My client, Leslie, asked me recently, “When did you ‘just know’ that it was right with your wife? When were you able to tell for sure that she was ‘the one’?”
After a brief pause, I said, in all seriousness:
“Six months after we were married.”
Leslie was stunned.
After all, she comes from a culture that is all about undeniable feelings, Hollywood fantasies, and powerful mythology surrounding the notion of love.
You probably do, too.
Like it or not, dating is ALWAYS an extended audition, with both parties consistently gathering information and assessing their futures, up until they reach the altar.
Right now, I’m going to blow your notion away – not because I feel like killing your dreams, but because your dreams are holding you back from finding true happiness.
Look back on your life.
How many times did you “just know” that a man was “the one?”
How many times did he actually turn out to BE “the one?”
The defense rests, your honor.
So if we can be wildly misguided in our feelings, what do our feelings actually teach us?
Literally every single woman reading this has had a feeling that felt true, but turned out to be false.
Maybe he freaked out after three intense months together.
Maybe he enjoyed your company but never actually saw himself marrying you.
Maybe he turned out to be a liar, drug addict, or serial cheater.
These are things that you couldn’t have known on date one.
The only way you could have learned them was to keep your eyes open and keep open to the possibility that you don’t “just know” anything.
There’s always new information pouring in that should inform your decisions.
And if it comes as a shock when a guy suddenly dumps you, it shouldn’t. Because YOU also reserve the right to change your mind as time goes by.
You don’t fall in love with every guy you meet.
You may determine that he’s financially irresponsible or not a good father figure.
You may determine that the attraction isn’t there and that you need to feel more.
The point is that you can only figure this stuff out over the course of TIME.
Which is why, like it or not, dating is ALWAYS an extended audition, with both parties consistently gathering information and assessing their futures, up until they reach the altar.
This is not a crime. This is not selfish. This is smart. This is practical. This is what prevents us from making huge mistakes and marrying the wrong people.
If a man dumps you after two years, it’s because he felt it would be a mistake to marry you and THEN want to dump you. That’s a GOOD decision.
And vice versa. Whether you break up with a man after a week or a year, you’ve come to the conclusion that he’s not the right guy for you, which frees him up to find the woman of his dreams. Another good decision.
The reason I’m writing this blog post is that every day I talk to private clients who make two colossal mistakes when it comes to assessing men.
I’m guessing you do the same.
1) You fall in love with a guy within a few weeks, then spend 6 months trying to preserve that feeling, EVEN WHEN HE TREATS YOU LIKE CRAP.
This is a classic case of “you just know” being really misleading. All you know is that you’re intoxicated by him – what you seem to ignore is that he’s a terrible partner who doesn’t treat you with kindness or consistency and has absolutely no desire for a future with you.
2) You think that you MUST know in a short period of time whether he’s the one. And if you don’t have that “feeling,” you move on.
Choosing a boyfriend is NOT the same as choosing a husband.
And you need to stop making it feel that way right now.