How I Knew I’d Found “The One” (And How You’ll Know, Too)

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, Engagement, Marriage, Relationships by Debra Fileta16 Comments

I used to wish God would give me a snapshot of my future.

That I could close my eyes, and for just a moment, see a picture of my future spouse. How much comfort that would bring me, I’d imagine. Because then, I would just know.

Know that he exists. Know that he’s out there waiting. Know that he’s real.

But more than anything- I just wanted to know I’d be able to recognize him when he finally came my way.  How else would I know?

So much to say- I never got a magical vision. My husband-to-be didn’t come my way through a dream, a prophecy, or even a secret code. No voice from heaven, no ray of light…nada.

How did I know that I’d found the man I was going to marry?  I get that question a lot from people looking for love.  But it’s not really a simple question to answer. There’s no one specific formula or experience that gives you the green light into marriage. In fact, I think there are many different factors that helped me determine whether or not this was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I discuss those factors in detail in Chapter 5 True Love Dates and talk about the “red, green, and yellow” signs and symptoms of a relationship.

But as I’ve been thinking about this question, there is one main thing that opened my eyes to the reality that I’d found the one I was going to marry.

He fit into the my life. 

Take that in for a moment, because it’s a really important truth. When I met John and as I got to know him more and more, I realized that everything about him fit into the narrative of my life, and in fact, he made my story even better. Just like that missing piece to the puzzle- he fit.

I didn’t have to force it, manipulate it, cram it in, or make it happen. I didn’t need to change my life goals and dreams, adjust my priorities, repress my morals and values, or completely change my life around. It wasn’t confusing, dramatic, uncomfortable, or chaotic.

It was easy, it was natural, and it made SO much sense.  But the most important part to this whole thing is this:

The reason I knew he fit into my life – is because I knew who I was.  After some really hard years and unhealthy relationships, I had finally taken the time to get to know myself, because for so many years I had no idea who I was or who fit into my story.  But when I finally took the time to know, love, value, and understand myself, I recognized what I wanted and needed as I was searching for the right person to marry. Because like I say in the premise of True Love Dates, you can’t know what you want, until you know who you are.

So many people I’ve talked to have said similar things. They joined their lives together and their worlds just fit. That’s not to say that relationships don’t come with work, effort, and deliberation- but healthy relationships are far less complicated than we often allow them to be. They are full of life, of growth, and most of all- they are defined by the actions of love.

Last night, after the kids were in bed we were laying on the couch, chatting about our day. In the middle of our conversation I just looked into his eyes and realized- we still fit together so well.  God’s grace is overwhelming, and I’m so thankful for the gift of a good marriage. But it’s not a marriage that “fell from the sky”- it’s one I had to prepare myself to receive.

Look for someone who fits into your life, and you in theirs- but first and foremost, understand your life.  Know who you are and where you’re headed. And then- find someone to join you for the incredible ride.

Let’s start this conversation: How did you know that someone was – or wasn’t a good fit for you? 

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter


  1. In addition, you get really fulfilled when you are with him and your heart will always lounge for him when he us not around.

  2. this is so…helpful. wow! thank you…i still think God brings us the right person…but we definitely need to be prepared and we also need to know ourselves in Christ…and have our stuff together.

    thanks again.

  3. My last relationship was suuuuuuper awesome & then it was SUUUUUUPER AWFUL! Sad thing is, not too long after I met this awesome guy, but before I began an awesome relationship with him, an incident occurred that didn’t sit well with me. It was a major red flag & deep in my spirit I was uncomfortable & if that wasn’t enough, after confiding in a friend, he said something didn’t sound right & advised me to stop engaging further with Mr. Awesome. I didn’t listen. He had so many wonderful qualities that I convinced myself that the red flag would work itself out. Unfortunately that red flag didn’t work itself out. It was a constant problem & I suffered greatly. God knew & He tried to protect me, but I refused His help. How I wished I had! Still, I learned a valuable lesson & I know that the right guy will not belittle me, intimidate me, criticize me, embarrass me or make me feel unworthy of love. I confess I have no idea how I’ll know when the right guy comes, but I do know that God will definitely tell me who’s wrong for me & I won’t hesitate (@ least I hope I won’t) to heed His warning.

