5 Ways You Will Know They Are “The One”

“When you stop looking for love, it will find you.”

Yet, sometimes we search to the ends of the earth to find the person who perfectly complements our soul. Yes, we can stop actively looking, but to find that one-in-a-million, we must always be awake, open to the people around us, searching beyond to find possibilities we wouldn’t have found had we not expanded our horizons.

Sometimes we must choose to look for love.

In the end, we always have a choice in who we love and owe it to ourselves (and that special person) to make the best choice we can possibly make.

1.  Choose the person you instantly connect with

Choose the person whose soul instantly connects with yours across the room, leaving the air sizzling with possibility between the two of you – A connection which translates well to sexual and physical chemistry. You never realize how important this chemistry is until you are in a relationship where it doesn’t exist. Maybe “Love at first sight” does not exist – But there IS this. Whatever it is; That inexplicable, energetic, magnetic, hypnotic attraction between two people. It’s not lust. It’s something bigger.

It’s a connection which makes you want to kiss them when they come close. You’ll feel it around certain people. You will be pulled to them like a moon orbiting the Earth.

Some might say this chemistry is not the most important component in a strong relationship. They are wrong. It is the absolute foundation. This connection is what’s going to have you pausing in the kitchen and hallways to hug and kiss each other, naturally, for years to come.

It’s the propelling force for friendly butt slaps and the desire to touch each other. It’s the desire to hold hands, to crave the feel of their lips on yours, the forging of the ache whenever the two of you are apart. And when things go wrong or you have a period of time where you fall out of love with each other, even slightly (which happens in every relationship), this foundation will draw you back to him or her, time and time again.

Don’t get it wrong – This connection is not based on physical attractiveness or looks alone. Someone doesn’t have to be conventionally attractive to possess chemistry that interacts with yours. It’s not a physical reaction to their beauty at all – It’s a reaction to their energy. Some will have a harder time connecting to others in this way. Empaths may find they make connections this way very easily. It’s the one that sparks myths, legends, tales of ‘Twin Flames’, soul mates, etc. Is there only one person for everyone? Doubtful. But there are souls whose energy matches yours or combines pleasantly with yours. It may sound like new age hoopla, but even the skeptic will be taken aback when they experience the phenomenon. “Chemistry” is very real. You may have noticed it between actors who excel at their professions, musicians, etc. who take advantage of this force of nature to sell their performance. Like these two…

Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper Credit: ABC

2.  Choose the person who is good for you

Not the person who is good for your parents. Not your friends. Not your religion. Not your kids. Not your pets.  Not your brothers or sisters. Not your co-workers. Not your bank account. Not your hobbies. YOU.

“But wait a minute – These things are me!” You’re saying.

At the very core, you are your body. You are your soul. You are your thoughts. You are your waking life. You are the breaths you take in and out. You are not all those other things. You are not an extension of someone else. Your life is your own.

Simplify everything down to you and your special someone. You are the last two people left alive in the world after a terrifying apocalypse. There are no parents to give their stamp of approval. Your friends aren’t there to be impressed or envious over how hot your significant other is. There are no churches preaching the constraints of their religion against your partner’s religion. If you had kids, they are gone, too. There is nobody left to judge your partner based on their profession, looks, hobbies, etc. Money no longer matters after the apocalypse.

In this post-apocalyptic world – Do you still like this person? Do you feel like you would get tired of each other quickly? Is the post-apocalyptic world an adventure with them? Do you feel safe with them? Do they keep your spirits up? What would you talk about? How do you feel in their presence? Do you feel trapped? Do you feel like you are not allowed to speak your mind? Do you feel like you will be physically threatened? Does the person’s energy agitate you? Is their sense of humor compatible with yours? Can you both laugh at the same things?

Basically, are the two of you compatible? You don’t necessarily have to make this a line item examination. It’s okay to have differences. What matters is how you feel around each other. Take careful note of how you feel in the other person’s presence. If you do not feel like a better person, don’t respect them, or don’t trust them – Don’t choose them.

Nobody realizes the alternate reality they are sometimes choosing a life partner in – An alternate reality of everyone else’s expectations and opinions on who is best for you. Be conscious and present when choosing your life partner. If you are choosing someone to make all these other people happy and thinking how much certain people in your life are going to love them – You are not making YOU happy. You are living to please others. It’s a situation which will eventually self-destruct.

