Is this “The ONE?”
When I was dating I remember constantly being smothered with that giant question like a bloated bear was sitting on my head, refusing to move.
How do you find The ONE? That’s the point of dating right?
To magically stumble upon The One like finding the gold at the end of a rainbow that is being carried by a unicorn with leprechaun jockey.
But how are you supposed to know which “One’ is the right one?
How are you supposed to lasso that magical unicorn before it flies away?
Well, if you’re dating someone, or thinking of dating someone, here are the 5 crucial questions you need to be asking you and your dating relationship.
1. Do I want to become like this person?
Marriage is like rolling Play-Doh, the more two different colors are meshed together the harder it becomes to distinguish one from another.
In marriage you begin to rub off on each other, subtly taking on traits and characteristics of the other.
Does this thought excite you or does it make you feel like you just digested a can of the before mentioned Play-Doh?
Yes in marriage you still are your own person. And you need to have your own identity beyond your spouse. But…
If you don’t want to become like the person you’re dating, should you be dating?
2. Am I attracted to this person? (and do I realize that attraction runs much deeper than looks)
One of the biggest lies of our culture is that attraction is solely about appearance.
If you can just get your hair, abs, complexion, and clothes just right, then The One will scamper to you like a squirrel to a nut factory.
However, attraction runs much deeper than looks. Sure appearance might catch someone’s eye, but it’s personality, values, faith, heart, past, present, and future that’s going to make them stay.
Your petals might be beautiful, but if you don’t have any nectar then the bees are just going to fly away.
Finding your spouse attractive is much more profound than thinking they’re smoking hot.
3. Have I let physical intimacy blind me of what’s really going on underneath?
Is your physical intimacy greatly outpacing everything else?
“Sex is not love.”
Sex can be a liar. It can prop up an intimacy that has no foundation to sustain it.
Letting physical intimacy run wild and free typically means the emotional, spiritual, and personality attraction is lagging behind. And unsuccessfully trying to catch up.
Sex while dating can create many awful shades of gray, when what your relationship needs is some honest black and white.
4. Do our core values and beliefs repel or compel each other?
One of the greatest causes for conflict in marriage are contradicting core values.
I’d describe core values as beliefs that are fundamental to how you are wired, guiding your actions, thoughts, plans, and purpose on this earth.
We all have values that direct us and help us make decisions – problem is most of us have never articulated what those values are.
And if you don’t know your values, how can you expect your partner to have a clue?
Not all values are the same and sometimes you can have two very good people with very good values, but those values can feel at war with each other.
“If your core values can’t dance together, then you’ll keep tripping, falling and wondering why you can’t move together in rhythm.”
For example, you could have a high value for responsibility and the person you’re dating could have a high value for risk. Both values are good, but if not articulated and discussed it could be a point of high conflict if the responsible person likes consistency and persistence, while the risk-taker likes changing things up and going for the impossible.
Take me for example, one of my core values is authenticity. I struggle being in a job, friendship, situations, etc. where I feel like I’m having to pretend to be someone else. It makes me feel anxious and that I’m lying.
How this plays out in my life, especially in the aspect of career, is that I struggle doing work I don’t believe in and isn’t aligned with who I am. Authenticity forces me to intensely evaluate why I’m doing what I’m doing and strive to do work aligned with my beliefs. Thus my career path has been anything but straight-forward, which could drive any sane person crazy.
Thankfully, my wife has been very supportive because she knew this was the way I was wired from the beginning and it aligns with her core beliefs, as she enjoys change and pursuing things off the beaten path.
Too many marriages start (and end) with vague and un-identified core values.
5. Do I like who I am when I’m with him/her?
Are you really being you when you’re with them?
Or are you constantly trying to hide who you are because they want you to be someone you’re not?
Are you fitting and conforming to some abstract idea of what you think they want? Or are you blossoming and flourishing into who you really are?
Do you feel fragmented when you’re with your partner or do you feel whole?