If you google how to know if you’ve found the right one, you will get nearly ten billion results, so what’s one more article about it? I’m not sure I can provide anything more enlightening from any of the dozen articles I just went through ranging from eharmony advice to science and psychology and even a contributor on Oprah.com. All I can add is my own personal experience supported by t.v. and movies, which I hope will exemplify my excellent taste. But hey, personal journeys and pop culture are often places we look for advice and truth anyway, right?Mia: "Maybe I'm not good enough."
Seb: "Yes you are."
Mia: "No... No, maybe I'm not."
Seb: "Yes you are."
Mia: "Maybe I'm not."
Seb: "You are."
- La La Land
I think the list of “signs” that I've found on many many sites are super great and helpful. They talk about how much you respect each other, how comfortable you feel, having that gut feeling and that euphoria. I agree with most of what any listicle says, except maybe the Insider’s “11 surefire signs that you've found 'the one'” that had more to do with simple compatibility rather than love or “the one.” For the most part, though, being able to “share your hopes and dreams” (Lifehack) to “You manage conflict well” (eharmony) are pretty accurate indicators of being in the right relationship.
Though everyone has different thoughts on this, I don’t believe there’s only one “the one” out there. There are too many people on this planet for that to be the case and so many factors fall into falling in love. You can find “the one” in the small hometown you grew up in, while travelling the world, or swiping right. If you would’ve never met that one, you would probably find another one along the way. That being said, I also think it’s a rare beautiful gift to find someone who in the cliché terms completes you.
I was a big fan of the show Once Upon a Time (even during the times it was mostly going downhill). I feel like my love theology is similar to the show’s, which believes your true love is out there, but if you lose him or her, then you can find a second. The chance of finding a third, though, is slim to none.
One of my favorite movies is Before Sunrise, in which an American, Jesse, and a French girl, Celine, have a serendipitous encounter on a train in Europe and then decide to get off in Vienna to spend a day and full night together. The trilogy follows them every nine years and shows them reunite in Before Sunset and then living their lives together in Before Midnight. It’s a beautifully realistic portrayal of love and genuine connection that goes against the sappy Hollywood films that get it wrong so much of the time.
Spoilers ahead, but in the first film they are both in their early twenties and by the end decide to not exchange information at the time of their departure. Instead, the film ends with a cliffhanger of them meeting in six months at a precise time and location. The second film, which picks up nine years later, reveals Jesse’s unhappy marriage to a woman he has a son with and Celine’s lonely relationship with a guy who is often away. My favorite line of the second film is when Jesse is rhetorically asking why they had never exchanged numbers when they first met, and Celine replies, “I guess when you're young, you just believe there'll be many people with whom you'll connect with. Later in life, you realize it only happens a few times.”
Genuine connections can be rare, and though it isn’t the only factor in knowing who “the one” is, it is vitally important. So once the genuine connection, mutual respect and admiration, and all that other jazz are all accounted for, there is one thing I want to focus on to determine how you know you’ve found that mystical “one.”
One of the most important qualities I think someone can look for is how much you can both throw yourselves into each other’s passions. First, you have to know what your own passion is and then find out your partner’s, which if you know yourself well enough and have been dating any amount of considerable time, this should be obvious. Next, you have to find out if it’s something you can support. If their sole passion in life is to make lots of money by any means necessary, but you think money is the root of all evil, then your relationship will never work. If however, you both support each other’s passions and as the website Hack Spirit says, “You are their biggest cheerleader,” then this is a very good sign.
Get ready for another movie reference, because La La Land is such a good example of this, which is all about falling in love through each other’s passions (lots of spoilers ahead). Sebastian loves jazz. Mia wants to be an actress. In one of their early conversations, she admits she doesn’t like jazz, so he takes her to a jazz club and throughout the film she develops a love for it too. In fact, at some point later in the film she tells him that she likes jazz because of him. Similarly, Seb becomes the biggest supporter of her dream and is the one who helps her to decide to write and act in her own play, which is what ultimately leads to the ending in which she gets discovered and achieves her dream.
Throughout the film, they become enmeshed in each other’s dreams and passions. Mia designs Seb’s logo for the future club he wants to own, and later finds that he uses it. She is so immersed in his dream that it becomes a source of conflict later on when he isn’t living his dream and she scolds him for it. It also a breaking point for Mia when after all of his support, during a fight he belittles her for being an actress and says, “Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass because it made you feel better about yourself.”
Being able to support each other isn’t everything, but to me it is one of the most important indicators for a successful relationship. It is so important to me that during my dating life whenever I’ve started going out with someone, one of the first things I try to find out is what the other person’s passion is and whether or not I can support it. I also let them know what mine is and along the way determine how supportive they are of it.
It’s okay to not throw yourself into the other person’s passion right away. It’s healthy even, because it means you are your own person first. But as the relationship progresses, how much you delve into what the other person loves is increasingly important. When I’ve met guys who don’t like to read, but are willing to read my blogs and short stories, then it’s a good sign. But if they put minimal to no effort into reading my stuff, then I write them off completely. However, the more involved we become, the more I want and expect them to support me and vice versa.
Falling in love usually plays the biggest role in supporting one another, because this is usually the point where your partner falls in love with what you love because of how much they love you. Everything before this point usually requires effort, but at this point it should become easy and natural. Loving what your partner loves can range from anything to loving their kids (if they have any), to taking their spiritual views seriously, to going to every gig if they are a performer and loving what they play even if you weren’t stoked about that kind of music before you fell for them.
As with anyone who loves you, if they really care about you, they’ll support you. I’m always appreciative of my family supporting my writing and their willingness and want to read what I write. However, I truly believe that your partner who ends up being “the one” should be your biggest supporter and possibly even greatest muse. This is the person you are enthusiastic to share your passions and dreams with because you know how excited they get about it for you. They believe in you even when you doubt yourself and carry you on through the struggles of following your dream.
If you are questioning whether or not this person is “the one” for you, then among other important questions, ask yourself, “Can or do I love what he/she loves?” As well as, “Does he/she love what I love?” What someone loves reveals a lot about who they are and I think is the best test to determine how compatible two people are, even if you have different views on it. Do you both love politics but see things differently? Do you both love God but have different religious backgrounds? Can you love the other person’s family and friends? Can you share and participate in their dreams? If the answer to these questions is yes, then it’s safe to say you’ve found that elusive “one.”
p.s. This is the best article I found for a list of "15 Questions to Know if You've Found the One"
*originally published on j.ilianaserna.wordpress.com