The most common question I’m asked by my single friends is: “How did you know that she was the one?” This is the holy grail of questions when it comes to choosing to settle down with a woman and, not surprisingly, the answer is not so simple. In today’s post I want to talk about some of the things I realized throughout the course of my relationship that helped me to know, with absolute certainty, that the woman I was with was the woman I should be marrying.
There are so many factors that go into determining whether or not the person you’re with is the person you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly, or that should be done without a considerable about of thought and internal preparation. For me, it boiled down to a number of factors that, overtime, made the next steps of our relationship quite clear. Here are a few of the more important ones.
She Held My Attention
As single person, it was extremely difficult to find a woman who could keep me interested for more than a couple months. I met some really great women in my single years, but, for some reason, no matter what, once I got to the point where I’d learned everything there was to know about that person, I lost interest. With my wife, even after I’d learned all about all of the different things she’d experienced in her life, after she’d shared all of her memories and all of the different influences she’d had – I still wanted to spend time with her. I wanted to make new experiences and new memories. My inability to shake my interest in her was one of the early signs that she might be the one.
She Prioritized Me Accurately Throughout Each Stage of Our Relationship
As you all know, I think I’m pretty awesome and as a single guy, I was accustomed to the women I was interested in agreeing with me about my awesomeness. While, I think MrsMost always agreed with me in that regard, she never allowed her interest in me to trump her interest in other things that were of more importance to her. She would not cancel dates with her friends to spend time with me at my whim or put me before anything she had committed to prior to our being together. With each step in the gradual progression of our relationship – from courting, to dating, to together, to engaged, to married the fact that we both managed to accurately prioritize one another helped me to understand that that this was someone who would know how to prioritize all of the varying needs we’d have throughout the course of our lives together – from being husband and wife, to being parents.
Grandmoms Liked Her
This might sound a little crazy but, I think grandmothers have a sixth sense when it comes to gauging the long term compatibility of the women their grandsons bring home. I think this was especially true with my grandmother since I’d been raised by her and my aunt. Some guys only bring home the women they think are special. Not me. I used to bring all of the women I dealt with home to meet grandmoms. My wife was, by far, her favorite. She could sense, even in the earliest stages of the relationship, that this might be it. I’m not usually one who cares about the approval of others, but knowing my grandmother thought my wife was different from all the rest meant a lot.
The Mental Picture of My Future Changed
As we travel through life we always have a mental picture of what our future will look like. We look out five, ten, fifteen and sometimes even twenty or thirty years into our future and contemplate what our little worlds will look like. When I was single, I’d look out in to my future and see myself single throughout my mid-twenties, married and enjoying life in my late twenties and early 30’s, a parent in my 30’s and a grandparent somewhere in my 60’s. In all that projecting, the person I projected by my side was always some beautiful phantom of a woman whose face I could never quite discern because I had yet to meet her. Somewhere along the line in my relationship with MrsMost that all changed. When I imagined my future life, the face of the beautiful woman standing next to me in both my immediate and long term future was clear. It was her, and there was nothing I could do to shake that.
Once I really started to contemplate retiring my jersey, I prayed. Every single day from the day I thought about getting the ring, till the day I said “I do” I asked God to take her out of my life if we weren’t supposed to be married. I prayed extra hard while we were engaged because we had the worst arguments we’d ever had to date during that time. Thankfully, he answered my prayers by keeping us together and here we are what seems like a lifetime later.
So, how do you know when someone is the one? I guess it’s different for everyone. There may not be one particular moment where you just decide that this person is it. I guess it all comes down to the cumulative moments of epiphany you have throughout the course of your time with a person where you realize that what your lives were before won’t be the same as your lives after. SBM readers, where do you guys stand on all of this? Single dudes, have you ever been with a woman and contemplated next steps and turned the other way? What made you realize she wasn’t the one – or, was she the one, and you just got shook? Single ladies, how do you guys go about deciding whether someone might be the one? And for those of you engaged or married – what moments of epiphany lead you down the aisle? As always – feel free to over share in our comments section.
