First and foremost, I wrote this post for myself.
Why? Because I knew I would need it. Because I know there will be times when I would feel frustrated, when he forgets to put the toilet seat down, or when he doesn’t put the toothpaste cap on or even when he forgets to take the laundry out of the washing machine!
I knew I would need to remind myself of all the reasons why I committed myself to another human being for the rest of my life!
A month ago, at this very minute, I married my husband.
The legal marriage was held at a registry office on Kings Road, where Judy Garland, Roman Polanski and allegedly George Clooney all had previously wed. Only my sister and his sister along with his nephew were present, who we asked to be our witnesses. I wore a jumper dress from Asos, and he wore a nervous smile.
Looking back on that day, I maybe should have dressed nicer, for photos, but I really couldn’t be bothered (it was at 9am on a Saturday!), neither did I see the big deal in getting dressed up for the registry especially as we were going to have the church ceremony a few days later.
Truth be told, I knew, deep down, that he was the one for me in our first year of dating. He knew too, I know he did. But I waited. I mean I made him wait. I waited out of fear. Fear that people would say that we were too young, or hadn’t know each other that long, fear that my mum would literally kill me. Not sure why I allowed fear to take precedent in our relationship back then but it did. In hindsight, we maybe should have just got married then, but everything happens for a reason.
Prior to meeting my husband at 20, my ‘love life’ was plagued with broken hearts (mine) and terrible dates. I had almost given up on “The One” ever appearing. I would do research, reading and talking to older couples I admired, keen to know how people “knew” and what had separated Mr. Right from all the Mr. Wrongs that they dated before. Most people mystifyingly said things like, “I just knew,” and “it was different,” which wasn’t very helpful.
But then I met my husband and I finally understood what all these people and books had been talking about. So now I’m here to share with YOU, advice I wish my younger self knew back then — the same advice I had been seeking all those years ago. How do you know when he’s Mr. Right as opposed to Mr. Right Now? How can you be sure that he isn’t gonna run off at the first hurdle, or he wants the same things out of life that you do? In short, how do you “just know”?
Here are a few things to look out for:
1. It came easy.
Not that any relationship is easy — over time there are all sorts of things couples have to negotiate — but what I realised most about my husband in the beginning was that it all happened pretty easily. He didn’t play games. He called when he said he would. He didn’t play it cool, but he didn’t chase me either. It just felt like I’d known him a long, long time and every time we hung out, we had a great time. Plus, I really found him attractive, especially his eyes; they told a story. Before him, the boys (sometimes ‘men’) I’d dated were all either really good looking and boring or really great but unattractive. I couldn’t find someone that I wanted to go to the cinema with and then rip his clothes off later. If the relationship is right, it shouldn’t be scary. We only feel anxious and fretful when we’re involved in bad love because our intuition is telling us it’s not right. Listen to your gut. It’s there for a reason.
2. I actually WANTED to wait to have sex with him.
I used to always meet him at the library in the first few months of dating. He thought it was because I just really wanted to study all the time. Nope. Although there was some truth in that, it was also because there were loads of people around, which for me reduced the chances of ‘sexy time’. Day time dates for me were key because you get to talk, see them in cold, harsh daylight, and all that stress of whether he expects you to come back to his place later for ‘Netflix and chill’ doesn’t exist. During our seven-year relationship before marriage there were many times, my husband and I tried (and failed at times) to keep our hands to ourselves. But we never stopped trying to wait. Patience is key here!
3. He prayed with me
God has a divine place in MY life. He not only knew this but he understood this. For me, religion was more than going to church on a Friday and Sunday, I really want God to dwell in me and everything I do. I didn’t have to explain this to him – not once. He saw this and wanted to help me on this journey. I am a Christian. He is a Muslim. Very often we get asked the question, how does it work. My honest answer is I don’t know. In an ideal situation it would have been ‘lovely’ to marry a Christian man but it is what is and I am not sorry for that. There was a time quite early on in our relationship where career wise for me, things didn’t go according to plan for me. He was there for me, after all that’s what’s expected from a boyfriend right? During this time I really found it hard to talk to God, to even go to church. He called me up one Friday to see how I was doing. When I asked about his day, he responded, “I called to see how YOU are, and if I could come to church with you. I didn’t call to talk about me and my day.” In that split second I realised he was special. It took one moment — one seemingly insignificant gesture — and I knew. After that, I let myself fall in love with him, which we’ll get to in the next point.
4. I was mentally and emotionally ready to fall in love with someone.
It’s crucial to be ready (really ready!) to love someone else. Sometimes we think we are ready, but we’re not. We often have our own baggage we need to address before we can allow ourselves to love someone else. Plus, falling in love is scary business. It makes you vulnerable, and for those who have had their hearts trampled on in the past, it is twice as hard to let yourself trust again – I would know, my ex cheated on me throughout our entire relationship.
5. My list of requirements?
I disposed of it immediately. Right before we were married, I found a note on my phone from years ago with a list of qualities my ideal man would have: where he’d live, what job he’d have, and a bunch of superficial stuff about what books he’d read and movies he’d watch, etc. What a load of rubbish! If you’re single, take that list and burn it immediately because guess what? No single person will ever meet all your requirements. And when you do finally find the elusive “one” (and for the record, I believe there are many “ones” along the way that you could meet, not just one, true soul-mate), your partners will have qualities that are even better than anything you could have written on a list. I’ll give you an example, for a long time I wished for a guy who worked in the corporate world, so we could wake up for work together, go home roughly the same time etc. etc.. In hindsight, that sort of man would not have suited me AT ALL!!!!
Rarely in my life am I ever sure of anything, but when I am, I’m really sure. I knew that one day this man would become my husband. And so 7 years later, he became just that.
So the next time you find yourself asking how you knew your husband was the one, I am almost sure you’ll find yourself saying, “I just knew.
Be happy. X