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!