How do you know when someone's "the one" for you?
I've been dating Jerry for the past two and a half years, and the easy answer would be, "Yes, he's the one for me." It's easy for me to see us together in the future - both of us getting jobs, getting married, having kids, and so on. I would love for us to be able to stay together forever. When someone becomes so important in your life that you can't imagine yourself without them by your side... is that what true love feels like? I know it's definitely not infatuation or just "like" anymore - if it was just that, we would not be together, because of all the fights and arguments we've had. I don't think that if it was just "like" that we would have weathered months of separation, a whole year of being at different schools, and very recently, difficult struggles with each other.
What exactly is love? Love, in a perfect world, would be us loving others the way God loves us. He forgives all of our sins, and sees through all our imperfections, and loves us anyway, more than we can ever comprehend. Not to sound mushy or anything, but I think I've definitely experienced a taste of it through my relationship with Jerry. I didn't think I would ever meet someone who would know me so deeply and yet love me just the same, imperfections and all (besides my family, I mean). I mean, your friends love you, of course, but it's quite different in a relationship. The way you know that after a long, hard day, you can be with someone, vent, and just cry, and they won't judge, even though you look like crap and feel like it too. You know love in the way their hand always finds yours, the way their arms always pull you into a hug, and the way you can let down your guard around them, and it's comfortable.
When we were in Italy, the German couple, Fritz and Crista, who owned the bed & breakfast at Morinesio, talked to a couple of us during lunch one day. We asked Fritz how he and Crista had met, and he told us. He also told us they had been married for 40 some years now. We then asked him what the secret to a happy marriage was. He said, "Let me give you a simple answer to that very easy question." In all seriousness, though, his answer was simple - respect. Respect the fact that the other person will never be the same as you, and that you must've liked enough things about the other person to be willing to make it work with them. Don't try to change them to be how you want them to be; don't try to make them cater to you so that you feel comfortable and cared for. It really was a "simple" piece of advice, but the more I thought about it, the more true it became to me.
I feel like Jerry might very well be the one for me, the one I've been praying for ever since I became a Christian. But then I look at my friends, the ones who've been in relationships before, and I have to say, sometimes doubts cloud my mind. At the beginning of every relationship I've encountered, everything seems so perfect. I know I've definitely heard the phrase, "I think I've found him/her" on multiple occasions. But few of those relationships have lasted. Now, three years later, most of my friends are dating other people or single again. How do you really know, and what if something goes wrong and the person turns out to be completely wrong for you? Not that I think Jerry is wrong for me, but what can tear such seemingly "perfect" relationships apart? If it's happened to other people, could it happen to us?
Yes, it probably could. I know that last summer and many times this past year, distance and separation threatened to tear us apart as well. I was irritated because I couldn't see him whenever I wanted to, and I would lash out at him because I felt that sometimes he didn't care enough to drive over to see me. He felt helpless and didn't know what to do. I can honestly say that there were times when I did think, "I've had enough." But for some reason, we've always found enough that we loved in each other to stay together. And we're still together right now. I'm in Taiwan now, and he's in Ann Arbor. We're repeating the summers that we've spent apart yet again, and this time, it feels different. Instead of being mad that he didn't call on time (okay, it happened once already, but it's an improvement!), I feel content whenever I get to talk to him. We talk about our days, and what we're going to do when I get back to school. We talk about our families, and how they'll be meeting for the first time this summer (exciting!). So many possibilities, and so much potential. Conversations are always full of hope and looking forward to the future.
Is this true love? I would like to think so. Is Jerry the one for me? I would like to think so too. But we still have some ways to go, and much to discover about each other. But for now, I'm content with us.