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3.  Choose the person who accepts your imperfections and helps you to grow

This one has two parts. But let’s start with the first. Let’s start with YOU. You are not a perfect person. Repeat after me:

I am not a perfect person.

Most people are painfully aware of this. Yet, it is the reason why 100% of marriages end. Because one or both parties in a marriage are not perfect people. Amazing, right?

What is truly rare, truly amazing about marriage and should honestly be in every marital vow everywhere until the end of time — is the admission that we are not perfect people. What if we vowed to be thankful and grateful to our partner for living with our limitations and imperfections as we learned how to navigate life together?

How beautiful would it be if two people vowed to love each other through their imperfections, helping each other in growing towards becoming more perfect people?

What all this translates to is choosing a patient partner. Choose the one who sees you screw up. Choose the one who listens about your past screw ups. Choose the one who praises you for making it right. Choose the person who watches your great business idea fail miserably, dusts you off and says, “Hey, you tried.” Choose the one who picks you up every time you fall and encourages you to keep moving forward. Choose the one who enriches you and encourages you to be your best. Choose the one who provides an environment in which you can grow and be who you’ve always dreamed of being. Choose the one who supports your hobbies, even if they don’t share them (and assuming they are healthy hobbies). Choose the one who isn’t disgusted by what you look like with no makeup on. Choose the one who sees you get angry, lose your shit, do things you’re not proud of, but loves you anyway. Because they know that behavior isn’t you. Because they have faith in you. Because they are invested in you. Choose the person that believes in you and your potential.

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4.  Choose the person committed to their own personal growth

Here’s part two – Your partner. Repeat after me:

They are not a perfect person.

Too many people have checklists of what they consider the perfect man or woman, talking about what they must “have”. They fail to realize that most of the traits of the perfect man or woman are traits developed by being surrounded by loving, positive people. They give unrealistic lists of what essentially amount to the ‘After’ photo of someone who has worked hard to become that person or someone who may exist on paper who will never love them in the way they wish they were loved. They neglect all the ‘Before’ photos walking around them. So many good people with so much potential.

Choose the one who has dreams. Choose the one who has objectives. Choose the one who may not know what they want to do with their life, but they’re good at things and are on their way to figuring it out. Choose the unloved one who never had someone reveal their worth to them. Choose the one who is curious. Choose the one who reads books and watches documentaries and has a genuine interest in the world around them. Choose the one who is humble. Choose the one who listens well. Choose the one always open to new ideas. Choose the one who is aware of their flaws and points them out. Choose the one who is working on their problems. Choose the one who is hard on themselves. Choose the one who apologizes. Choose the one who admits they sometimes think you deserve better. Choose the one who says, “I screwed up”. Choose the one who hesitates to judge others because they screw up themselves. Choose the one who seeks spiritual and emotional fulfillment. Choose the one who sees your mistakes and smiles, not to mock you, but in sympathy because they make mistakes too. Choose the one who loves you all the more for that. Choose the one who will never stop trying.

When you choose someone committed to personal growth, you are choosing someone who gives a damn enough about themselves to become a better person for them and who gives a damn enough about you to think you deserve more than their worst. A person doesn’t have to be PERFECT to deserve your love. They just have to be ever-evolving and growing and have the ultimate desire to be the best human being they can be.

And you should, too!

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5.  Choose the one whom with communication is easy and open

It’s said so often that it’s almost a clichĂ©, but communication is definitely key.

You must be able to talk to your partner about anything and they must feel comfortable talking to you.

There is no compromise on this. You have to set aside time to communicate with your partner. They need to be able to come to you with what is bothering them. You need to be able to go to them. You need to be able to put down your phone, turn off the TV, stop driving, stop doing whatever it is you are doing and listen to them, even if it “inconveniences” you and they need to reciprocate in kind.

What’s more inconvenient? Losing your relationship or giving your partner a few hours of open, honest communication? If you give your partner more communication time, they will need less and less of it as they feel their needs are being met. Instead of hours of talking, it will turn into minutes. They will be happier and your relationship might grow in ways that may surprise you.

You’re not in a relationship with a robot. You’re in a relationship with a human being who has human needs and a human psyche. However, like a piece of machinery, look at communication time as an oil change. It’s routine relationship maintenance. In the beginning of a relationship, it’s easy, but communication is something that shouldn’t ever be stopped just because a relationship is in the “comfortable” phase.

