IS HE THE ONE? HOW DO I KNOW IT'S RIGHT?

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This is perhaps the most frequent question we receive at Men’s Vows.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the great questions in life that is quite impossible for anyone to accurately answer.  Making the decision to marry is certainly one of the most significant and overwhelming decisions we make in our lives.  And, as a result, the mixed bag of emotions that coincide with the excitement of potentially becoming engaged and married has a way of immersing us in a cauldron of emotions ranging from euphoria to sheer panic!

New love is truly one of the most special and beautiful times in our life.  While we want this feeling to last forever, there is a reality to the dynamic and even disheartening periods of a relationship that we know to be inevitable.  The need for reassurance is inevitable.  How can we be confident that what we feel for one another today is something that will stand the test of time?  Looking for clues for years on end can be a bit tiresome, and lead to a tedious and usually unnecessary strain on our relationship.  

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There is a common misconception that the more we have in common, such as shared interests and mutual physical attraction, the higher the likelihood for long-lasting love. However, when we look closely at couples we admire, we often discover that a wide-ranging list of shared interests is seldom the recipe for a successful marriage.   In fact, quite to the contrary, many successful marriages are made up of to two people who have opposite personalities, with very dissimilar ideas of how to spend their time, and in some cases distinctive views of the world.  So what makes it work?  How is it that two people who don’t look like they belong together on paper are able to experience what we know to be a happy marriage?

There is no doubt there is a shroud of mystery surrounding staying in love.   Why we are attracted to someone, and what pulls us together is something we may not discover in this lifetime.  However, there are a few important questions that we might want ask ourselves when making the big decision to marry.  

Is this a person I truly respect?  

Respecting someone often goes far deeper than attraction. It represents a level of admiration that includes everything from how they make decisions to how they treat others. It often signifies the deepest level of appreciation of a person’s principles and behavior.   There will most likely be times when you don’t particularly like your husband, but your respect for him can still hold strong.  

Can I be completely honest with this man?  

A relationship with any degree of secrecy is sure to fail. It is simply not sustainable to maintain anything other than total transparency with the one we love.  This is the one person on the planet that we need to be completely vulnerable with and in doing so, allowing us to be completely honest with ourselves.   There are few experiences more rewarding than allowing another person to know the deepest and darkest parts ourselves and have them still love us, not despite our flaws but because of them. 

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Do we share the same values?  

The question of values really comes down to the hierarchy of time.  Do you both share similar ideals and principles as it relates to the way you want live your lives?  How will your friends and family regard you?  What type of reputation is important to you?  Having shared values often means that when those who know you best recognize that when presented with the big decisions in life, you have a shared perspective and will respond in a similar manner.  

Are our priorities aligned?  

Life will throw you many twists and turns.  The unpredictability and complications of building a life together will surely present you will many decisions you will need to make collectively. The way in which you celebrate your accomplishments and approach challenges will focus you as a couple and strengthen your resolve.  These shared priorities will map out both the journey and destination of your life. Ideally, you both have a similar idea on road to take.   

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Do you make each other laugh?  

Let’s face it life should be fun, and sharing a sense of humor, and adding levity to the day is one of the greatest gifts we can give one another. Whether it’s inside joke, teasing or simply being playful with each other, the amount of fun a couple can have together will only strengthen their friendship and ultimately their marriage.

We really want to believe that the key to a long-standing love will be mutual attraction, sexual passion, and common interests we often share when we fall in love.  However, the reality is that these components will wax and wane throughout the course of any relationship.  The fundamentals of sustaining your love and deepening your intimacy won’t rely on similar personalities, but rather a commitment to principles you both value.   A simple question you may want to ask yourself prior to taking the plunge is, “does this person bring out the best in me, and will I bring out the best in him?”

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