Lastly, Raise your hand if your in DC this weekend (raises hand)!
Stay Low and Keep Firing.
This is such a thoughtful, insightful and inspiring post.I will definitely be sharing it with friends and clients. Thanks for so eloquently revealing your process from single to married, especially the prayers. 😉
I stumbled across this blog and wondered if it made any sense unlimitedlove4u.weebly.com
I think, the most important thing you said there….was PRAYER…alot of people don't consult the Lord on things….
The other important thing SHE did was prioritize you in her life appropriately…I can't tell you how women get bogged down in this….we do this all the time….and it really should stop. The fact, is men don't really respect when you do this too much…..
We know Grandmother's have the uncanny ability to snake out BS in a few words and a cursory once over…lol….so, that is always a good look.
These are all things I have heard before mentioned…but, to have you lay it out in detail is very insightful…..
Big Ups to my hometown…DC! I think I am in need of some chicken wangs..and mumbo sauce…and a steak and cheese from Capitol Carry Out…yummmy. Have fun and be safe…lol!
"The other important thing SHE did was prioritize you in her life appropriately…I can’t tell you how women get bogged down in this….we do this all the time….and it really should stop. The fact, is men don’t really respect when you do this too much….."
Nothing but the truth.
This was really nice to wake up to. I tell you what, some of the men on this site really know how to solidify in a gal's mind why marriage may not be the route I'm going to go in life, but you sir continually make me proud of married black men. Here's hoping in the real world your life translates well, and you're not like….supporting Kat Stacks on the side or sleeping with another one of the writers on this site. (SBMontheDL) Ok, just kidding, but really this was amazing.
For a long time in my life I really resented the fact that men got to do the "choosing" for almost every major milestone in life…they chose who they wanted to date, when it was time to make the step into a monogamous relationship, they chose when to get engaged, and eventually married… I was one mad b-tch about the entire concept. This anger subsided completely when I realized partially that I was angry that I'd yet to get chosen, especially by what I thought was my "perfect match" at the time, and I chose to have children out of wedlock. I essentially made the decision, without the dude I'd conceived with, to have my twins, and then let him know what was up…and instantly changed his entire life forever based on my choice. I recognized then that we all make choices. Big ones, and that women are as much involved in the decision making process, whether it be via their behavior, or their actual ability to control the outcome. Its nice that you've laid out kind of a blueprint for your decision making process, because it also shows the work she did and the choices she made to keep you around too.
It also reminds me of why I am totally not ready to be married. Scary. I know I say it all the time on this site via comments, and I hate to be employee of the month at the Department of Redundancy Department, but all the black women around me are scared they won't get married. I'm so afraid I'll do it and I'll be completely underprepared or not ready. I have had, when it boils down to it, really solid, great men wanting to "choose" me, seeing extremely marry-able qualities in me…but I couldn't make myself feel extremely one way or another about them. I worry like hell about when I do get to that "biological clock ticking" stage, and some man sees all kinds of great qualities in me and I'm just trying to not miss out on being able to wear a wedding gown after the age of 17 (I was in a cotillion).
At this very moment, all I think of when I think of a life partner is the very cliche "you complete me". In some ways it makes a lot of sense…I want a man who is frugal, and good with his finances, because I lack in that area and want to learn and grow from him. I want a man who may be a bit less whimsical, and flighty than I am, who can keep me serious when necessary, but cool enough that I can still get him to call into work late to have morning sex every now and then. (I thought about doing that whole "draw a line through it" thing and say something else less s-xual, but no, that stays)
I really want someone who loves me for who I am, but can see a bigger better me, and really inspire growth in me, and who I can do the same with. And he's also got to be super into all thirty of my kids. Or the two of them, whatever. All that said, I feel like my scope is broad, but hopefully with time, and more desire to be married/commitment to the idea, I can hone in on specific wants and needs.