Being in a relationship is more than just sex, sleeping next to someone, or having someone to go do things with. It’s having a companion who gets to know your soul, your thoughts, and becomes the closest human being to you on earth. This is what a relationship is. Communication nurtures and waters the soil for the rewards of the relationship to bloom in. Without it, the garden dries up and dies, or even worse, someone else will come along to tend to the garden you thought was worthless.

Choose the one who gets to know you inside out and never stops valuing your need to express yourself and never stops expressing themselves, letting you get to know them. It’s a beautiful thing when the walls come down and you let each other in, fully. This creates a lifetime bond and a bridge of trust. Never take for granted that someone loved you enough to let you inside.

Choose wisely and live well.

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The Age Gap Romance

It’s the one that’s not supposed to work out. The relationship people are whispering about. The one a few extremely opinionated individuals may refer to as “gross”. The soul-shaking love you have found yourself in without care to what others are whispering about you behind your backs. And frankly, you really don’t give a damn.

Being either party in a relationship where one partner is older than the other by a great enough margin, May-December romances, as they are often called, proposes challenges that can make or break the relationship.

Some couples seem to find joy in their age differences as they do not identify with peers of their own age groups. Some feel like very young souls and others feel like old souls. Some feel like young, old souls given the chance to breathe life again in this world.

Whatever you feel, who you find love with is not always your choice. Love can sometimes fall upon us as if it were predestined. We meet someone, think to ourselves they are too old or too young, and before you know it, we are head over heels in romantic love. Damnit. We just can’t help ourselves.

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The Judgments

We see the shocked looks when we introduce our partner to our family and friends and eventually, someone brave will always ask, “He’s lovely – But how old is he?” or they’ll make some sly joke about how they thought your date was your younger brother.

While you want to scream obscenities at the person, smile and cut to the chase. They want to know how far apart in age you are. Just state – “I know! We’re ten years apart, but we get along so well we don’t even notice the age difference. We’re not the first couple to have an age gap and we won’t be the last.”

One of the best ways I’ve seen to deflect the scrutiny over a May-December romance is through humor. Learn to laugh about the age difference and nothing can hurt you. When he’s got to go home from being out with friends, he can tell them he’s got to go give the baby her bottle. Tell your friends you have to get going because Joe needs to change his Depends. Age is nothing but a number so make the most of laughing about it.

Wave it off as no big deal. Eventually, seeing you together enough, they’ll forget the age difference, too, and begin to know you as a couple. Not that couple where one is robbing the cradle and the other is robbing the grave. They don’t see it now, but someday they will see that the two of you just make sense together.

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Maturity levels and age gap love

While love conquers all rationality during the first few months of dating, there are some realities which are either the greatest gifts or biggest burdens of age gap love. Society often browbeats us with these formulas:

Older woman = Bad
Older man = Good
Younger woman = Good
Younger man = Bad

It’s hard to argue against — one of the most vilified dating categories is older women. Dating an older woman may come with dealing with hormonal changes, mid-life self esteem struggles as looks start taking a backseat to the things she has yet to complete in life, etc. These are normal changes a lot of women go through, so why are they spoken about as if they are romantic relationship napalm?

Women, themselves, don’t like to admit they face these changes, even as they are happening. However, there is a flip-side. Younger women are also going through changes in their young 20s to 30s. They can often be emotionally unstable and not know what they want out of life. The changes they are going through during this time can make them about as stable as quicksand. The man they thought they wanted early on may become tiresome to them as the years go by.

An older woman may be more self-assured and have more of an idea of what she wants from life. She may be more grounded in realizing where she is headed. Not only that, being at her sexual peak around the same time she is realizing that life doesn’t last forever may be exhilarating. This is a woman ready to climb mountains, travel to exotic destinations and enjoy every second of life. A more mature younger man can find a self-assured woman past the turbulence of younger adulthood completely intoxicating. Moving to women from girls, he may find all his needs met much more satisfactorily. A young-spirited older man may find he likes the unpredictability, the struggle to gain confidence or the wild spirit of a younger woman.

On the other hand, maybe they found the true diamond in the rough – The young woman who knows what she wants early on with an unusually mature spirit and outlook on life or the older woman in great health and spirit who retains her youthful charm?

Ask any woman who hasn’t dated a younger man what she thinks and most will immediately point out the immaturity of younger men. Some want to party, stay out late, hang out with the boys, play video games, etc. This can be unappealing to a mature woman unless she is in just the right phase of life. For some women, they missed out on this. They married too young or they were too busy with their schooling or career. Maybe they are young at heart and these youthful pursuits will never grow old to them.

