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Alexander has been contributing for THS for over a year! While he attained a major in communications at SFU, he also recieved a minor in Psychology. Despite those accomplishments, Alex has also never had a full cup of coffee (crazy right?!). Alex is a lifelong sports fan and will defend his Seattle Seahawks to the death, especially if faced against a 49er fan. While Alex's long-term goal is to become a marriage counsellor, he also has a strong passion towards writing that he looks forward to exploring.

Figuring Out If You’re With “The One”

Photo Credit: OJO Images/Robert Daly/Iconica

How do you know you want to marry someone? No matter how much you love your partner today, the idea of an eternal bond can seem overwhelming. As scary as marriage may seem, it is not as scary as trying to imagine life without the right partner. A lot of people get married for the wrong reasons. Others may get married for what were great reasons, but have lost the dedication needed to maintain a successful marriage. Before you enter into marriage together, it is beneficial to cover some of the reasons to get married that may not be ideal. By exploring different areas (such as finances and kids), you will learn invaluable information about your partner and your future together.

You date someone because you love them. Making a marriage work takes more than just love. Marriage is built on compromises and hard work. Despite every individual going into marriage thinking that this person was ‘the one’, divorce still occurs for countless reasons.  No matter your current state of relationship, you may have an idea on what you think makes a person ‘marriage material’. When considering who your life partner is, there are several factors that may not have played a huge role when you were dating. It may take a few months, even years before you truly know if someone is ‘the one’ but it is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

One of the biggest problems of marriage is when it occurs out of circumstance, and not because of an intrinsic push by both parties. As people start to get older and remain single, they may start to feel pressure to find the right partner (staring at you Ted Mosby). People may stay in unhealthy relationships because the other person tolerates them, but the love is not as prominent as it should be. It may be much easier to be optimistic about your dating outlook at 22 than at 38. While younger-you may be willing to play the field, as you get older, you may find yourself clinging to any sense of security. That ‘desperation’ can lead to negative relationships becoming more serious when they should have ended far earlier. The advantage of dating when you are getting older is you should have a better sense of the type of partner you desire. Use that to your advantage, but remember the work that will go into marriage. By agreeing to the level of effort that is required in a healthy life together your relationship’s confidence should increase.

Several people also get married with hopes that it may solve some of the problems that are present in the relationship. Marriage cannot be used to save any relationship. Marriage is there to strengthen an already pre-existing relationship. If you are unhappy, there is no reason to believe that putting more stress on your relationship will improve matters. Nothing makes a small fight blow up like knowing you are now married to your partner, and leaving the relationship gets both costly and incredibly more difficult in contrast to ending a relationship.

Photo Credit: OJO Images/Robert Daly/Iconica

Intimacy is also crucial to any long lasting relationship. If you have been with your partner for a few years, you should hopefully have a good sense of each other’s libidos. Despite the importance of a happy sex life, lack of intimacy remains as one of the top reasons for divorce. Sexuality in your relationship should be an open topic. It cannot be something that is taboo, but instead should be an area of confidence in your relationship. Elements like hugs and hand-holding can disappear over time and lead to a weakened connection. Too many people use marriage as an excuse to start coasting through the rest of your relationship. If you would not be lazy in your relationship with your girlfriend whose given you 3 months of their time, how should you treat the person who has agreed to give you the next 30 years?

There is more to marriage than physically spending time with your partner. One of the biggest differences from dating to marriage may be the role of finances. No matter the financial situation that your relationship is in, if finances cannot be agreed on, there will be issues. Areas like vacations and  food budgets are crucial to figuring out your life with your partner. Knowing how you both tackle money and expectations as well as compromises will make you realize the important tendencies of both you and your partner. Everyone has expectations on what they want to achieve with their life. If finances become a point of contention, every purchase has the potential to end with a fight. Instead, realize financial stress is something you can tackle as a team, and use this to instill confidence.

The area of children is also a monumental topic when deciding how you want the rest of your life to look. Similar to the ideas on different expectations about marriage and finances, having children cannot come up for the first time after you are married. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting, or not wanting children. No partner wants to feel like they are depriving the other of something significant, and kids are about as significant an area as it can be.

While the ideas above have hopefully been discussed with your partner, that is not necessarily how you know someone is ‘the one’. Your partner needs to make you feel like you’re the best person for them and vice versa. It may sound overly optimistic, but to those in healthy and happy relationships that love needs to run deep, if the support is expected to always run deeper (and it always must).

As well as you should know your partner, you should also know their communication style. Disagreements are always going to happen, but you need to be with someone that will help minimize the damage. By starting to look at things as learning opportunities for the future, you should hopefully be less frustrated by things as they occur. If you get scared to turn to your partner when you are stressed, it could have ramifications on your own sense of self as well as the marriage. While it is not necessarily a bad thing to never seem overly stressed, it is important to know how you both can handle tough situations. If those situations have not presented themselves in your own life, going over certain heavy topics (such as finances) can help prepare you for how you communicate when things are not as easy.

An ideal partner for marriage is someone who is actively aware about the effort that love can take. You are not blinded by only the pleasantries of life, and can have tough conversations without it feeling like a tough relationship.  It takes true love and commitment to make a marriage work.  Over the next 30 years of your life there will be some incredibly tough days. Your partner allows for those days, but also welcomes you with love and support.

Marriage is a continuation of your relationship. The qualities that make your partner desirable as your fiancé, should hopefully be all the more prominent as your life partner. You should not go into marriage if you have any reservations about the relationship that you have not been able to get past. Marriage is a big deal, but being with the right person makes the experience more exciting than anything else. You are promising to support and care for your partner for the rest of your life. That is a serious commitment, and one that should be treated equally as seriously by both parties. Discussions might not always be healthy, but it is up to you two to handle the situations to the best of your ability.

Photo Credit: David Lees /Iconica

Photo Credit: David Lees /Iconica

Everything that you experience with the rest of your life will be shared through the lens of your best friend. While it is hard to put into words the feeling of love, you should be able to look at your partner and know there could never be anyone else. Marriage is about having the self-awareness to realize how lucky you are.

Before you say ‘I Do’, you may be asked if you agree to take your partner through sickness as well as health. Look at your partner and see how they have treated you when you have been sick or hurting. Remember how you felt whenever you were the most vulnerable, and have faith that your partner was a resounding source of strength in those times. Love is easy on the good days, but is never more important than on the tough days.

Ultimately, it is your decision on who you decide to marry. Just know that whatever your decision may be, to support it fully. You need to be confident that you will still love this person in 30 years. If you are having reservations about that, there may be elements of your relationship to reconsider. Your marriage will define part of your identity for the rest of your life, make sure you are making the best and informed decision you can.

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One Comment on “Figuring Out If You’re With “The One””

  1. Medha August 7, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    Reblogged this on Coffee and Musings and commented:
    This article by The Hudsucker perfectly summarizes my take on marriages – enough to want to reblog this one!

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