Is He The “RIGHT” GUY?? How do you know?
Liza has found her “soul mate”….but how did she know rather quickly that he was The One? That rare, surprising, breath-taking attraction - is that the start of a “real relationship” - does it fade or last and change into a different level of love.
I wanted to know. We all want to know how to recognize the “right” guy… So Profiler Mom asked her some questions that will, hopefully, help us all in our quest for that special relationship destined for years of shared lives.
So I asked my daughter:
1. Do you know right away if it’s the “right” guy? Did you? Or was there a friendship period of time first?
I am not sure if you can know right away. I knew pretty soon, but I wouldn’t say “right away”.
As soon as I met J. in Ithaca last summer I knew I wanted to get to know him because he seemed interesting and charismatic. He had come from California to go on this upstate New York capoeira (Brazilian martial arts with music) retreat which made me want to talk to him more, since we shared this interest.
We got along and became friends quickly. I don’t know if it would have been different had he not had a girlfriend at the time. As soon as he mentioned his girlfriend, early on in our conversation, I didn’t consider him as anything other than a possible friend. So maybe I would have known “right away” that he could be The One, if it weren’t for that.
So, what happened next?
Some things are meant to be, the next time I saw him, I learned that he hadn’t lived in the same city as his girlfriend for nearly a year. Undeniable feelings of affection and admiration began growing between us. I wouldn’t call them “sparks” necessarily…the interesting thing was the comfort level. It wasn’t over-the-top. We just really, really liked each other and it became clear that our having a relationship on top of the friendship was inevitable.
We were friends first, but not for very long. It’s just the right match. And after numerous Skype conversations, he visited me a month later, and I pretty much just knew he was the one. He said he would wait six months to propose but then he couldn’t wait, so it was mutual.
2. It didn’t take you long to realize he was the guy for you
It must be different for everyone. I remember you told me about a couple you knew where they saw each other right away and knew. I’ve heard those stories. Someone is introduced or walks into a room, and the other thinks, “That’s the man [or woman] I am going to marry.”
I thought I felt that way about one guy before, that author I told you about who I met in Chicago, but it turned out to be wrong. In other cases, people are together for years before they’re sure. It depends on the person. I don’t think there’s a “one” for everyone, or if there is, sometimes it’s not who you think it is at first. But there are best matches, for sure, and in those cases you can pretty much instantly tell, after talking to the person a bit.
With J, it was the second time I saw him after we first kissed, on the computer screen. I saw him and we talked and I knew.
3. Were you “looking” for him - or was he a “surprise”?
I was NOT looking. As you know, I was enmeshed in the Profiler Project. Also, I was really into being single for the first time in many years. I mean, EXCITED about being single. My days were full of writing, teaching, capoeira, friends, going out in New York City…there was always an adventure to be had, and I started feeling as if there wasn’t room for a relationship in the life I was building.
To make room, the person would have to be exceptionally special. Then I found someone who was. I never imagined I would leave New York and move back to the West Coast. But even after J offered to move to Brooklyn, it was just obvious that this was the right path.
4. Do you have a lot in common - or are you very different?
One of the first questions I asked him the night we first kissed was to describe his outlook or reaction to most situations in life in one word. I was thinking of what I would say: amusement. Then he said, “amusement.”
We find that we often are thinking the same thing at the same time. He’ll say the very thing I was about to say, things like that. We’re in sync on some wavelength-level - it’s nothing we have to plan or work at. So I’d say we have a lot in common, from our basic dispositions to what we appreciate in terms of lifestyle, values, and how we spend our time.
Not to say we don’t have differences. For example, he is much more knowledgeable about history while I’m more into contemporary authors. But I love listening to him talk about history—he has an amazing memory for dates and details—and he reads the books I pass along to him. So our differences enhance rather than divide us.
5. What makes you “sure” he’s the right one?
His stability, his loving nature, his intelligence, humor, and sweetness…and the fact that he’s amazing at everything he does.
6. I didn’t get a chance to “profile” him -things moved so quickly and you “took over” the blog, locking me out! But if you had, would you have been attracted to him “on paper”?
Definitely. He met everything on my list of criteria. He has work and enjoys and an independent life of his own, loves traveling and capoeira (our shared interest that brought us together, or as you call it “obsession”), is intelligent, kind, sensitive but not over-sensitive, a great listener, interesting, handsome, warm, compassionate, loves animals and children, hiking and being outdoors, can have a lively conversation or debate and also share quiet moments….I cannot tell you one drawback. Ask me in ten years.
7. How important are looks?
A person has to be attractive to you personally and we all have our own ideas of handsome. You’d better find them good-looking if you’re going to wake up and see their face next to you every morning. It’s not really possible to compromise in this department.
8. Was there an “immediate” spark or physical attraction? Or did it grow?
I noticed him. It wasn’t overwhelming, but I was definitely drawn to him. Then it grew from there.
9. You had a friendship first - what made it suddenly morph into attraction - then love?
Spending a lot of time together, talking nonstop all day. It turned to attraction not at a definable moment but rather kind of slowly then all at once. We were dancing together at a party and I realized that dancing with him felt different than dancing with my other guy friends who were there. I grew to love him over the weeks that followed.
10. How do you know when you are in love???
You just know. There’s nothing to question. You absolutely adore the person and there is no little thing you’re justifying or trying to ignore or explain away. You’re proud of them and that they are your partner.
11. How do you know that this is not just an attraction/crush but the “real thing”
Like I said above. You just know. If you have to hem and haw, or justify/excuse any of his behavior or your own, move on. (Not to say you can’t enjoy a nice fling or a boyfriend who you know isn’t the one, if you’re having a good time!)
12. Advice for other young women seeking that special guy??
Don’t seek. Live your own life, follow your interests and build your life in a way that brings you happiness and feels rewarding. Love will show up. Be patient, and never compromise what you know you want and need. Any guy who dumps you is doing you a favor - he’s freeing you up for the right one - so don’t be sad or dwell on the ones that don’t work out.
13. Did the fact that he reciprocated your interest/emotion/attraction make the relationship grow? I.e. You had been interested in the Washington DC guy and the writer - if they had been interested in you, would either of those relationships have developed into potential matches???
Why or why not…
Sure, they could have. Obviously interest has to be mutual! If DC guy or Chicago writer had been interested, I would have dated either of them to see where it would go, for sure. As to whether either would have led to marriage or if we would have broken up over time is a great mystery - we’ll have to live with that. We can never know.
Isn’t it interesting that I never seemed to be able to meet someone who lived in New York? There was my boyfriend from Boston (who I encouraged to move to New York), DC guy, and Chicago writer, then J, from Santa Cruz. It seemed I was destined to be taken away from the city eventually….
Anyway, that was off-topic. To answer your question, of course J’s reciprocal interest made our relationship grow. If he went back to California and decided to work things out with his long-distance girlfriend, for instance, clearly things with us would not have worked out. But he didn’t do that. He chose me.
And I didn’t have to move to freezing Chicago.