How did you know she was the one?
We got this question a lot when we announced our engagement. The short answer I like to give is “She told me she was.”
No but seriously, while we’d all like the answer to be something romantic and sappy like:
All those things are lovely and nice but the truth is really that there is no such thing as “The One”. Honestly. it’s more like
Yep. Shooting darts. Now Hollywood might assassinate me for saying that, but it’s the truth and it needs to be said.
This idea of “The One” is a false concept. There is no such thing. Frankly, you could have a successful marriage with almost anyone (anyone who isn’t a psychopath, sociopath or serial killer) if you have certain core basics in common and you both are willing to apply the right attitude towards the marriage. Yes, churches like to preach “bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh”. but I think it’s really just symbolic and that’s as far as it goes.
If you’re stuck thinking there is some mystical “The One” waiting out there for you to find them, you’ll find yourself in a never ending loop of self-doubt, constantly asking yourself “Is she The One?” “is he Mr. Right?” “Was it the other person I dated that was Mr. Right?” You’ll continue to compose numerous and ever growing lists of the qualities you think “the one” should have and constantly rule out people who fall short (thankfully, my wife had no such list). It’s crazy, and I find that most of us post-university adults go through that cycle at some point.
…and the women in particular might fall into this trap
Not that men are completely immune to that trap of “waiting” forever for the right one. I have more bachelor uncles than I can count who have crossed the age of 55 because they never found “The One”.
Not wanting that to be my situation, and when I got tired of asking myself questions in a loop and never getting the answer I wanted (because people like me are always rethinking our steps), I decided to step out in faith. So I asked God to stop me if I shouldn’t move ahead and waited. And waited….and waited some more. I drove my wife crazy with my waiting because as she put it, I was just playing games with her heart (and playing games with her future).
Funny enough, once I was ready to move ahead, she suddenly got cold feet!
At the end of it all, I didn’t marry my wife because she was “the one”. I married her for the following reasons:
- Because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I pictured life without her, and decided I much preferred life with her. I pictured the worst possible scenarios (e.g. death. dismemberment, disability, job loss) and thought about whether I would still want to be with her if such things were to occur.
- Time + Trials + Acceptance + Faith + Choice. After some time together I’d learnt a lot about her. Things you can’t learn in just a few months. Time meant that I waited for clarity and Time also meant we went through a few trials and still came out strong. Those trials revealed our personalities to each other. Whether it was family wahala or financial hardship…only time can reveal how people act towards you during those times. Time also meant I learnt acceptance. I accepted the things about her that I liked as well as those annoying things about her that would probably never change (longer blog post on that later). I exercised my faith that God was in control of our future and then I made a choice to love her for the rest of my life. It was a conscious choice and one I have to remake every morning, when I wake up next to her. That was the last step, making the choice.
Now if all those things mean she’s “The One”. So be it. But there are two more truths.
- You will have some days where you question your decision. Doubt will always be there. You’ll ask yourself “Should I have gotten married?” “Should I have even dated her?” “Will this last?”
- You will never know the definite answer to your question. It’s kind of like asking “Is there a God?” You can be as confident as you want to be, but you only find out the answer in the end. Until then, you pray and have faith that you made the right choice to believe in a God. Same goes with marriage. You trust and believe and have faith that this is the person for you, and you strive to make sure it works with the person you chose, but you won’t know if it will last until it does.
Until 50 years later and then 60 years later…till death do you part.