December 26, 2008

How to Know if the Person You're Dating is "The One"

So you've been dating this incredible person and things are starting to get pretty serious. At some point, you start to wonder, "Is he (or she) the one?"

How do you know? How can you be sure?

Glitzy magazine articles will give you lots of advice. Some of it's horrible, and some isn't so bad. Such as this article from BestEzines "12 Signs on How to Know if He is The One" Before you start reading, let me point out that while this article's target is for women, these suggestions go both ways. It shouldn't just be the guy who's interested, listening, compromising, caring, etc. If you want someone to think you're The One, then you need to have these qualities as well - no matter if you're the girl or the guy.

1. He understands.

He always tries to see your side of things. This means that even if he's seen you get upset or cry about something a hundred times before, he still tries to calm you down and makes you feel better.

2. He tells you.

Oh those three special words, the words some men have major trouble saying. Well, if he says them often, count yourself lucky. Hearing him say "I love you," and knowing he means every word, is proof that he's one of a kind.

3. He shows you.

We all know most men have trouble expressing their feelings with words. So, sometimes they use other forms of expression. Forms of expression include: taking you out for dinner when he thinks you need a break from cooking or understanding that you might need some time to yourself. While you may like to hear those sweet whispers of affection from him, it's a fact that actions speak louder than words.

4. He listens to you.

Is he's genuinely interested in what you're saying when you talk to him? Does he give you his undivided attention during your conversations, instead of having the television blaring in the background? It's an important sign, if he shows he's really concerned about your feelings, and especially what you have to say.

5. He's happy around you.

Smiles? Laughter? Excited to spend time with you and not his guy friends? Glad just to be with you? If he can't get enough of you, it's a sure sign that he's really attracted and in love.

6. He compliments you.

He notices when you change something about your appearance. He appreciates when you take the time to look great. When he looks you up and down admiringly with a little smile and tells you how beautiful you are, you know you matter.

7. He takes care of you.

Is he your own personal guardian angel? Does he baby you when you're sick and nurse you back to health? If the answer is 'yes', then it's a pretty sure bet you've got a good thing going.

8. His friends and family like you.

You can gauge how a man feels about you from the way his circle of friends and family treat you. If you are held in high regard, and they have embraced you like one of their own, it's a fact he's been telling them how happy he is to have you in his life.

9. He appreciates you:

Telling you how proud he is of your achievements or praising you to his family and friends is a wonderful signal. It's a sign he is in deep appreciation of who you are to him.

10. He asks for your opinion.

He asks for your advice, considers it and may put it to good use. When important decisions are at stake concerning him, he doesn't just go ahead and decide on his own what he thinks is right.

11. He's interested in what you want too.

Let's say you're both watching television and you want to watch Desperate Housewives while he'd like to catch 24. You know how men are when it comes to the remote control! If he lets you watch your show of choice, not in a grudging manner, but because he wants you to be happy, you've got a winner. Give him extra points if he actually sits through it with you!

12. He makes you feel special.

Finally, is he the kind of guy who's always trying to keep the romance alive? Bringing you flowers or breakfast in bed are both really wonderful ways to know he cares. If he's always going out of his way to make you feel exceptional hold on tight, the man is a keeper.

Not bad advice, eh? But really, these all point to a great relationship. A relationship built on friendship and trust could take a different turn and if anything, you still have a great friend. But how do you really know if the person you're dating is The One.

When I attended LDS Business College, I had a very wise Church leader, Bishop Steve Facer. The first time my hubby asked me to marry him (yes, there's more than one proposal in our story), it was a confusing time for me. On one hand, I loved my boyfriend very, very much. He really was my best friend. On the other hand, it hadn't been long since I had ended an abusive relationship, which left me very cautious and a bit scared to make a commitment.

The advice Bishop Facer gave me was this: Pray and fast for an answer.

He told me I needed to know in both my heart and my mind, an undeniable witness from Heavenly Father that John was the one I should be joined with for eternity. A firm witness with no doubts. He went on to tell me this was incredibly important because every marriage goes through difficult times. During those times, many couples think, "What if . . . " or "Maybe we should just get a divorce and move on . . . " This is precisely why you need that firm, strong answer from Heavenly Father. When you and your spouse hit bumps in the road, rather than doubt, you will be able to remember your answer and that Heavenly Father blessed your union. Then with His help, you will be able to get through the bumps together.

I have been grateful for this advice. The first time John asked me to marry him, I prayed and went to the temple, but continued to waiver between yes and no. Finally, I told him that as much as I yearned to say yes, I couldn't, and so my answer had to be no. It was heartbreaking for both him and me.

But an incredible thing happened. While we took a break from dating each other, we remained close friends. We lived about an hour from each other and would email a few times each week. If one or the other was in town visiting other friends, we'd stop to say hello. I started dating other guys from my college and kept busy with work, school, and church callings. About six months later, I read a book that really got me thinking about my relationships and I realized that the one person I had dated and been the most happy with had been John.

So one evening, I drove down to visit him. We went for a walk around BYU campus. I finally got up enough courage to ask him if he'd ever consider dating me again. He told me he'd have to think about it. Then he sat down on the nearest bench and proceeded thinking! It was the longest ten minutes ever! He finally said he'd love to date me again, but that he had chased me the first time, so this time it was my turn to chase him.

Two months later, after praying, fasting, and attending the temple, I gained the firm, strong witness I was seeking for six months before. The difference though was that this time I was ready. During the six months we were apart, I had encountered many different challenges and learned many things about myself. This time, I wasn't confused or afraid. I knew exactly what I wanted and asked for Heavenly Father's blessing. And for a little twist in our story, I asked John if he'd marry me. Of course, he asked me again when he surprised me with my engagement ring.

And my Bishop was right. We have encountered many challenges in our marriage and family. We've hit lots of bumps in the road. But because of the answers we both received, we've remained committed to working together with Heavenly Father to navigate each of those bumps.

I'm grateful for Bishop Facer's wise advice. I've passed it on to many friends and young women and am happy to pass it along here as well. I hope that as you search for your eternal partner, that you will find someone who meets many of the 12 Signs criteria, but I also hope you will take the time to sincerely pray and follow the answers you receive from above.



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