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How Will I Know?

Dear Sugar
I have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half, we are both 28, and I look forward to a future of marriage and children with him. I do love him, but how am I supposed to know if he is the "one"? People are constantly telling me that you'll just know, but what if I am not built like that?

My two previous relationships were very tumultuous and I was constantly trying to fix them even though I knew they were wrong for me. These relationships left me broken hearted but it never stopped me from having strong feelings for them.

My current boyfriend is the complete opposite. We have wonderful communication, he treats me very well, and we enjoy being together. I am worried because although I love and can't imagine being with anyone else, I don't feel head-over-heels for him like I have in the past. How can I tell if my feelings for him are marriage-worthy? Bewildered Betty

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Bewildered Betty
I think many women have the same dilemma you do in questioning if their boyfriend is the right person for them. As frustrating as this may be, only you can be the judge if he is right for you. What is causing your hesitation? Are you comparing your relationship with your current boyfriend to ones in the past?

It sounds like your past relationships were wrong from the start, so the fact that you feel differently for your current boyfriend is great news. If you could look into a magic ball, can you imagine your life with this man? What are the qualities you love so much about him? Do you want the same things out of life? These are the important questions to ponder when asking yourself if he is marriage worthy.

Being head-over-heels for someone isn't necessarily what marriage and a wonderful relationship is based on, but if you are having hesitation if he is the one, perhaps you need to reevaluate your relationship. Take a step back before you rush into an engagement when you know you are not ready. Good luck.