  4. The only “relationship” I’ve been in… I knew it was wrong because I was constantly having to change myself to make the relationship work — my personality, my sense of humor, my morals, my beliefs, my attitude. I completely lost myself and nothing “fit.” It was the opposite of what you describe here.

    That was four years ago and now I have a much clearer picture of who I am and what I want and need. I have so much hope! Thanks for your words, so encouraging for someone like me.

    1. Author

      LH, thanks for sharing your story! I think you are on to something when you realized that you were constantly having to change yourself to be someone you weren’t…thankful you got to that conclusion sooner than later. May God continue to give you a clear picture of who you are and who He has made you to be…blessings!

  5. I found the one that God had for me all along. He is not like all the others and loves me for who I am. He treats me so wonderful and my life with him is complete. I used to have bad relationships, because I didn’t know who I was in Christ. I know who I am and love myself just the way God made me. I now want to share this life with the man God had for me all along. I am not afraid anymore and I am thankful to God for blessing the road that led me straight to him. He isn’t what I pictured, but even better. We are getting married soon and I cannot wait to be his wife. We can share the life that God had for us all along.

    1. Author

      Beautiful story, Mollie! Thank you for sharing your hope with others!

  6. About seven years ago, I was in a relationship that (at the time) I was sure would end in marriage (I still thank God that it did not), and I remember telling my dad once that I knew where I wanted to go and just wanted someone to be willing to come along for the ride. But, I also told my dad that my boyfriend at the time wanted to find someone to stay in one place with him. He didn’t want to go anywhere else, just wanted to stay put and he wanted someone to stay with him. My dad said that was concerning to him and it didn’t take me long to figure out that those two perspectives will never “fit” together. Seven years later, I’m a heck of a lot closer to where I want to be. No co-pilot yet, but I’ll be OK either way.

    1. Thanks for sharing. I am in a similar situation now, except that I don’t have any exact plans for where I want to go with my life. I just know that God created me to enjoy different languages and cultures, and I like to daydream about living abroad and immersing myself in another’s perspective. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is really committed to his family and close friends and spends most of his time/energy/resources looking out for those people. He likes to have those people surrounding him, and he is wary of other people.

      We get along so well and enjoy spending time with each other. Sometimes, though, I worry that if we were to get married, I might start to feel oppressed and burdened by needing to shape our lives around the [perceived] needs of his family. And although practically, it might be necessary to live in one place for a long time, I don’t want to feel like that is the only option to even consider.

      When I get worried about those things, my counter-voice reminds me that there is so much I can learn from (and benefit from) someone who is so dedicated to certain people and so content with being stable. In some respects, it is a very noble quality. It might force me to be less self-centered and learn to prioritize others’ needs. I also think it could help me to focus in on what I need to do rather than constantly being diverted by new interests and ideas. My friends think he is good for me.

      I, however, am rather torn.

      I am not sure if I should just wait and see if our perspectives change or align over time, or if we need to have more serious discussion about the trajectories of our lives and what we are willing to sacrifice. It seems like it might be premature at this point. I have never felt any “red lights,” and I am generally happy when I spend time with him, so I just keep moving forward, curious to see how God will use and work in this relationship.

      I know I didn’t ask any questions in here, but I would nonetheless appreciate any comments anyone has that might give me new insight and help me to think from a new perspective.

      1. RJ,

        I’ve been in a similar position in the past. I was dating this guy for almost three years before I finally broke down and broke up with him. We got a long well and enjoyed each other’s company but I knew in my heart for a long time that he was not really the man for me. He was set on staying where he was (which was also pretty far from my own family) and I’m very much a dreamer who has now traveled and look forward to traveling more in the future.

