Advice From Older Women
Woman 1: Do you think he's "the one," Lauren?
Me: How would I to know that?
Woman 2: Well, do you want him to be "the one?"
Me: Of course I do. I'd be wasting our time if I didn't, right?
Woman 1: Just remember that if he's going to be the one, you have to consider more than how you currently feel.
Woman 2: Exactly. You have to consider what it will be like when marriage is less exciting after the initial newly-wed high has faded.
Me: Okay, like what?
Woman 1: Even when you find yourself less attracted to him, at the end of the day, do you still think he is overall a good man--because that matters.
Woman 2: It all comes down to the simple things that you would think are obvious. But they're not. They're important. In the long run, it's these little things that are even more important than feeling "in love." For instance, is he a man of integrity? What do his friends think about him? Does he take care of you? Is he going to be faithful? Is he reliable? You don't know everything--you can't, of course, but what do you see him making patterns of in his behavior?
Woman 1: She's right. It's the basics that carry you through hard times, lonely weeks, and stale months. It's trusting each other to be steadfast despite the fluctuation of your emotions. It's the basics that make you able to choose marriage on the days you wish you could walk away quietly.
Me: What made you stay during those times you wanted to leave or the times you wished you weren't married?
Woman 2: Realizing that marriage is not the pursuit of happiness. It is a covenant that daily chooses to love through self-denial. And some days are easier than other. But you have to make that choice. That is one decision that will always pay off--I've never regretted choosing to love or choosing to stay because making that choice is the very thing that makes my husband "The One."
Woman 1: You've both got to live covenant minded--not emotion driven, but God enabled.
Me: That's all good advice, but is there a way for me to really know?
Woman 2: Of course not. God is the only one who is constant and things could change tomorrow, but it matters to know whether you can move towards him being the one. You should at least know that it's probable.
Woman 1: If you can look at each other and say, "No matter how I feel today, I choose to love and I choose to stay," that is enough for you to be confident to say, "Yes, he's the one."