Join The Conversation
Padraigin Padraigin 10 years
Head over heels quickly turns to feet on the ground if he's the right one.
serena serena 10 years
Wow - I think Sai174 made a REALLY amazing point. I think those sparks at the beginning really indicate that initial attraction and passion. It's O.K. if they quiet down a bit over time - as long as that attraction, that indescibable pull is still there. I have gone out with my share of bad boys who provided plenty of drama and very little security. I definetely - like a lot of you guys have said - confused the drama and passion for love. 8 months ago I started dating a guy who was so good to me - a great boyfriend - kind, considerate, committed - everything these other guys were not. But I never felt that attraction - we didn't flirt and I started feeling this empty, bored feeling being with him. I broke up with him last week because I knew I couldn't spend the rest of my life with someone who I was not physically drawn to. I don't know - maybe I have the problem because I never seem to be attracted to good guys. But I do think you have to really think about if you truely have chemistry with this guy - I think that is just as important as him being good to you.
sarahlynn sarahlynn 10 years
its not always gonna be rainbows and sunshine and the butterfly feeling. thats just life, but keep working on it TOGETHER and dont' forget to go on dates!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
You can really like a nice guy and he can be the best boyfriend ever, but that doesn't mean he is the one. I guess the answer to your question depends on whether or not you are a romantic or not. I dono't believe in love at first sight, but after 5 years of dating, my boyfriend is still my best friend, although he didn't start that way, we talk about everything, he can cheer me up, knows when i am upset, and vice versa. I can't imagine my life without him in it. Our love life is still exciting...although i moved 10 months ago, nothing about our relationship has changed except the amount of time we spend together. but when i visit we are pretty much attached at the hip. I say if you are questioning things he may not be the one. if you believe that there is just one person, like soulmates, then i believe you will just know that he is the one. don't get stuck on the good boyfriend thing though. he could be the nicest guy ever, but that doesn't mean he is the one for you. I'm all in.
cantdecide cantdecide 10 years
Thanks for sharing! I also find myself in a similar situation. I think all the comments so far have been missing an important point - are you happy with yourself? I've found that most of my bad, good, crazy, or super-in-love relationships have not worked out because I was not happy with myself. Too many people count on the perfect relationship to "complete" them, when the truth is, you are a complete person already! Find what makes you tick, get to a happy place, and it will quickly become apparent whether your current relationship is "the one". If that seems a little obscure or cynical, try taking a big trip with your boyfriend. I went to Asia for a month with mine and we surprisingly did not travel very well together. That is a red flag to me because we both enjoy travelling, but the new situation and surroundings brought out new issues with us. Little things like that may tip you off to the fact that everything is not perfect and maybe you are better off with someone who gets you - even if that means not being calm and happy all the time. Good luck!
M155-J4CK13 M155-J4CK13 10 years
Popgoestheworld- Those tumultuous romance films definitely have the same effect on me! I think you need to ask yourself a few questions: -Can I come to him in my time of need, trusting him before anyone else? -Do I have a genuine interest in his emotions, thoughts, and well being? -Would he be a good father to our children? -Do we share a similar plan for the future? -Would he be willing to support me in all of my future aspirations? -Am I content with the idea of never being able to have another romantic relationship? etc.
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
I knew when he was the one I needed to talk to on both good days and bad before I wanted anyone else around me. I knew when I couldn't imagine living without him. I knew when he inspired me to make positive changes in my life. I knew when I trusted him that things would work out (we lived on two different continents). I knew when he smiled and my day got immediately better. I still know...there was never any doubt and hasn't been since the day I met him! :love:
sai714 sai714 10 years
The question is, during the 6 month high (the first months in the relationship), was there that insane passion? You know the kind. You are talking until 3am and up at 6am for work but feel strangely rested? Or when he would call while you were at work unexpectedly, did your stomach have butterflies? If the answer is "yes, but it has changed". He probably is the right guy and you probably just miss the chemical rush of the early relationship. Now, if the answer is "no"... Consider a couple of things: Are you settling because it is easy? Is he someone you would be over the moon to bring to your 20yr high school reunion? Lastly, is he someone you just thought you always wanted until got what you wanted? If there was a 6 months high, it is more likely than not that he is the right guy but the intensity has changed. If that is the case there is only one question that will need to be answered, "What kind of father do you think he would make?" Does the answer bore you or make smile? Good luck!
Marci Marci 10 years
I agree with much of what's been posted already. My own spin on it all is that we are brainwashed into thinking two things: One isthat the huge spark that usually brings lots of drama is what we should be feeling and looking for from 'the one', and the other is that relationships are a lot of work, so we believe that all that craziness is part of the 'work' needed. I think true love is quieter, gentler, much as you describe your current relationship to be. And yes, while relationships ARE work, they shouldn't be that hard. So this relationship you have now sounds like it has all the right ingredients. Of course, you are the only one who really knows what you want and with whom. But based on how you've described it, he sounds like a good partner for you.
kittycat kittycat 10 years
you just know...maybe not now, but if he's the one you will realize it when the time is right the right man is someone who supports, respects, cares, nurtures you for better or for worse he should be your best friend if u question whether he is the one, it means you're not ready for marriage head over heels emotions occur more towards the beginning of relationships. as relationships develop, people mature and become good friends and lovers.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 10 years