Really enjoyed this! Great post!
This post was funny… *Big Cheese Smile*
Haven't commented on a post in awhile but this was so sincere and honest. I agree with praying and asking God to take someone out your life if they aren't the right person, but I also pray that He let me be able to cope with that loss and move forward. This post definitely had me smiling the entire time. Great post sir and I too will be sharing!
All I can say is that this was a wonderful post. I wish more men would be thoughtful and insightful and mature like you have obviously been!
Like the other ladies this was very insightful! It's great that you seeked Gods guidance in deciding the future of your relationship. So many times we lean on our own understanding, desires, and wants. We fail to pay attention to Gods intention for our lives and those he places in our path.
I'm in a complicated situation right now with my ex and we just can't seem to part from each other. I think mostly we're afraid. Before him I didn't want to get married, still don't want a wedding but i do want to spend the rest of my life with him. We pray for guidance. It's funny because I ask God to remove him from me if it's not meant to be. Broken up 5 months and we're still talking everyday and going out occasionally. Hopefully he shows me a sign and I can be as lucky as you are. 🙂 great post
This was (as usual) a very nice write Most. I wish I was in DC with you guys, but since I'm not, I will say that although my list was somewhat different, it was also somewhat similar to yours.
Have fun in DC for me.
"I asked God to take her out of my life if we weren’t supposed to be married. "
In my previous relationship, this was my MOST common prayer to my creator and then… he did. Once things started unraveling I knew he wasn't "the one " but I didn't want to believe it.
Right now I'm just focused on praying and working on myself so I can be the one.
Good post Most
I won't be at the brunch. Maybe you guys should plan something in Miami next time. Just a thought.
Thanks for saying it! Come to Miami please and thank you.
Funny thing about the priorities. I do that and men keep telling me they don't think I like them. And yes, I will be in DC. I will be at the VSB thingy too.
Wow…this is really special. Nice read. Thanks.
*Grabs Kleenex Wipes Tears and Blows out Huge Snot Bubble*
This Is Just Beautiful!!!
"she never allowed her interest in me to trump her interest in other things that were of more importance to her. She would not cancel dates with her friends to spend time with me at my whim or put me before anything she had committed to prior to our being together."
I don't understand why women don't get this, you should never be too available to a man as if you are sitting around waiting for him to jumpstart your social life, you can have a happy median while in a relationship.
*asks Girl Sixx for a tissue and sobbs away in a pillow*
The best part of this Most… "The Mental Picture of My Future Changed" section. For me, this is really important. The mental picture of my future is very very fuzzy right now. I'm talking about getting cable w/ a 13 inch tv and wire hanger fuzzy. When things start to become clearer with someone, I think that'll be my biggest sign that I'm heading in the right direction.
I had a whooooole lot typed in this section but I'll just save it. I don't know if I'm ret ta be that deep yet.
Maybe I'm just a sucker for love. unlimitedlove4u.weebly.com
Great write-up brother, Most. Since I'm still single this paragraph was the easiest to relate to:
"The Mental Picture of My Future Changed
As we travel through life we always have a mental picture of what our future will look like. We look out five, ten, fifteen and sometimes even twenty or thirty years into our future and contemplate what our little worlds will look like. When I was single, I’d look out in to my future and see myself single throughout my mid-twenties, married and enjoying life in my late twenties and early 30′s, a parent in my 30′s and a grandparent somewhere in my 60′s. In all that projecting, the person I projected by my side was always some beautiful phantom of a woman whose face I could never quite discern because I had yet to meet her. Somewhere along the line in my relationship with MrsMost that all changed. When I imagined my future life, the face of the beautiful woman standing next to me in both my immediate and long term future was clear. It was her, and there was nothing I could do to shake that."
I guess right now I still see the "phantom" woman. There are times when I wonder if a few women from my past were the one and I let them slip through my fingers but those thoughts are few and far between. I believe I havent met her or if I have, I wasnt ready for her anyway.
