How to find the one - is he Mr Right?
Everybody wants to be with somebody. In fact, lots of people spend a large amount of time searching for that special someone to share the rest of their lives with. These days it can be hard to find the right person; we all live hectic lives and it isn't always easy to meet like-minded people but, once you have met someone, how do you know if they are "the one"?
I didn't actually believe in true love at first but I changed my mind when I met my husband. What I do remember was wishing I knew what I know now when I was younger. Here are 12 signs that I think might just be telling you that your other half is for keeps.
Twelve signs that he might be the one.
So you get along well, everything is moving along nicely and you're wondering if this could be "it". How do you know for sure? He gets along OK with your parents, he doesn't wear socks with his sandals and he doesn't mind your secret Barbara Streisand collection on your ipod. What else could you possibly need to know?
1.You can be yourself around him, completely, 100%
If you find that you're completely comfortable in front of your man this is a great sign that the future could look bright. There's nothing more tiring than feeling like you have to watch what you say or do for fear that your other half won't like it, and it's always best to just be yourself anyway. A lot of people hold a little something back when they're with someone new and it's natural to a certain extent at the beginning but as you get to know each other, more and more of your personalities will reveal themselves. If you both feel comfortable and easy in each other's presence, even after those guarded first few weeks, then it's a really good sign.
2. You'd want to be his friend if there was no attraction.
This leads on from the last point and is a good indicator of how well you get along. People choose their friends because they have found some common interests or ideals and quite often they share the same sorts of principles. If your man is a candidate to be a good friend of yours this is likely to be a great foundation for a solid and long-lasting relationship. Do you laugh together? Do you share similar passions? You just might have a bright future and a new best friend.
3. He doesn't play games or use emotional blackmail.
So he says he's going to call but does he? One of the biggest complaints my friends have about guys is that they don't call when they say they will. I say, ditch those guys. If they were really interested in you they would make sure they called in good time. They might be playing a game to "treat you mean and keep you keen" but guys like this are rarely in it for the long haul. Those guys are playing games with you because love is still exactly that - a game. They have some growing up to do before they'll want to settle down.
If he calls you but he's the emotional blackmail type it's another clear sign to get out. This type of fella just wants to get his own selfish way by making you feel bad - a sign that he's not thinking of your needs. I know it's hard to admit it sometimes if everything else about him seems great but trust me, you're better off with a more mature and considerate guy.
4. You trust him...
...and he trusts you. Trust is a hugely important part of a relationship. If you don't have trust, you have nothing. And it has to be a mutual trust otherwise it still doesn't work. You don't want to be lying in bed at night wondering what he's up to and why he hides his phone or who he was talking to on internet chat. At the same time you don't want a man who gives you a hard time for wearing make-up and nice clothes in public or for having male friends. If there isn't any trust, move on.
5. You respect him...
...and he respects you. I discovered this the hard way a few times in the past. I didn't realise it at the time but I did have a few relationships with people that I didn't actually respect. One made a habit of lying to people to get their business, another was racist and another was homophobic. These were all things that didn't fit with my principles (and I wouldn't have picked these men as friends - see earlier point) and I found that it made it impossible for me to respect them. I should have known at the time that it wouldn't work out but it took me a while to figure it out for myself. I'm not saying that you can't have different opinions or political affiliations but you do need to have a mutual respect.
Oh, and if he doesn't treat you like a beautiful, worthwhile person then you know the respect isn't coming back at you. My advice? Move on. I know it can be hard when you're in a relationship but if you ever find yourself lying to your friends about how he treats you, it's time to get out.
6. He loves the flaws you hate about yourself.
We beat ourselves up all the time about how we look, comparing ourselves to airbrushed images in the media in our society that idolises youth. Women, learn how to love yourselves! I'm as guilty of this as the next person but I was amazed to discover that my husband really does love all my flaws. He tells me. Often. At first I didn't really know if I should believe him but it's true.
And men all over the world express the same thoughts. They love their partners' flaws. In fact, they don't see them as flaws at all.
If your man tells you that he loves your stretch marks, your scars, that extra handful of fat you have on your hips, the way your face wrinkles when you smile. then you know you're on to a winner.
