Do you have this idea that once you meet the man who will be your husband, you’ll “just know ”?
That you’ll have that “magical feeling” that he’s The One?
That you’ll go on your first date, it’ll be perfect, you’ll feel all this mutual chemistry, and the rest will just fall into place?
That you’ll fall deeply in love, move in together, get engaged, get married and live happily ever after?
To me, that kind of love story is all about luck. It’s the equivalent of winning the lottery.
Yes, you can get rich by winning the lottery. Just like you can luck out and meet the “perfect” guy who will marry you.
But there are lots of ways to get rich besides winning the lottery.
Just like there are lots of ways to get married that don’t follow the fairy tale narrative.
I’m one of those people whose love story doesn’t follow the fairy tale narrative.
When I met my wife for the first time, I didn’t “just know.”
And while there’s not much to learn from the fairy tale stories of love-at-first-sight, there’s a lot you can learn from stories like mine.
When I first met my wife, it wasn’t love at first sight.
The clouds didn’t part to let the sunshine through when we first locked eyes or kissed.
As a matter of fact, for a while I wasn’t sure if I should break up with her or stick it out.
But she was turning 39, and we both wanted to have a family someday, so I felt some pressure to figure it out, although never from her.
Don’t get me wrong. We got along. We enjoyed each other’s company. I felt comfortable and happy when I was with her.
She just wasn’t the kind of woman I imagined myself marrying someday. She was three years older. She wasn’t intellectual or particularly ambitious. She was a conservative Catholic and I’m a liberal Jew.
I had certainly dated women who were younger, more attractive, and more like me than my girlfriend was.
I talked about this to my best friend. He asked me, “How are you together as a couple?”
I told him it was the best relationship I’d ever had.
He asked me why I was so intent in thinking I could “do better.”What My Wife Knew
It was then that I realized that I had been too focused on her shortcomings instead of her considerable assets, which weren’t as flashy but far more important.
Truth is, my wife is better than I am in many ways.
I may like myself, but, because I’m pretty intense, I’m not always fun to be around. And yet, my wife accepts me just the way I am and brings out a better side in me.
In a way, I consider myself fortunate that I didn’t have that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling when we were first dating, because I had the chance to do some critical thinking, instead of basing my decisions on some magical feeling.
You see things a lot clearer when you’re not intoxicated by brain chemicals.
After pondering all this, I asked myself, what did I really want out of life?
Did I want a roller coaster for a marriage, with ups and downs and fighting and criticism? Was that acceptable as long as I had unbridled passion?
Or, did I want to have a happy life with a stable woman who didn’t want to change me, was easy-going, and a genuinely happy person?
After 16 months of dating, and agonizing over whether to dump my girlfriend for someone more “like me,” I made my choice:
I chose to propose to her, because I had never been happier.
When my wife and I had been dating, we only saw each other three days a week. We didn’t live together before we got married.
After we got married and moved in together, I started to wonder what the hell I had done. I had never had to share my space or be accountable to anyone in my adult life.
To say that getting married and living with someone was a bit of a change for me would be an understatement.
Our relationship was the same, but internally I was freaking out.
I didn’t say anything, but my wife sensed there was something going on with me.
Then, four months after we moved in, we had a miscarriage.
10 weeks. Saw the heartbeat. Then it was gone.
That’s when I had an epiphany—one that would change my life forever.
My marriage wasn’t just about me. It was about something greater, about the life we had created together, and about the children we would have in the future.
That was finally when I stopped freaking out, relaxed, and happily settled into my new life. I found my humility, stopped dissecting my wife, and started to appreciate how very lucky I was to have found her.
Eleven years and 2 kids later, my love for my wife is so much deeper and more meaningful than it was when we got engaged.
She’s my north star and my inspiration. Nothing can break us apart. That’s how firm the foundation of our partnership is—all because she’s good at heart, an amazing communicator, and appreciative of my efforts to be a great husband and father.
Those are not things that would have been obvious to her in an online dating profile, or even on our first date.
Relationship happiness and longevity is not anything you can predict from some nebulous magic feeling you get early on.
For these reasons alone, you will never “just know.”
Then again, there’s also another important reason…
Maybe you’re not convinced that you shouldn’t base the viability of a relationship on whether or not you have a certain feeling.
Maybe you believe your feelings are good judges of character.
You also believe that when you meet the right guy, there will be “signs”:
His eyes will light up when he first sees you. The conversation will flow. Your stomach will flip when he reaches for your hand or leans in to kiss you for the first time.
You’ll feel as if you’ve known him forever, like a long-lost friend or soul mate.
You’ll laugh at the same things, you’ll have identical political views, and you’ll both enjoy doing the same kinds of activities on weekends.
The physical attraction will be off the charts.
What could be more perfect?
Ok, but I want you to step back from this fantasy for a moment and consider when was the last time you felt this intense chemistry with a guy?
You remember that?
Of course not. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.
I “just knew” a couple of times in my life, too, and both women dumped me.
That can’t-stop-thinking-about-him feeling? It doesn’t mean anything. It’s not actual love. It’s just a feeling.
And yes, there are people who win the lottery of love, so to speak. They have that love-at-first-sight moment and end up being married for 50 years.
Most couples, however, have stories that are more like mine.
That means that what you feel on the first few dates isn’t a great predictor of anything.
It’s not even all that important that he checks all the boxes on the list of qualities you want your future husband to have.
What matters is if you can be yourself and still feel loved, accepted, and understood.
How will you know if you’re with the kind of guy who can give you that? Easy:
In my eBook and audio program, Date Without Heartbreak: 10 Incredibly Common Mistakes That Keep Great Women Single, you’ll uncover the truth behind real compatibility, as opposed to measuring the strength and potential of any relationship on chemistry.
I’ll show you all the ways in which you’ve been settling for the wrong relationship, even when you thought you’d been holding yourself to a higher standard.
I’ll also reveal what to pay attention to in a man’s words and behavior to know if he’s falling for you, if he can make you happy, and if he’s ready to commit.
You’ll get insights into the dating and relationship milestones you should look for when you are dating 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months, and at what point you may want to cut bait, because he’s just not going to ever commit to you long-term.
I’ll also reveal what qualities men find wildly attractive, that have nothing to do with looks, accomplishments, or how witty you are. They are qualities that my wife possesses and are the main reasons why I chose to marry her, and not any other woman. These are qualities that compel a guy to think of you as “wife” material, not just a casual fling.
In Chapter 3, you’ll learn how to interpret a man’s words and behavior on a first date, to avoid the disappointment of hoping he’ll ask you out, but never hearing from him again.
Plus, you’ll find out what my wife thought about our relationship while we were dating and what her advice is for any woman who wants to get married and have a family someday.
You’ll get all this, plus so much more, so you can avoid the 10 most common dating mistakes that keep smart women in a cycle of heartbreak:Read or Listen Now
Maybe my story of how I chose my wife sounds a lot more complicated than you would like YOUR love story to be.
Maybe you’d just rather find a guy you “just know” is the one.
Of course, who wouldn’t? It’s easier.
But just because it’s easier doesn’t mean it’s better.
P.S. Do you get way too excited about a guy after a few great dates, only to have him disappear for no apparent reason?
There’s always a reason he disappears. Sometimes it’s because of something you said or did, and sometimes it has nothing to do with you. Find out how to avoid the common mistakes that make a guy decide you’re not girlfriend material after all in Date Without Heartbreak, here:The Truth About Men