's why I urge you to be careful with those that you trust with your heart. Love is opening yourself to another person and being able to be vulnerable with them, sharing even the ugly parts of who you are.
Pointers to Know if Someone is the "Right One":
-You see eye to eye on major issues: finances, politics, religious/spiritual beliefs, having children, raising children...all important subjects to cover when getting to know someone.
-Your family loves them: this was important to me and something that I would suggest you take into consideration. If your family has an issue with your significant other, it can be easy to want to brush it off but give it some thought and have an honest conversation to figure out what's going on and be open to what they have to say, even though it is ultimately your decision in the end.
-They are supportive of your dreams/aspirations: it is so important to choose someone who will be on your team and help you achieve your goals! If you can work together toward something, you will be unstoppable.
-There are more positives than negatives in the relationship: life will be miserable if you are constantly fighting with your partner. There are already many pressures in life and conflict with your significant other is not something that is necessary or fun. You can know very quickly if someone is for you by if they are helping you to become the best version of you, or if most of your time together is spent arguing and results in negativity.
-See how they treat others: one of the most telling signs! Do they appreciate, acknowledge, encourage, uplift, respect, and give to others?
-They won't pressure you to do anything you are not comfortable with: big red flag!
-You enjoy similar activities: if you are serious about this person, you will be spending most of your time together! Make sure it’s doing things that you have at least some interest in.
-They have your best interest at heart, not their own: what’s most important to them is that you are happy, they genuinely care about you and your well-being. So much so, that they are willing to sacrifice and set aside their desires for you.
I have experienced what settling looks like and I have experienced what a relationship overflowing with love looks like which is why I put this post together. You are worthy of an abundant love, for all of you still searching for it, be patient and I hope that this can help give some pointers on how to find your “right one”. Have you found your right one? Still searching? I’d love to hear your experience, let me know in the comments 🙂 Lots of love,