I’m not sure how or when it all happened, but most of my friends are either engaged or talking about getting engaged. Now, as a person who has been extremely single for months on months on months, I understand if you rolled your eyes at this title and didn’t read any further. But if you are single and have read this far, I’m assuming you’re just as curious as I am about people and their love stories. I love to read about love stories, talk about love stories and write about love stories. I love love, and I have ever since I was able to understand the concept. The concept being: two people meet as strangers and then somehow down the road, arrive at the decision that they want to do life together for the rest of their lives. Amazing. I have always been curious about how people know they’ve found “the one”, and in an attempt to get rid of the age old response of you just know, I decided to ask my friends for better answers.
Let me introduce my friends and their relationships:
(I’m changing names to protect my galpals)
Sarah + John: Sarah and John have been dating for about three years, and recently got engaged. They met in college and have seemed pretty smitten from the very beginning. When asked how she knew she wanted to marry John, Sarah said, “I was with him and his family and I saw how he was around kids and that honestly seemed the deal. We can talk for hours and have so much fun together all the time and we never fight. We may have disagreements but we are able to talk through them without really arguing.”
Rebecca + Oliver: Rebecca and Oliver started dating during their senior year of high school, and both went to the same college. Their relationship made it through four years of undergrad and is still going strong. They have been together for 5+ years. When I asked Rebecca how she knew Oliver was her person, she said, “I’d say that I knew he was someone I could see myself marrying because we have the same sense of humor. He always makes me laugh. It was further confirmed when we met each other’s families and I could see him fitting in with mine and see myself fitting in with his family a lot. Through the years we’ve set similar goals and expectations of how we want to live our lives and it seems to match up pretty well.”
Luke + Sophie: Luke and Sophie met in college, and first connected on a dating app. They have been together for about a year and a half. Their relationship has withstood months of long distance, and even a language barrier. They recently moved in together. When I asked Sophie how she knew he was the one, she said, “When he saw strength and life in me when I was weak and powerless. When he gave me hope and a future in a time when I thought I would not have either of those. When he stayed through the worst of me, while still loving me like I was the best of myself.”
Jennifer + Brandon: Jennifer and Brandon started dating in High School, and ended up going to the same college. They spent 4 years of undergrad together, and recently got engaged. Overall, they have been together for 4+ years. Jennifer was very adamant about her answer that she “just knew” but I finally got her to expand on that and here’s what she said, “It’s a difficult question to answer and it’s not just one thing. It’s a compilation of our journey, our story. Us in general. I knew early on that we would end up together but how that would happen was unknown. I love him for so many different reasons and there wasn’t just one day when I knew. It’s a feeling. Something you can’t describe. You just know.”
Rachel + Joseph: Rachel and Joseph went on one date and then didn’t speak again until they ran into each other at a bar, two years later. The rest is history. Rachel says, “Everything with him is just different. Way better. I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to love anyone else.”
Sam + Kate: Sam and Kate met through mutual friends and their almost two year relationship has been long distance. Kate says, “The cliché but honest answer is that I just knew. My relationship with him was different than any relationship I have had before. Whenever I dated someone in the past I would always have my eye out for something that could be better and when we started getting serious I didn’t want to keep looking because I realized there wasn’t anyone better for me than him. He also checked all the boxes: easy to talk to, attractive, funny, outgoing, etc. God also gave me some signs that have led me to believe that it is His will that we are supposed to get married. I think that last part is what makes doing long distance bearable.”
So there you have it. Six people who have chosen their person, and their explanation of what made them do it. A couple recurring things I notice in my friends’ answers: one being the realization that the relationship they have with this person feels different than any previous relationship in a very significant way, and another being compatibility between families. As someone who loves words and details and wants to explain and talk about everything, it can be hard for me to accept an answer like “When you know, you just know”. But maybe it really is that simple. Maybe thats the point. What do you think? Do you really just know? Are some concrete factors non-negotiable when it comes to marriage? I’d love to hear your opinions and stories!