Throughout our lives we are all forever in the search for love. And in that process we go through trials and errors — we date people who aren’t compatible with us, people with baggage, people with a vulnerable emotional side, people who are aggressive and abusive, and people who play with other people’s hearts just to elevate their pride. I have always been a serial dater and have dated enough boys and men that I know fully well who I am, what I want, and what kind of person I am compatible with. It’s only been six months with my current boyfriend but from the very first weeks, I knew right then and there he was the one. Since my girlfriends always asked me how I knew, I decided that I should share it with other readers.
1. He gave me a gift that showed me we’re on the same page.
Some girls like to be showered with gifts and flowers. Some girls like to be taken out. How you spend money on a gift for someone can indicate your priority in life as well as your understanding in their priority. I am a nerd at heart. Two weeks after we met, my boyfriend had to leave to go overseas on a business trip. He gave me a book on ‘how to price your digital product’ wrapped in a world map wrapping paper. Together, both the book and the wrapping paper just told me that he understands me even though we had only just met.
2. We have common interests.
The first time we met, we felt as if the conversation could keep going forever. There was no awkwardness. It was smooth. It felt as if I was talking to a close friend. We both are interested in similar things such as business, startups, technology, music, and travel. Yet we are different enough that we can learn off each other and share different knowledge and ideas.
3. We drink the same wine, listen to the same genre of music, and like the same type of food.
A few years ago I would have never factored types of food, drinks, and music as a selection criteria. However, after having been in a few long-term relationships, I’ve learned that the relationship is best when your partner is your best friend. I think a relationship between a jazz lover and a heavy metal lover would really struggle considering that music is a huge part of everyone’s life — you play it at home, in the car, and on the go. Having different tastes in music means you have to compromise a lot. It would definitely be hard for someone who’s very passionate about music.
It’s the same with food and drinks. Eating is such a huge part of a couple’s lives. It is one of the main activities that you do together as a couple. When you like different wine, it means you have to order two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and two of Shiraz, instead of ordering a bottle to share. When you like different types of foods, it means one of you have to compromise when eating out or when cooking. That meal would only please the taste bud of one or the other. I have learned that this would become way too hard and tiring after a while.
4. We have similar outlooks on life.
My dad always told me since I was little that it is important to marry someone with similar attitudes and outlooks on life as you because it’s one of the major causes of divorce. When I met my boyfriend, everything was in the flow. We get each other without having to explain. We understand each other. We are on the same wavelength. I have learned that we have similar upbringings and that our parents instilled similar values in life in us. In short, we just look at the world the same way.
5. We are ourselves around each other from the start and we feel completely comfortable and happy.
This is probably the thing that made me realize I wanted to be with him — I wanted to be his girlfriend. It is very rare that you’d meet someone where your natural self and his or her natural self gel. There are always bits you have to compromise. When I met my boyfriend, we spent several days together and it just felt right. I was completely myself and felt very comfortable being around him. I felt that he was also the same way — he was himself — and we both got along just fine. In fact, we were very happy just being in each other’s presence.
6. My family loves him.
My parents got a divorce just when I turned 20 before I moved to Australia. So I had never introduced any of my boyfriends from the age of 20-26 to my family. And that’s mainly because I didn’t feel like I wanted to marry any of them. Hence, that’s why we broke up.
When I came back to visit my family this year, I decided to tell my parents that my boyfriend was coming and that I believed he’s the one. I’m Asian, and you know how strict and conservative Asian moms can be. My mom is one of the extreme. I was never allowed to date and if I ever told her about boys, she would freak out, start stalking me, go through my phone to find the boy’s number, and call him just to warn him not to do anything to her lovely daughter (ha). So yes, I was scared. I was anxious to introduce my boyfriend to mom. But hey, I’m not 17 anymore, I’m 26, I should not be scared.
The lunch I introduced my boyfriend to my family was the first time in the last six years that my parents got together and had a meal together. My boyfriend pretty much brought my family back again. My mom was completely impressed by my boyfriend’s intelligence and kind heart. My dad loves the fact that I have a very smart boyfriend whom he can have decent conversation with. When your family who knows you very well believes that you two are right for each other, it just assures you even more that you have made the right choice.
7. We have the same meaning for love.
People have different meanings for love and show their love in different ways. Therefore, it is important to be with someone who shows you love the way you want to be loved. Otherwise, you would be left feeling left out, unappreciated, and undervalued, when in fact, the other person probably doesn’t even realize what they are doing simply because they have a different meaning for love and a different way of showing love.
Some show their love by giving security. Some show it by buying things for their loved ones thinking that they would feel loved receiving the gifts. Some are affectionate and spending a lot of time together is important for them. I am an affectionate person. I love cuddles and I love to touch. Luckily, my boyfriend is the same. So we both always feel loved and appreciated because we show love in the same way.
8. He treats me well.
I believe generosity and kindness are important in relationship. I am not the type of girlfriend who nags all the time, nor am I ever abusive verbally or physically. Being with someone who is not hot-tempered and abusive is very important. I am also very open-minded and kind. I trust the person and respect the person I am with. Therefore, I expect the same in return. My boyfriend has always treated me well from the start. When you share your life with someone, you want to make sure that person is going to treat you right because life is only going to get tougher. If he doesn’t treat you right from the start, it will only be worse through challenges in life.
9. We have similar life goals and lifestyles.
Having similar life goals and lifestyles are important. When you build a family, you don’t want to fight over where to live and what to do. Do you both like living in the city? Do you like living in the suburb? Do you want to settle down in one particular city? Do you want to move to another city? Do you like spending your weekends relaxing at home or going out socializing? These questions are to be answered from the very start of a relationship because they could cause a lot of problems down the track.
My boyfriend and I both love living in the city. We love being able to not have to drive and can walk down the street to get food and drinks. We like living near the bars so we can just walk home. We love tech house and aren’t big fans of the other genres. We both love traveling and we don’t want to settle down in one city. We want to keep exploring and moving around. Knowing that your partner is up for adventures with you is important because you don’t want to fall in love with someone only to find out later that you actually have different life goals.
10. I can see myself spending the rest of my life with him.
Besides all of the points mentioned above, my instinct tells me that I can spend the rest of my life with this man. Reasoning has proven it. My heart reassures. I feel safe in his arms. I feel warm in his embrace. I feel loved holding his hand. I feel happy in his presence.
My advice to anyone who hasn’t found the one yet, keep looking. Don’t settle for anything less than a compatible soul. Just keep an open mind and send out the energy that you want to attract back to you, sooner or later you will find him. Don’t waste time on something you know won’t last. Keep your heart open for something new to come in — something that’s more compatible with you.