7. He only has eyes for you.
There's nothing worse than a man who makes you feel you're "lucky to have him" because he is constantly eyeing up the competition. Let's be honest - men can't help looking (and most women can't help it either) - it's a part of our society. I actually like looking to see what women are wearing on a night out, how they've preened themselves and even my toddler's eyes are drawn to pretty girls faces. But what I'm talking about is the men who openly leer and sometimes talk to their friends about what they'd like to do to that particular girl given 5 minutes alone with her. Nice touch.
If a man only eyes for you, he might notice other girls but he will always make you feel like you are the only woman he wants. He'll be mature enough to acknowledge when women are attractive but he will never make you feel as if you have to compete.
8. You want to have his babies or settle down with him.
This might seem obvious but it was only recently that I realised that I had an internal relationship barometer that was telling me all along that none of my previous relationships were quite the real thing. I never wanted to have children with any of them.
Now, I know that lots of people aren't ready to have children until a certain point in their lives and some people don't want children at all but I still think it can be a good indicator. Part of what makes someone right for you is timing, and if they come along at the point when you want to settle down this can be part of what makes it work, especially if they feel the same. If you want to forge a life together that involves shared finances, shared responsibilities and possibly a family (or shared pets) then it can be a good sign.
9. When you argue it stays above the belt.
This is related to respect and once again, it goes both ways. Arguments can be heated but they should never involve statements that are so below the belt that they haunt you and hurt you long after the argument has finished. No name calling, no insulting your family, no saying the sex was better with someone else. Nasty things can come out of mouths when people are angry but if they are so hurtful your worst enemy wouldn't say them, then move on.
10. He cares about the people you care about.
It should go without saying that if he loves you, he'll care about the people you care about. Of course, your family might get on your nerves every now and again, that's pretty normal but he'll understand that too. If you care about them and they care about you he'll want to stay on good terms with them and accept them as part of his life with you. If he constantly calls your mother a thousand horrible names, even after she baked him a lovely cake for his birthday, you might be looking at a mismatch.
11. He never makes you feel inferior and never resents you for making him feel inferior.
This can be about a lot of things - salary, gender, intelligence, whatever. The right partner won't make you feel like you are inferior because you're a woman, he won't call you stupid, he won't constantly tell you that you're rubbish at something or that you have silly ideas. If he thinks all of these things then why is he with you? Never stay with someone who puts you down all the time.
Likewise you should hear warning bells if he resents you because you're successful, you earn more than him, you're taller than him, you have lots of friends or whatever else. If he tries to make you feel bad because of things you do well and he isn't able to overcome this issue, then, you guessed it, move on.
12. He cleans up after you when you're sick and doesn't complain about it.
Ah, the classic sign. Does he hold your hair for you when you're being sick? What about cleaning up a severe and horrible case of diarrhoea that you had when you were too feverish to stand and collapsed on the way to the bathroom? And he didn't complain? Now that is love.
Those are the guys who massage your back in the hospital when you're in labour and smile back at you even after you've hurled abuse at them and talked crap for hours, delirious on gas and air. Hang on to that man. He might just be the one.
13. He doesn't mind it when you do your own thing.
It's healthy to have separate interests when you're in a relationship. You are part of a couple but you still need to be your own person - you're both individuals after all. If your man resents you or makes you feel guilty because of your lunch date with the girls or your weekly yoga class then you know he's bad for you. Lots and lots of people lose themselves when they're in a relationship. They lose touch with friends and all of their hobbies and they just become part of a couple, almost unable to function without the other. This kind of relationship works for some people but it will eventually make a lot of people feel like they've lost who they are.
If your man supports you when you do your own thing and encourages you in the hobbies and passions that you love, you know he is a good catch. If you can get him to come along to your first beginners' trapeze performance at the local theatre, even better! Just remember that you should also return the favour. Let him have his own hobbies and interests. Encourage and support him and he will love you for it. Be proud of each other and enjoy a healthy relationship!
These are just some of the signs to look out for if you're not sure if he's "the one". There are probably others that I've neglected to mention but I think there is enough here to get you started.
Oh, and one more thing: everyone I know who met "the one" didn't even need to read a list of signs because they just knew. They just clicked. It was obvious.
If you haven't met the one my advice is: stop looking, just enjoy your life, make the most of it, be yourself and do what you do. In my experience the right person comes along when you're not even looking for them.