Dec 14, 2012  •  In Personal, Relationships

How Did You Know?

A friend recently asked me how I knew J was “the one.”

My answer? I didn’t.

I don’t believe in soulmates. I believe that marriage is damn hard. And I believe we are continually evolving as people so that the person you married 3/5/10/20 years ago may not necessarily be the same person with whom you vowed to spend the rest of your life.

But what I did tell my friend was that my relationship with J started out differently than all my past relationships.

For one, we were friends first…and even best friends for a few months before taking it to the next level.

Secondly, his actions spoke louder than words.

He seemed to constantly want to be with me. For example, whenever he’d go out with friends, he would always ask if I wanted to come along — almost as if he were proud to be dating me and couldn’t wait to show me off.

(This is not to say my other boyfriends were ashamed of me and kept me hidden from their friends and family. Rather, they were much more conservative in that they waited quite some time before introducing me to them.)

A night early in our relationship when we were trying our best to look badass.
(My sister calls his picture “Drunk and Drunker.”) 

I also remember a time when I had the day off while he needed to go in to work; he asked me to hang out at his place, make myself at home, and even go bug his roommates if I got bored, so that I would be right there when he returned home from the office. And this was just a couple of weeks into the relationship!

There was also the time he visited Hong Kong for two weeks. We weren’t officially boyfriend-and-girlfriend yet, but I had asked him to give me a call when he arrived so that I would know he got there safely.

He called me EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The late Randy Pausch wrote to his daughter, “When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.”

As a lover of words, I have fallen into the trap of the suave talker too many times. And if my daughters are anything like me, I’m sure that they will too.

You can be sure I will pass along this piece of advice.

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6 Responses to “How Did You Know?”

  1. kim says:

    What wonderful advice! Your husband sounds like a pretty nice guy! You both are blessed to be together and have such a lovely family! I’m going to pass this on to my daughters too.

  2. Andrea says:

    BEST. EXPLANATION. for the question “How did you know?” EVER.

    And the advice for helping others to be more aware/cognizant about how they will know is awesome too. (And I have a daughter so this is such a Godsend of wisdom and how to properly discern such a thing!)

  3. Emily says:

    I feel you on this, because neither my husband nor I was really in the right place for a relationship. He was insecure and self-doubting following his divorce, and I had gotten pretty cynical about love and dating. But we had become best friends, and when he asked me out, I was basically so confused and hopeless that I’d gone past saying no and said yes, lol! If that makes any sense. Pretty much, it’s a miracle we ever went out. He is the most thoughtful, honest, gentle person I’ve ever met, and when we decided to take a three-week break early on (that I asked for to be fair to him so I could sort something out), we were both so sad that we took the next day off of work and saw a movie together! I eventually realized that I was waking up every morning thinking, “I don’t know if this is what love feels like, so should I break up with him?” and then “I want to be with him today.” And in fact, I couldn’t imagine a day in my life that I wouldn’t want him there, or that I would want somebody else in his place. Looking back, we were in love, but more than that, I can see the seeds of what would turn into the love we have today, and that those wouldn’t have been there with anybody else. I don’t believe in soulmates either, but I do believe I’m damn lucky and I want to go back in time to just give my younger self a smack for ever debating whether to go out with him or not!

  4. eemusings says:

    Jenny, I love love love this post.

    Like you, we started out as friends, and I have zero doubt of what I mean to him. I’m not all that demonstrative myself, but he blows me away with his actions.

  5. Nice photo. Very gangsta. 😉
    I think it’s important to build a friendship before a relationship. Because I think that partners and spouses need to be each other’s best friends. I also agree that it’s about the actions. I think that shows more consideration than just words.

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