Bam. Right there. It's a biggie and it needs more explanation. It's not essential for happiness but it surely helps a great deal. It's can be a lifelong quest . . . finding The One. How do you DO that? How do you KNOW? Does he/she even exist?
Personally, I wrestled with this for almost the entirety of my teenage and adult life like it was this giant Rubik's cube where I just couldn't get the rows to line up no matter how hard I tried! It seemed a big, complex and incomprehensible riddle, which some people seemed to solve with irritating simplicity and ease. I believe Bridget Jones called them the "Smug Marrieds". Grrrr. "Oh," they would trill, "you just know when you know!" Is there anything more unhelpful and irritating for someone searching for clarity on the issue of The One? I think not.
Finally being a fully signed-up member of the Smug Marrieds I can see that, oh, that damn Rubik's cube was nowhere near as hard as I made it. It was just a case of having the formula; that was what I was missing.
Like once you know the shortcut to get the top line on six sides of the cube, then you make a cross on one side, you can solve it. Some people know this intuitively, some of us blunder around from maybe to maybe, frog to frog, in trial and error for an inordinately long time. I wish I had known these short cuts:
1. Either you are a fit or you are not. You shouldn't be wanting the other person to change into someone they are not ("He'll be perfect when he...) or vice versa, they want you to change into someone you are not to suit ("She'll be happy when...) If you are not a fit, that's okay. Don't try and make it a fit when it isn't. Or it looks like it should be a fit but it isn't. If it isn't a fit, it just isn't a fit. That's OKAY! Say goodbye with compassion - sooner rather than later.
2. You will inspire each other to be the best version of yourself you can be. Not the version you are trying to change someone into to suit you. The first is love and growth. The second is manipulation. Learn to tell the difference.
3. Love is not hard. It's easy. Life might be hard, circumstances might be hard, dealing with other people's opinions might be hard, but the relationship itself? If it's right, then it's easy most of the time.
4. Create a life you love and be someone you love to attract the right person into your life. Don't rely on the right person to love you and therefore create a life you love. Do it for yourself first. Get it the right way round.
5. Your body will tell you if they are The One or not. Yes yes, obviously in "that" way, but also in terms of the day-to-day: are you relaxed wearing your PJ's with no makeup? Are you tense or relaxed as you potter round the supermarket together? When you are out with friends? Your body is a super-wise guide that will tell
you if it's right. Learn to listen.
6. Once you have found it, consistently choose in favour of your relationship. Treat it like the rare and precious thing it is. Time, energy and attention to be sprinkled liberally and frequently.
Of course, you will also "know when you know", but having a few other things to look out for is most helpful. Wishing you much love and luck this week.
Louise Thompson is a life coach, yoga teacher and corporate escapee. For more from Louise visit www.positivebalance.co.nz.