Single dudes, have you ever been with a woman and contemplated next steps and turned the other way? What made you realize she wasn’t the one – or, was she the one, and you just got shook?
Short answer: Yes. However, I always figured that if I was able to walk alway then she wasn't the one. Granted, there have also been a couple times when I thought she was the one and she walked away from me.
Since I think love is as much logical as it is emotional, I believe timing is crucial too. Even if I had married any number of these women it would have been far more difficult – if not impossible – to maintain our relationship because I needed to grow a lot as a person but specifically, as a man. I could have done this as a couple but it would have been unnecessarily difficult. I thought a lot differently at 21, 25, and now, 28.
At the end of the day, for me, I think waiting (however long) will benefit me. All this experience has made me a better man, so in turn, I'll be a better boyfriend/husband down the road. In my case, probably most importantly, is that I've learned not to take good women in my life for granted. I'm also finally mature enough to be happy with one woman – and for the longest time I wasnt. Not sure who that one woman will be but I'm not particularly worried about it either, as I continue to have areas I can work on and improve in my life and about myself. After all, luck is where opportunity meets preparation.
And no, I wont be in DC because I live on the other side of the country. You kids have fun tho.
I think this guy is going through a similar situation. unlimitedlove4u.weebly.com
From a Christian standpoint, we would say that a BLESSING is where opportunity meets preparation.
Love your comments as usual.
I just wanted to remind you that they have invented airplanes to fly people from one part of the country to the other….lol.
In typical colored people fashion, I didnt find out about the 'meet up' until the week of and I'm not a baller so I need at least two weeks notice to get my affairs in order #inreallife. lol
I'll be in Miami in July with some friends and I plan to meet-up with some like minded Tweeters and Bloggers. See, that's a notice. #NoShots!
so i absolutely LOVE this post. yay for Most joining the team!
i think the most important thing you said was prayer. it's so important (as a christian) to consult Him when entering into any serious relationship. what we want is not always what we need. i've learned that the hard way more than once.
the priorities point is so important as well. i think this has by far been my biggest mistake in my last relationship. i allowed myself to wrap almost my entire life and schedule around him, and that just isn't healthy, and was actually completely out of my character. i realize now that we were most happy when i lived my life and didn't stop it for him. live and learn i suppose.i'm actually working on a blog post about just that.
i've had two people believe i was "the one" and i actually thought one of them would be nothing else than my husband. i obviously have a lot of growing to do though, because upon coming to the realization that he was actually serious about marriage and babies and forever, i subconsciously freaked and essentially started self-destructing. it's hard to look back at something and realize how big a part you had in destroying your own happiness. le sigh.
it's hard to pinpoint exactly what qualifies someone as "the one," but for me it's just a certain in-syncness (no JT) that i have with that person. it takes a lot for me to trust and truly open up, so if i do, that is a big sign. someone with whom i am truly equally yoked, where there exists no barriers, someone i can eat, pray, Love, sex, laugh and cry with with a comfort and ease that only exists when it is truly something special. that's all i have for now.
thanks Most…as a single guy…this post helps explain things a little.
Most, that has to be one of the most insightful, and useful posts I've read in a long time. So I'd like to say thanks for that.
Single dudes, have you ever been with a woman and contemplated next steps and turned the other way?
– I'm a very introspective, future oriented person, so in some ways I think I do this subconsciously and fairly quickly. Now by no means am I thinking "I wonder what her ring size is?" right away, but I do try to find out if she fits with what I'd like my future wife to be. Now have I ever been to the point where I was seriously considering engagement? No. Not yet. And while I have no problem with this, my family (read: mom) and starting to try to convince me of my loneliness and how old I'll be this November. lol
What made you realize she wasn’t the one – or, was she the one, and you just got shook?
