How Do You Know When You Have Met "The One?"

Dear Toni--

How do you know when you have met "The One?" What attributes/qualities do you look for?
--Looking For the Real Thing

Dear Looking For the Real Thing--

This a great question that I have been asked quite a bit, in many different ways. It has a number of layers to it, so I will cover it broadly for this column.

When we speak of qualities and attributes; we are really talking about not only the obvious physical characteristics we may seek, but also the more important shared goals, values and beliefs.

In order to know what you are seeking, you need to begin by examining these for yourself. Do you KNOW what:

* You value most in a partner

* You must have in a relationship (emotionally/physically/spiritually)

* You cannot tolerate in a partner

* Your relationship goals are

* Your family goals are

* Your material needs/wants are

* What you are passionate about

Once you are clear on these, you will then be able to look for them in the people you meet and date. You will begin your assessment of others from the first contact. The attributes they possess will be evident in how they conduct themselves, what their interests are, how they manage their lives, the kind of friends they seek out and what their relationships with others are like in general.

As a relationship deepens, these attributes become clearer and more pronounced. At some point in this process of getting to know each other better, you will share intimate conversation. It is then that you will have the opportunity to discuss where each of you stands on marriage, family, importance of work and friends, work ethic and finances, and your goals for a future life--among other things.

If you are honest with yourself and with the people you date, and you pay attention to your own instincts and feelings; you will come to the right conclusion regarding the rightness or wrongness of someone for you.

(from December 2003)

Want to read other columns on this subject?

"More on communicating Interest"
List of more
"Help With Dating"

"He Pays, She Pays- A New Dating Norm?"


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


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