He sounds like a great guy, so take your time in gradually finding out if he's the one you want to spend your life with. You should know, though, that he is not the only guy that would love you and treat you right. If you have to ask, then at this point you're not ready to marry him, but all that could come with time. Its up to you to decide when time is up. **“In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know yet.” -Will Smith **
tina_marie tina_marie 10 years
Has he communicated to you that he looks forward to marriage and kids with you? All the advice given is good. You may "know" or it may just happen. Either way treat him right and be good to your self. And if he ends up not being the "one" then that is ok too. Good Luck
sabrinaland sabrinaland 10 years
The best boyfriend I ever had was the one that I was the least "crazy" about. This doesn't mean that our relationship was not fun, loving, caring or incredibly special. It was all those things and more. I was actually glad not to be head over heels crazy in love with him because all my previous relationships had been way too intense and they all imploded because of all the high emotion. It sounds like you have a mature relationship with your man. You should be smiling! I'm envious of you. Maybe all you need is a little more time to settle into things.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
Wow, that was like reading my own situation exactly! I have had very tumultous, dramatic relationships in the past. Then, enter new, wonderful boyfriend. I am so happy with this guy - he's absolutely great. But I'll see some Hollywood flick where the two main characters are like going to die if they don't end up together and I think - well, I certainly don't feel like I couldn't live without my man. I mean literally, if he died, I wouldn't go jump off a building. It's kind of creepy to think that there are people who DO feel that way. I mean, we all need our own lives and reasons for living before truly finding a partner. I think on some level we're all waiting for the prince on his horse and when it doesn't happen like that we feel like we are missing out on something special. I will say this. Every "adult" I have talked to always says that "the one" is a myth. Every successful adult relationship that I know of is not an "in love" relationship. It's a loving relationship where both people respect and value each other. Is that romantic? Maybe not by conventional terms. But it's certainly healthier! I'm tired of hearing everyone say "you will just know". I have "known" before when I was head over heels with a jerk and it just didn't work out. 6 months later I was in a bad relationship trying to force it to work. People are different. Some people question everything in their lives and other people question nothing. The experience of love is very different for different people. We don't all look alike - why does everyone assume we all feel alike? Anyway - I'm obviously struggling w/ same issue as you. I am rooting for you! Maybe that means I'm rooting for myself too :)
txhottie txhottie 10 years
I am in the same exact situation!! I am 28 and also dating a perfectly great guy, who loves and cherishes me very much. He is the best boyfriend I have ever had, and treats me very well. I sometimes question is he the "one" because I don't have that head over heels, chills down my spine every time I see him, but he is one of my best friends (and a good one at that), we communicate very well, are on the same page about marriage and children have a great physical and emotional relationship and I do love him. I agree with rubialala that love is a choice and I am making the choice that I can't see a more perfect partner in life than who I am currently with. After all marriage is a commitment for life, and you want an equal partner and friend to go through the journey with, not some guy that makes your stomach do flips but at the end of the day doesn't want to share a life with you! Good Luck! :)
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 10 years
My mom use to tell me that you will know when you dont have to ask anymore!
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Something that people either don't know, don't realize, or don't accept is that love is not only a feeling, but also a decision. The passionate love feelings that you have in the beginning, the butterflies, etc. eventually fade. They may come back strong at times, but they might not always be strong. Sometimes you might be so mad that you think you don't have any love feelings for him. That's where the love decision comes in. If you guys have the same goals in life, same beliefs, you enjoy spending time together, you can tolerate his parents/family!, etc., then if you choose and make a mental decision to love this person for the rest of your life and make a commitment to him, it's not really about a head over heels feeling. When you are in a relationship with a lot of drama involved, there are many highs and lows in emotion, so you might mistake a high emotion as a head over heels feeling. In a stable relationship, you don't always have highs and lows like that so unfortunately it can take away the "real" feelings that you might have for this guy. Good job on not taking marriage lightly, either. This is definitely an important decision, and I hope that you are able to look past the feelings and make the right decision. Good luck!
tra tra 10 years
I had a tummultuous relationship that I thought was love, it was just drama...lots of it. When I met my husband, my drama-filled relationship was only over 10 months. My husband and I dated only 14 months before getting engaged. We knew it was fast by the standards of most but we couldn't imagine not waking up knowing we had each other in our life that day. You say you can't imagine being with anyone else...I think you know deep down that he's the one, you're just not used to this fantastic loving relationship without all of the drama. Think of all of the things you want to accomplish in your life. Can you imagine any of them without his support, him to celebrate success with, him to comfort you in the time of loss?
LizaToad LizaToad 10 years
i had a VERY crazy relationship with a guy before i met my current BF, i thought i was so in love with him, but then i realzed you just get addicted to the drama
LizaToad LizaToad 10 years
i completely agree with crispet - sometimes the really tumultuous relationships SEEM more like love b/c they're so dramatic. but at the end of the day you want a friend and supporter by your side
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
You will know when you cant see yourself leading a happy, productive life without him. It sounds like he is really great and is in stark contrast to your previous two relationships.
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