– I haven't met "the one" yet. And past women in my life have definitely committed a number of the fouls listed above, but I, like WIM posted above, was definitely not ready for marriage anyway. And when you're not ready, and accept that, it's never a matter of the other person doing something to make you realize they're not the one. On the contrary (or just a matter of semantics) I wasn't the right one.
"I prayed extra hard while we were engaged because we had the worst arguments we’d ever had to date during that time. Thankfully, he answered my prayers by keeping us together and here we are what seems like a lifetime later."
With new relations the first argument or disagreement is always referenced as important but it seems like the last one sets the tone of the relationship from that point onward. I think it was great that you noted the conflicts between you two were more complicated as you progressed towards marriage. Im always hearing how it suppose to get easier but like most things, nothing worth having comes easy.
This was a nice post.
Hey Mr. Most,
I really enjoyed your post. At this stage in my life I have no idea as to whether or not I will be married. I do not say this to family and friends often because I can tell it bothers them. However, it is the sincerest answer that I have at this time in my life. Long ago, I used to think that I would be married…because…isn't that what people do? I think if I were to be married it would be for love and companionship. Of course, I would expect that he would bring a lot of qualities to the table that I'm bringing to the table: emotional and financial stability, healthy lifestyle, spiritual, goal-oriented, family-oriented, etc. I kinda feel like I'm on the path that I'm suppose to be on and if marriage is on that path then it'll happen and it will be revealed to me. Have a great weekend…y'all!
Yes, I have been with plenty of women with whom I've thought of "…next step…" Due to my symbiotic nature, I don't usually "turn away" from serious relationships. (smile) Couldn't say that for most of the females I've encountered, though… In the rare occasions I have "turned away", it was usually due to either of two fails of the female "considered": lack of common courtesy and lack of staying power. Consistent common courtesy and commitment "staying power" are increasingly becoming two of many ways I am gauging whether or not a female of worthy of even being considered "the one"… (smile) Or worthy of ANY serious relationship…
Great Article and even better perspective!
I know I've thought this in the past about some women, but I don't know if I was as meticulous in my scrutiny of said women. Now I know better and I'm pretty sure i'll be excellent!
I haven't read the post yet (fixin to tho–and yes, "fixin" is a word)….just wanted to point out that clearly the fella in the picture has decided "she's the one" because…….she has the remote! Now thats TRUE LOVE!
hot DAYUM MAN this is TRUTH.
thats just how i know the one i'm with now is THE ONE.
dude, that last one, PRAYING…
I knew my fiancee was the one by the 3rd week. He chose to do whatever it took to keep a smile on my face. Plus he made me feel like a princess and still does!
I've been proposed to a couple of times but I said NO.
One was a dude I dated for 3 years and he came into some money (6 figures) I said NO because he was a serial cheat. I broke it off. I knew I made the right decision when two years down the line, he called me the night before his wedding to another girl and was trying to hook up
The other dude was great on paper. @28, he had a great job, had his own home (paid for completely) and very intelligent. I said NO because we didn't click and we didn't fully understand each other.
I'm not looking to get married just because, I want to be happily married forever.
Great post. The most important thing that went through my mind before choosing my wife was "Is this the woman that I want to struggle with the challenges of life with?". Once I had that decided, I knew it was time to put a ring on it,
Well, I'm having a hard time finding women that are even worth splurging a Dub-spot at Chili's on….much less marriage.
But good post, though….although this makes what I'm lacking in my own life look that much more….worse.
I think when it comes to "The One" my decision making process it simple, and will evolve over time
I believe in "Love At First Sight", & that feeling of just knowing that we match up well…
And then I work it from there…
Amazing post! It's nice to see that (some) guys have a solid process…I especially like the prayer piece, I really think that's essential to ensuring that your relationship is rooted in God's will and not just your 'plans'.
I live in DC, do I get a prize this weekend?