Older men can come with the same challenges. Maybe they act like old men. Maybe they are grouchy and in bed at 8:00. Maybe they have a list of health ailments longer than Nicki Minaj’s weave. Older men can know what they want out of life to the point of becoming dogged about it and obsessive about their career pursuits. Sometimes their ambitions squeeze out the time for love and romance a younger woman might crave.

An individual’s own specific personality traits indicate what type of relationship is best for them. We often seek out what we lack in ourselves or critical components missing from our lives in a partner. In this regard, age may have no bearing on providing us with what we’ve been looking for.

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The Kid Issue

It has to be brought up. For most couples, even if they both enter into the relationship saying they do not want children, sometimes Mother Nature has a few tricks up her sleeve. The woman who never wanted kids may experience a hormonal overdrive in her late 30’s and early 40’s where panic sets in. Suddenly, she begins looking at babies in new ways. She begins to have flashes of a motherhood she never experienced in her subconscious. Sometimes the feelings become so powerful, it feels like an all-out panic. Our very genetic coding programs us to procreate and continue our species. When looked at, this way, these feelings are hardly surprising.

Men may also feel strong urges towards fatherhood. Warm memories of their childhood may flood them with a desperate fear of missing out. They may want their own son or daughter to teach the ways of life and carry on their legacy.

These issues are not specific to May-December couples. Every relationship must have “The Great Kid Talk” at some point and nobody should be afraid to state what they want or what they may want later. Especially when ticking biological clocks are involved. Women only have so many child-bearing years. Men have been known to sometimes be able to father children to advanced ages in life. Then again, do you want to father children whom you may never seen grow up at the age of seventy?

The only difference with May-December couples is that this issue may be much more urgent because of sheer biological factors neither of you can control. Don’t be afraid to breach this conversation head-on. Not doing so and passing the point where children can’t be conceived will surely breed lifelong resentment if one partner wants a child.

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When you can accept the age difference, but it’s awkward for others

Romance is mostly selfish. You choose your partner based on who you want to choose and nothing anyone else says is going to tell you otherwise. And this is okay. Until a woman brings her 23 year-old boyfriend home to meet her 17 year-old daughter, who is completely disgusted. As they get more serious and end up married, tongues wag that maybe he should have just waited a few more years and married the daughter. People will truly say some horrible things that are none of their business when they see situations that they do not understand. And imagine how the daughter feels when her step-dad picks her up from school and everyone thinks it’s her boyfriend?

The ones the age difference will hurt the most are any kids by either party in the relationship. They will face jokes from their peers and may even have to face the frustration of someone barely older than they are telling them what to do when their parents’ partner becomes their step-parent.

When this is a factor, it is important that the primary parent be the one to bark orders and do most of the disciplining. This may be unfortunate, but it is part of the territory when there is an age difference. You can demand kids respect your partner, but it may not happen overnight. Don’t put your partner under further stress or scrutiny by forcing them to parent a child close in age to them. Not only is it stressful for the child, but it’s equally stressful for your partner. If you ever want the two of them to develop a relationship, it’s important not to push them into roles that make everyone uncomfortable, right away. Respect must come first – And then parenting can follow.

There could also exist the situation in which you are dating someone as old or older than your parents. The only thing you can do is wait out the storm and see if they come around to liking your significant other. They may be embarrassed by the situation and that is okay. It’s their right. Maybe it angers you that they don’t seem to care about your happiness, but understand that their reaction is purely because of their own concerns for how it looks, maybe they worry about grandchildren, worry your partner will die before you and you’ll be lonely, etc. and not an appreciation for what the relationship is or how happy it makes you. With time, they may come around.

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But do these relationships last?

Of course they do! We could compile a long list of celebrity couples with age gaps, but thought the better of it. Because…Hollywood. We all know how long most Hollywood couples last. However, I know many real life couples who have stood the test of time. One being my own parents. Despite a ten year age gap, they have had a successful loving relationship for over 25 years of marriage.

It can happen with a lot of humor, a lot of love and the understanding that love is boundless, timeless and can’t be confined to make the rest of the world happy. Just because they don’t understand your love does not mean it isn’t love. When the world misunderstands something that happens so naturally and beautifully between two consenting adults, maybe it’s the world that needs to change. Keep making each other happy and despite all odds and obstacles, you will be together in the end.