How Do You Know?

The other day I was having a conversation with one of my girlfriends about life and love. We were discussing how you know if someone is the one. This appears to be a rather tricky concept, on which everyone has a different opinion.

For some, it’s being comfortable enough never to worry about how you’re looking around your partner because you know they love you anyway. But does this mean they’re the one, or that your relationship might be losing some of its initial romance?

For some, it’s being able to trust your partner and tell them anything. Of course, this is vital in a relationship you plan on having for the rest of your life, but does it truly indicate if someone is the one for you? Don’t you have a handful of friends you trust like that? Doesn’t that mean you can trust more than one person like that? Couldn’t you potentially trust a different partner like that, too?

I think for most it’s the feeling that you don’t want to be with anyone else. You’re not worried about dating other people – it isn’t something that appeals to you. You don’t want time to ‘figure things out on your own’ because you want to build a life for two.

But see, this is where my girlfriend and I ran into trouble. At our young age (with a mere 21 years of experience under our belts) it can be difficult to know what you want with life, let alone with love. As the next generation we are told we can, and should, do more, experience more, learn more. We are being pushed not to settle down, but rather to try new things.

They say sometimes you need to make mistakes, you need to rule options out, before knowing what is right for you. Is this the same with love? Do you need wrong relationships to know which one is right? Do you need something to compare it to? It’s like only eating one type of cake for your entire life. How do you know you like that cake best, if you’ve never had any other? You don’t. You couldn’t possibly. But if you really do love the cake you’ve always had, why would you want to try another, if you’re already happy with what you have? This is a question I always seem to come back to, and not just because I like thinking about cake (although I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of the reason – who doesn’t like thinking about cake?!).

Does questioning your relationship mean it isn’t right? Or does it just mean you’re reading too much into it? Those little “what if’s” that whisper quietly in the back of our minds – “what if he’s not the one?” What if you’re missing out on something?” – they can be hard to tune out, no matter how quite they are. And if your partner is the one who believes you need to experience other things before knowing what is right, could you go off on your separate ways to explore this, before coming back together at the end of it? Would you be able to trust them again if they needed time to explore whether you were the one for them, rather than simply knowing it? Would it shift the whole dynamic of your relationship?

These are questions I know I can’t answer. They evoke different opinions from everyone. So, how do you know?

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