        I am now in the most fulfilling relationship. He is all that I have ever prayed for in a man, even if I just named it off once or twice (which has really been cool to see that the Lord answers pray and desires to love us through that). After paying off my college debt, we plan to travel and maybe participate in a work-away.

        I would like to suggest having a serious conversation if you’re already feeling the way that you are. Its not going to get better and you cant wait for him (or you) to change. I wouldn’t say that you need to give him an ultimatum or anything, but you should establish with him your desires. The Bible says that we should not be unequally yoked. In context, this is referring to a Christian and a non-Christian. I also believe that it can correlate with where we’re going in life, our paths, dreams, goals, etc. If you KNOW that you want to travel and try new things and he knows that he has no interest, then that could be a problem. He may be a really great guy, but I think you’re right about the possibility of feeling burdened or unhappy about your circumstances in the future simply because you’re giving up callings that God has put on your heart and you might compromised.

        Just thoughts. Hope it helps.

  7. Debra,
    What about your personality fitting with someone else’s? Can two personalities that don’t necessarily “fit” create a happy world together? My boyfriend is amazing. He nurtures who I am, he encourages my dreams and wants to be with me in them and help me pursue them, we share similar goals in that we want to use our unique skills and life experiences to serve God and help others. But we have very different personalities – I am very emotional, full of life and mostly loud with a tendency to be obnoxious. He is reserved and shows few emotions. When I first began dating him, I distinctly remember feeling as though he was, in my life, like a “sweater that fit me, that I didn’t need to make fit or pretend it did.” But can our differing personalities work against us in the long term? Can we still “fit”?

    1. Author

      Great question! I think different personalities can go really well together…and compliment each other often. It’s just important to remember that the more drastic the differences, the harder it might be in the long run and will just be something you need to have good communication and work through. My husband and I are opposites on two ends of the personality spectrum, and the same on the other two…but we fit together so well and appreciate each other’s differences. I suggest doing a personality inventory and premarital counseling no matter what before you take the next steps…it’s an awesome process!

  8. I’ve been married for 29 years this August 3rd; my advice would be this:

    When you’re with him, you feel like you’re home.

  9. When we were younger my Mom always told us that we would know that we know who was the right guy for us to marry but she could never really explain how. My younger sister seemed to ‘know’ that she was going to marry quite a few guys at different times that never worked out but eventually she was about to get married and I asked her what the difference was between the man she was now marrying and all the others she had thought she would marry – what was the difference in ‘knowing’? What she told me really helped me a lot and made a lot of sense, she said that in this instance she had prayed for open or closed doors – if it was supposed to go the next step toward marriage may the doors open, if not, may they shut and gradually all the consecutive doors just fell open with the man she has now been married to for eleven years. Apart from praying for open doors now, your advice in this article has also been helpful. Thank you.

    1. Author

      Thank you, Mandy!! While I think it’s important to pray that God would close the wrong doors and open the right ones, sometimes in life we have to make the choice to either walk through the right door, or the wrong door. Many times we are left to make decisions about what’s best for our life, and I think that’s why it’s so important to know who we are, who God is, and what we need in a relationship! I don’t know if you’ve read True Love Dates the book, but I think it will give you a really good framework to know what you are looking for when it comes to finding and dating the right kind of person! Thanks for the kind words!!! I’m glad this article encouraged you.

  10. I’m not sure if my comment will be responded to because I see this article was posted in 2014, but here goes: I met a man a year ago, we have a wonderful relationship, he is good, kind and loving. We share the same goals and values and he brings out the best in me. I’m in my mid 40’s, divorced in my early 30’s (so been on my own for a while. I feel like I’m ready to marry this man, but he says he’s not ready for marriage yet. He loves me and wants to marry me, just not now. This is making me feel insecure about our relationship, I feel like I’m unable to be myself around him now. Does this mean he’s not “the one”?

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