Spring of last year was a confusing and exciting time for me. I had met my now husband a couple months before and I was starting to wonder, could he be the one? I didn’t doubt that I was falling hard for him and that he seemed to be everything that I was looking for. But I wanted to know whether he was the one that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Before I had come across a lot of men that I knew weren’t the one and one that I assumed was the one without thinking a whole lot about it (oh young love and first boyfriends).
There were some things that were fairly obvious. We shared common ground, both in values and in some of the same interests. We fit in well with each other’s families and friends. We had amazing chemistry, not just physically, but intellectually. We had so much fun together and he could make me laugh and smile more then anyone else in my life. These were things that over the years I had learned make a good relationship. But there was so much more that went into it being the relationship. This is how I knew he was the one and how you can too:
He Respects You and You Respect Him
Respect is so important in relationships. And it isn’t always easy to find. He will respect your body and your boundaries for the physical part of your relationship. He will respect your feelings, validate them, and change behaviors that may be hurting you. He will respect what you are passionate about and want to learn more and give you time to explore them. He will respect your existing friend and family relationships and want you to spend time on them even if it means time away from him.
It’s also important that you respect him. Are you excited to introduce him to you friends and family? Can’t wait to gush about what a great guy he is? Is he passionate, driven, and does he make you proud by all he accomplishes? Does the way he treats other people make you want to shout, “yes, this awesome guy is mine!”?
In past relationships I hadn’t felt respected, nor did I feel like I could respect the guy I was dating as a result. Their needs were expected to take priority over my friends, my job, or even me getting to sleep when I wanted to. With my husband I found a man who could respect boundaries, thought what I invested my time in was valuable, and who I was proud and excited to be with.
When the Other Feels Something, You Feel It Too
You both are so invested in the relationship and each other that it seems like your emotions are intertwined. When he is sad, you are sad too, not because he’s a Debbie downer, but because you hate to see him hurting. And when someone hurts him, you better believe that you want to go hurt them.
When he is celebrating a success, you feel like whipping up a cake and putting on a parade because you are so proud of him. My husband references this as how he knew he loved me, when he realized that he could feel my pain and joy just as deeply as his own.
He Shows You He Cares
He seeks out ways to show you that you are loved. And I’m not talking about the default flower route. He has taken the time to find out what means the most to you and what love language you respond to. So if that is flowers, he knows it. If it is planning special dates, then he goes out of his way to surprise you. If he knows that having his undivided attention for quality time together is important, he will go out of his way to eliminate distractions when you spend time together.
My husband would make time for me out of his busy schedule and would to drive to see me after a long day of work just because I had a bad day. He made me feel special and loved with his actions and words every day of our relationship, not just in the beginning when he was trying to win me.
He Wants to Learn More About You
He wants to know what makes you tick. This goes beyond just asking questions to get to know you. When he goes over to your parents’ house he gets excited to see you as a kid when your mom pulls out the family photo albums. He wants to catch you for a lunch during the week so he can see where you work. He’ll get excited when you share a place you love with him or bring him along to an activity or hobby you enjoy. And you will get just as excited to learn every little detail about him.
My husband’s face will light up when I tell him about my dreams and desires for the future. He was and still is genuinely interested in finding out what makes me tick.
He Makes You Feel Like You Can Be 100% Yourself
Before meeting my husband, I wasn’t even sure that this was something I could experience. I had never had anyone in my life that I felt that I could be 100% myself with. Before you think, well that’s just sad, reflect on how you interact with people in your life. In all likelihood most people in your life don’t get to see the real you. It is rare to find people that we can be completely real with, can act exactly the way that we feel like acting around, and can feel free to say whatever is on our minds on any topic.
Some people will only see the professional version, or the church version, just because they are in that role in our lives. And sometimes we won’t say exactly what we are thinking to even our closest friends because we might know that our political views don’t line up or we have the fear that if we verbalize a certain thought they will think we’ve lost it.
But as I grew to know my husband better and trust him, I knew that he was a person that I could trust with everything. My dreams, the rambling of my sometimes less then logical brain, and dancing or bursting out with weird comments whenever I felt like it. I felt safe being all of who I was, not just the part of me that was appropriate at any given time.