I always read articles about being able to identify the man of your dreams when he came along – how there would be that white puff of magical smoke, a choir of a thousand angels would begin singing, and a neon sign which said ‘The One’ would appear above his head. Okay, clearly I’m kidding, since we all know there’s nothing magical about smoke. What I heard and read most often didn’t seem to help me much in my quest to find the one whose name would be written on my heart; the guy who had ‘it’ – that undefined thing that would speak to the undefined thing in my soul. You see, the most popular and well-repeated bit of info in this regard was ‘you just know’. Great going, people-who-have-found-your-significant-others. Way to help a girl out. Now that I am insanely happily married, I must reluctantly admit that it’s true – when you meet the right one for you, you just know, without the neon sign. Want a few more details about my own experience? Here are some of the things that made me know in no uncertain terms, that my husband was my ‘it’.
- I Saw God’s Fingerprint All Over Our Relationship
When I met my husband, I was actually in another dead-end relationship, with someone best described as an ‘imposter’. It was one of those you knew just wasn’t going anywhere, but you held on for some unknown reason – maybe a fear of loneliness, or perhaps because you are biding time until something better came along. Shortly before I met the imposter, I had carefully written down a list of all the qualities I wanted in a life partner. The list included how he looked, smelled, smiled, and a host of other things. And upon this list I meditated, as in my mind, I was being deliberate. Not long after, this man came along. He matched pretty much everything on the list, except for being a Christian. (And of course his wife, who I found out about later on and immediately, closed the door on him). When I realised I had once again made a bad decision, I tore up the list and fervently prayed, asking God to choose someone for me, and telling Him that I would submit fully to His will. Soon after my husband came along. There are so many things we are aligned on and we are confident that God brought us together. And that list I tore up? He matched the important things on it and added some stuff I didn’t even realise I needed.
- I Was Attracted to Him in Every Way
I started a Singles Ministry at my congregation, the St Andrew church of Christ, to support singles with living their best lives. In a prayer breakfast session, a presenter advised that when seeking a partner, we should look around the church for someone who we could be friends with, and then maybe after some time had passed, we would ‘realise’ that we could possibly have a romantic relationship with this person, which would eventually lead to marriage. On another occasion, someone advised that ‘the one’ is the man who would take care of me in old age. Sigh. I threw both pieces of advice out the window, as I longed for someone I could chill and watch a basketball game with, but who would make my heart race when I gazed at him across a room full of men. And I found my heart’s desire in my husband. I am sexually, emotionally, physically and spiritually attracted to him. While we are bff’s and I can tell him any, any, thing, I also want to jump his bones, as well as discuss biblical doctrine with him. Pretty awesome, huh?
- He Loved Other People
It’s the natural tendency for us to be our best selves in the presence of a potential mate. In the case of men, they may open doors, listen attentively while you speak, and bring you thoughtful gifts. Women are definitely going to try to look their best, maybe laugh at his jokes, and perhaps eat a little bit less than she normally would. Sadly, this new behaviour can be quickly discovered as an act when the gentleman you thought you were dating doesn’t hold the door open for anyone except you. I observed my husband’s behaviour around others while we were dating, and noticed that he was very kind and attentive to the needs of everyone – from children to the older women in the congregation. He was the President of the Students’ Council at his university and treated his fellow students in just one way – as if they were his brothers. That made me know with certainty that his behaviour in my presence was his true nature, as he consistently showed the same love and kindness to everyone he came in contact with. How many men help strangers to put groceries in their car in this age? My husband does.
- He Saw Me at My Worst – and Stayed
At the time I met Joel, I was struggling with ill health, including a condition I had no idea existed. We were very open with what we shared from the beginning, resolute we wouldn’t waste each other’s time. He therefore knew my struggles and didn’t seem too concerned, other than wanting me to be well. On more than one visit to see me, chilling and watching TV quickly turned into me battling a sudden bout of illness, with him having to lift me up flights of stairs and carry me to bed, or stand guard (with his back turned) while I used the bathroom. I was often concerned that I was being a burden, but he always reassured me that he was where he wanted to be, and that my only concern should be getting well. This was in stark contrast to previous boyfriends who would stay very far away if I had so much as a headache. When the going got tough, he had no intention of going.
- It Just Worked
I was once discussing yet another relationship issue with a friend. After giving me some sound advice for the umpteenth time, he remarked that if I was exerting too much of an effort to make it work, then I was probably dating the wrong guy. Turns out he was right. While relationships require an effort, it shouldn’t require the same amount of work as the thesis for your post-grad degree, and on a consistent basis. I was constantly trying to figure out how to correct an issue, how to be better at something I thought would please my partner, and was in a constant state of strategising. Not only did I forget who I truly was, but it was so tiring, and I was scarcely happy! With my husband, there was little or no work to do, with anything. We came together in a way that can best be called seamless, and it just made sense. We resolved issues quickly and moved forward without any negative energy or ill feelings. We were free to focus on loving each other, instead of trying to force a round peg into a square hole, or however that saying goes.
- I Felt Safe
There was never a point in our dating life where I felt J would hurt me. Things like that simply never crossed my mind. I felt we were on the same page, aligned in a lot of things including our love for God, our passion for outreach, and, as we later discovered, an interest in video production and the creative arts. (It’s super cool to work together in our communication consultancy). I could tell him things I would otherwise have found embarrassing, with no fear of judgement or ridicule. He listened when he needed to, gave sound advice when that was required, and prayed with me about any and everything. I was confident my heart had found its safe place, finally.
- I Was Myself, Unfiltered
At the time I started dating my husband…well we didn’t date much because we knew this was it. There was no need to go the conventional route of multiple dates and forced conversation about the schools we attended and our fondest childhood memories. So when we met, I was completely over and done with putting on airs, and again making massive efforts for something that would prove a waste of my time. I was done hiding who I was and pretending to be interested in things I didn’t like, all for the sake of a guy who wasn’t that into me. Thankfully, J fully accepted me. I completely exposed myself, warts and all, laughing and snorting, saying silly things, sharing my dark past and silly dreams, without makeup and sometimes with my hair uncombed.
Sharing your life with the right person is a beautiful thing. The journey to find your ‘it’ can be a tedious one. However, when you lay your head next to your loved one’s at night, and whisper and giggle about silly things until you fall asleep, you will realise it was worth kissing all those frogs to lay hold of your prince.
Were these thoughts helpful? Drop me a comment and share your own story about finding your prince or princess.