Originally published at: entitymag.com
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Separate the men from the boys.
Ladies, I have written about how to tell if he’s not “the One,” but after getting married a few months ago(!), I am excited to share with you how to know if he is “the One.
When we interview them, frequently our Bachelorettes at Matchmakers In The City confess “Father of the Bride” as their favorite movie. As a personal Matchmaker, I also love this classic 90s movie and the sweetness of Annie’s (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) fiancé, Brian (George Newbern)
.However, many Bachelorettes wonder, does Brian exist, or is he simply the product of women’s chick-flick dreams? Nevertheless, regardless of how kind and accommodating Brian acts, Annie still contemplates calling off the wedding. When her father (played by Steve Martin) asks if she caught him cheating, Annie replies, “no.”
She bemoans the fact that Brian gave her a blender for their anniversary, which she understood as a ploy to have her assume 1950s housewife duties. Although her father hated the idea of his daughter getting married and gave the whole family grief for it, he knew that Annie was acting impulsively and irrationally here.
He takes the repentant Brian out for a drink, who tearfully explains that he only gave Annie the blender since she likes to make smoothies. He actually supports her career aspirations 100 percent.
While the writers purposely chose a trivial situation for Annie to freak out about as a parody, most women have had a similarly dramatic reaction to a relatively inconsequential problem. Like Annie, we can get so caught up in the intensity of our emotions that we ignore the forest for the trees.
Of course, there exist actions that warrant a breakup, but for all of those other times, read below. If you wonder if your current man is “the One,” discover some ways to separate the men from the boys:
1 HIS FRIENDS ARE NOT PLAYERS.
My Italian great-grandfather used to say, “The friends tell the man.” In other words, you are who you hang out with. Spend some time around his friends, and you will see sides of his personality that he may have hidden on one-on-one dates. It will also give his friends an opportunity to tell you about him, or call him out for any times that he may have stretched the truth.
If he’s worthy of you, they will have good things to say about him. One of our Bachelorettes got pulled aside by her man’s friend who warned, “You’re a good girl. Stay away from him.” At first she thought that the friend may have wanted to date her or have felt a rivalry with her guy, but soon she saw the truth to his words. Behind her man’s smoldering green eyes and tanned shoulders, he had little to offer but flakiness and lies.
2 YOU WANT YOUR SON (PRESENT OR FUTURE) TO GROW UP TO BE LIKE HIM.
A true test of marriage material starts with imagining the kind of man you want your son to be when he grows up. When one of our Bachelorettes was on the fence about her boyfriend, she tried this exercise, and imagined her future son cursing and speaking inappropriately with a negative, accusatory attitude.
Needless to say, she ended things with that bad boy. Through this practice, you may start to give men a chance who you would have overlooked in the past. They may have a more intellectual/nerdy side, but how much better to have an obedient son like that that than the trouble-making heart-breaker?
3 HE SAYS SORRY.
A man who apologizes when he has wronged you reveals his maturity. We all hate admitting that we made a mistake, but this is especially hard for men who have learned from our culture that making mistakes reveals weakness. It shows that they have cracks in their manly, provider façade, but conversely, this willingness to admit vulnerability reveals strength of character.
4 HE WANTS TO MARRY YOU.
Although I recommend taking it slowly in the beginning phases of dating and waiting to get exclusive for two-three months, you want a man who feels passionately about you and ready to commit. Of course, beware of those who want to rush into a relationship or marriage, but those men will phase out if you stand firm on your desire to take it slowly.
The best situation occurs when he wants to marry you and talks about it. At Matchmakers In The City, we advise couples to wait a year until engagement so that you see each other in all four seasons, but how exciting and special when a man knows that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you!
5 YOU CAN SPEND LONG AMOUNTS OF TIME TOGETHER, AND STAY SANE.
A huge predictor of future marriage success occurs if you go on a small vacation with each other. Even if that simply entails a weekend trip to visit his parents, what a wonderful test to see if you start fighting frequently, or your personalities actually meld well together.
Other factors will rarely substitute for quality time, especially if you have a busy life. A couple dates here and there, or even every weekend, will rarely give you the insight into a man’s character like a few days away out of your comfort zones. Similar to how taking a day trip out of the city allows you to clear your head and achieve a new perspective, it will do the same for your relationship.
Occasionally, couples will feel less drawn to each other during a trip; they based their relationship on social status (i.e. what parties he/she could bring me to). A trip allows you to discern if you love the person for himself, or for his money and/or connections. If you still want to spend time with each other after the trip ends, you have an excellent sign.
Take your time discerning if this is the man for you, but be reasonable; if you wait too long, you might lose him. Of course, all people have flaws, but try to look at the big picture rather than focusing on small comments that he has made or nit-picky, superficial characteristics.
At the same time, try to determine your compatibility on the most important factors: your values, religion/spirituality and morality. If you have spent the time, and you still feel little to zero sparks, you may have your answer that you should let him go regardless of how good he looks on paper.
On the other hand, it’s completely normal to have doubts, and your feelings will ebb and flow. Pay attention to feelings, but in a broader way: if you generally feel good, happy and excited about the relationship or most often sad, insecure and uninspired. You want a stable man who at the same time ignites that fire within you to continue the journey to manifesting the best version of yourself.
He’s “the One” who will build a passionate and life-giving marriage with you.