I have a friend who has determined his long time female friend is the one. The problem is she's in a relationship of several years. I keep telling him she will not leave her boy friend for him. He say's in his talks with her she is no longer happy. I've known my man for nearly twenty years. We've played ball together and I've seen other woman or lack thereof he's dated. He's a very selective brother and also one of the strongest and intelligent men I know. I've posted his blog seeking the female perspective on this.
He didn't tell me his blog was in confidence. He simply said we would write everyday until she became his girlfriend. I don't know how true that statement was because he is a fairly busy brother. Anyway ladies give my man some insight from your perspective his blog is unlimitedlove4u.weebly.com . I can't seem to get through to him.
Prayer is so important when making important life decisions. I like the honesty in your post.
I really liked this article: it's well written and confirms my belief that there are intelligent, thinking, praying, Black men who, once they've decided that they're ready to marry, will handle business. I'm only 20 years old but I've gotten pretty serious about this whole relationship thing. God revealed many things to me during my last (and what I think of as my first adult relationship) about myself but also about what I want in my next (and hopefully last) relationship. I don't plan on dating anymore honestly; courtship seems more purposeful and since the ultimate goal in this whole thing (for me, anyway) is to find the one God has for me, I see no point in dating around and such. I'm building solid friendships and each day becoming more of who God wants me to be.
Now when I meet a guy, I look for certain things off the bat. I believe that if a man is serious about academics (I'm still a junior in college lol), his future, and his relationship with God, it'll be apparent after a couple conversations. I try not to let my attraction muddle my intuitiveness in regards to red flags and such. At the suggestion of an older & wise married woman, I've made a list of things I must have in a husband. I prayed over that list and I don't plan on removing 1 thing from it unless directed to by God. If a man does not have those qualities…I won't waste my time or his. I don't look for reasons why a man doesn't seem as interested in me as I think he should be or can't seem to muster up the courage to approach me directly (if he's too shy or intimidated, he doesn't want me enough) because I know that when a man really wants something, he goes after it with all his energies. And at the end of the day, it comes down to permission from God. God knows the desires of my heart AND He knows what's best for me. He wants me happy and so I'm confident in the fact that in due time, He's going to let my future husband know that I'm the one, and that man is going to be my life partner, head of my household, father to my children, and best friend. In the meantime, I'm preparing to be a good help meet, supportive wife, mother, and best friend…oh and a doctor lol 🙂
love it! nothing else to add.
This was an amazing post!
Beautifully explained..now I'm in tears..
RT @SBMDotOrg How I Knew She Was the One http://t.co/e7SuUe1
Wow! that is really all I have to say to your article. The the questions (was she the one, and you just got shook), I have experienced men who had a relationship with me but decided they wanted someone else. Then down the road realize they wanted me instead..Too Late! How do I decide if he is the one…Like you I pray and pray some more…if it looks like it's promising based on what I see, but I need the hind sight and I ask God even though I like them, I pray Lord if he is not the one for me please remove them and he does… thanks again for sharing this.
I loved your post! I'm new to this site but glad I stumbled upon it. Great job on this article and I hope you get more articles featured on this site soon. It's so refreshing to hear guys share their love stories and feelings. I was touched and had to give you a shoutout on my blog: http://abookof40.blogspot.com/2011/05/interesting…
Hello there. I really enjoyed reading a few of your blogs. I'm starting a magazine for women in Detroit and I'd love to have a column or articles from a man's perspective. I think you'd fit in perfectly. Please at http://www.facebook.com/herdetroit (dont want to post my email address directly on the comments). I look forward to hearing from you soon.
YEAH!!!!!!!! 🙂 Beautiful…. Still reading…
Did you ever ask her for space and how long was your courtship.
Yo man this is so helpful. As I am thinking through a wide array of thoughts regarding this beautiful woman I am courting, everything you said is confirming. I have been praying so hard because it's one thing for that decision to just affect the two of you, but when kids come into play it affects much more! So i have been so apprehensive and reading this just confirms eveyrthing in my heart bro! Thanks for the vulnerability.