How do you know if the person you are dating is the one?
If you have never asked yourself this then you are probably not being honest. And if you’re not going to be honest then this post can’t help you.
This is a question that I believe is deserving of an answer.
A question that I believe holds a lot of us hostage, if you will.
A question that I believe is answered so poorly majority of the time.
For many of us, we are scared of getting into a relationship because we are not sure if they are “the one”.
For many of us, we are too scared to get out of a relationship because we were sure that they were “the one”.
But what does “the one” even mean? Is there one specific person we were destined to be with? Did we mess up our chance with that one person? Have we even met that one person yet?
Let me provide some clarity and hopefully a sense of relief to this undying question.
There is not one specific person you are destined to be with. There is not one specific person who if you don’t end up with them then you messed up your whole life. You might read this and say, “What do you mean Hope? God definitely knows the beginning and the end and absolutely has one specific person for me in my life”.
And I will ask you… What do you mean? Do you really believe we are that powerful to walk out our lives 100% perfect, ignoring our free will and humanity, and that we are capable in finding specifically “the one” Do you believe that if we miss our chance with “the one” then not only our life is off track, but that person’s life is off track, and the person they ended up with is off track and so on? If that was the case, I think many lives would be “messed up”, if you will.
So many of us have learned to believe God has one person for us. Which leads us into a never-ending cycle of anxiety and fear of choosing the “wrong one” —or feeling like we ruined it when a relationship fails. The Bible has never said that God has set aside that “one person” for us. Instead, we are given the freedom to decide whom to marry, but through the Bible, prayer and the help of our community, He gives us the wisdom we need in discerning whether someone would make a good potential life partner (James 1:5).
That is the beauty of free will and grace. The beauty of us seeking the Lord for guidance and allowing Him to lead us. Not to one specific person, but allowing Him to lead us towards wholeness.
Instead of asking, “How do you know if the person you are dating is the one?”
Let’s start asking, “How does this person lead me closer to wholeness?”
Here are three things to remember before choosing to step into a relationship or to encourage you to step out of a relationship:
1) Does this person show fruit of the characteristics I desire in a partner?
As someone who will always look to find the best in people, this one is tough. Because if you’re anything like me, then it’s easy for you to look past issues and see people for who they can be one day.
But when it comes to a relationship, you have to see things black and white. If you don’t want a partner who drinks, then don’t step into a relationship with someone who goes out clubbing just because they told you they’ll stop. If you don’t want a partner who is possessive, then don’t step into a relationship with someone who consistently questions where you’re at and what you’re doing just because they said they’ll work on it. Because sure. If someone cares about you, they’ll stop these habits. But my friend, that is shaky ground.
I have seen this firsthand and fresh. When you enter into a relationship with someone who conforms into the characteristics that you desire, you will realize that is not really who you are pursuing a relationship with. That is merely the person you have almost created them to be. It’s sad, but it’s true. And nine times out of ten, the moment that relationship ends they will run right back to what they left when you met them. Because their change was not birthed out of a place of authenticity. Look for someone who has a consistent pattern of walking with characteristics you desire. Fruit says what words cannot.
If you are the only person in the relationship carrying the characteristics you want your relationship to reflect, that is your answer to get out.
2) What gifts do I see in this person?
We have always been told that we “deserve the best.” But what does that even mean? What qualifies someone as the best?
Does it mean you can’t date someone because they work a 9-5 and you work in youth ministry? Does it mean breaking up with someone because they can’t afford the 5-star restaurant every date night? Does it mean not acknowledging someone because they have 400 followers and you have 10,000?
“Deserving the best” isn’t contingent upon a job status or the material gifts they’re able to provide. It isn’t contingent on age, race, or any of that sort.
How about instead of trying to determine whether someone is “the best”, we choose someone whose values and life goals align with ours. Rather than viewing every aspect from a human perspective, we actually view some things from an eternal perspective and we encourage each other to pursue Christlikeness in every area of our lives (Hebrews 10:24). What gifts do you see in the other person? And what ways can you help each other grow in exercising those gifts.
3) Can I trust this person?
Trust is not just being faithful to each other. Although that is incredibly significant. Trust falls in many aspects of our lives.
Do you trust their judgement on things important to you? Do you trust where they stand spiritually, and even practically? Are you comfortable sharing your goals and dreams with them?
Do you trust they will support you in any way they can? Do you trust that how they live when you’re not around is the same when you are around?
Can you trust them with your life essentially?
If trust isn’t there, it’s just a matter of time before something goes wrong.
Peace or the absence thereof is a great indicator of whether or not you are in God’s will. God will show you if you are willing.
God brings the right person into your life when you are ready, not when you are lonely. You could have already met the person you’re going to marry, but sometimes, the Lord will keep you from them until the time is right. And when the time is right you will know. Or you haven’t met them yet and that is OKAY. Finding your person should never be a scheduled event on your 5-year plan calendar. Let the Lord guide you, not the enemy rush you.
I say all of this to say it matters who you invest your time into. Don’t dwell on the past. And don’t think you’re still tied down to your past just because it pops up from time to time. I’m full time in ministry and I know God. But I know my human memories, too. I know God but I know my human experiences, too. I know God but I know my human heart, too. Take your experiences and count them as learning material. I don’t know everything, but I have certainly learned a whole lot and I hope this meant something to you.
When your attention is on Him, He will exceed your expectations. Every time. And it will never be how you imagined it would be. And that’s the beauty of it. Be true to you. Don’t compromise. And when the time comes, love with all you have.
I hope you enjoyed this 5-week series. Please DM me or email me for prayer requests 🙂