How Do You Know If He/She/They Are the One for You?

How Do You Know If He/She/They Are the One for You?
Photo by Mayur Gala / Unsplash

When it comes to our romantic lives, the question "How do you know if he/she/they are the one for you?" often pops up in conversations. Whether you're chatting with a friend, watching movies or interviews, or listening to podcasts, this question seems everywhere. Naturally, we're all about finding that special someone—the right fit, the missing puzzle piece. So, it's not surprising that we're eager to uncover the perfect strategy or formula to pinpoint this. However, we also hear this a lot- "When you know, you know."

Recently, someone asked me how I knew my husband was the one for me. Honestly, my husband and I have been together for so long that I don’t even remember the exact lightbulb moment when I realized he was the one. We’ve tried answering this question, but neither of us can recall a single defining moment. Maybe for us, it was more about cumulative feelings rather than one particular instance. If you ask me, I love how he treats people, admire his natural ease in social settings with his personality and storytelling, and appreciate his kindness, honesty, and loving nature. Perhaps because of these qualities, we never drifted apart to the point where I had to reconsider. We just carried on with life, got married, and life has been good.

The other day, however, something struck me, and it could be my “lightbulb moment.” I was scrolling through Instagram and saw this video of an older couple, probably in their mid-50s. It was such a cute and happy video of them dancing. My heart melted watching them, and it wasn’t just their dance moves but the joyful energy they exuded. Both of them looked so happy and affectionate, and their expressions were adorable. I am a Nepali, so of course, I will refer to them as uncle and aunty, but the point is, that aunty’s grace and uncle’s expressions were priceless. My husband was sitting beside me on the couch, and my immediate thought was, "We could totally be that uncle and aunty in the future."

I’m not saying I have that aunty’s graceful dance moves (although my husband can definitely have that uncle’s silliness), but you get my point, right? In my mind, I see us dancing, being playful, and showing affection even when we're older. Although I may not have remembered any defining moment that made me think he is the one while we were dating, I think this is my post-marriage lightbulb moment of our relationship. The video deepened my feeling of He is the one for me—the one I want to share a life full of dancing, goofiness, and love with. Every time I think of that video, it makes me smile because I see the older us in it.

There are countless thoughts, discussions, and subjective answers to finding the right one in life, but from my personal experience, it comes down to the person you want to dance with in old age (how cheesy, right?!!!). I know that the 20-second video may have deeply affected me, and I may have gotten a little too philosophical. But I think it holds a simple truth. At the end of the day, who do you want to share this life with? No one's life is free of problems or complications. There will be the best and worst moments, good days and bad days, highs and lows. But do you see yourself dealing with all this with that person? Are you down for celebrating both of your highs together? Are you committed to tackling life's problems as a team? Life isn’t always going to be a bed of roses, so can you both handle the thorns without letting them scratch/damage your relationship?

I guess the key to realizing whether someone is the one comes down to their character and values. If you see the right qualities in the other person and believe you both can face whatever may come, then maybe that's your person.

I always think of what Michelle Obama said in her book and in many interviews. I’m paraphrasing here, but her message is that long-term relationships are not always glamorous. If you're committed to staying together, you have to look at life in terms of aggregate years. If you're going to be together for 40 years, not all of those years will be great. Maybe 10 out of those 40 years might not go as you planned. So, are you willing to put in the effort to work out the kinks during those 10 years to enjoy 30 great years together? Tough times are part of life, and being willing to work through them together is the essence of long-term relationships.

This advice doesn't apply to abusive or unhealthy relationships, of course, because in those cases, you need to get out. But in a generally healthy relationship, I agree with her. This perspective helps me navigate difficult times in my own relationship as well, reminding me that a perfect relationship does not exist. Both parties need to put in effort to make it better and stronger.

So, here’s the moment of truth, y’all- finding "the one" in life isn't about following a formula or strategy. Speaking from my own experience, it’s not a single moment of realization or a grand romantic gesture that seals the deal. It's about the accumulation of shared experiences, supporting each other during tough times, and the joy you find in each other's company. It's about seeing a future filled with laughter, love, and maybe a bit of dancing 😉. When you can envision growing old together, facing life's challenges hand in hand, and still finding reasons to smile and dance, that's when you know you've found your person. It's about finding someone who makes the journey worthwhile, someone who feels like home. If you're lucky enough to find that person, hold onto them, cherish them, and dance through life together!

Well, this is my thought process, but as I mentioned earlier, it's such a subjective matter. You might have different thoughts than mine. How do you know if he/she/they are the one? What's your story? Can you share it with us? 😊