Dear Aleeza,

I am dating someone seriously and we are meeting each other's parents soon. I’m mostly sure this is the right person. But how do I know for sure if this is the one?

Sincerely,
Almost There


Dear Almost There,

Great question! You’re in good company because many of us have asked this question, including myself. Here are 8 important questions to ask yourself.

1. Do I want to spend the good times and challenging times with this person? Think about some challenging times and ask yourself: Is this the person who I want to stand at my side in a crisis?

2. Can I listen to the criticism that this person gives and see it as a tool to refine myself and not as a personal attack? Your spouse will reflect both your good side and your other side. Getting feedback that you need to change is hard to take from anyone. Does the person you’re with have the ability to help you refine your character? Can this person help you grow in the areas you are weak?

3. When I think of this person, does the thought make me smile? It should! If not, then there may be too much tension or stress in your relationship. Relationships naturally get more complicated and challenging over time as a couple grows closer. If you can’t smile when thinking about your potential spouse, wait to see if that develops. Every relationship needs some sweetness. Smiling when you think about them is a good sign that this person has the potential to make you happy.

4. Do I want to grow to be more similar to this person? Have you ever seen those couples who have been together for so many years that they start to act alike? They have similar gestures, similar ways of speaking and thinking. In marriage, you become more like your spouse. (Don’t worry, they become more like you too!) So the question is: Do I want to grow to be more similar to the person I’m thinking of marrying?

5. Do I like some physical aspect of the person I’m dating? Of course who the person is on the inside is critically important—we all know that. However, you aren’t shallow for thinking the outside is important too. We are human, and as a part of our human experience we need to embrace the physical side of ourselves. Could you look at this face for the rest of your life? Could you stare into those eyes and listen to that voice? Do you find the person basically attractive?

6. Is s/he liked by family and friends? Or, on a deeper level, do others value the person you’re dating? This is an important question, because I want to confirm that you aren’t the only one who sees the value in this person. If both you and others see this person’s value, the likelihood that you met a good person who would make a good mate is much stronger.

7. Do we have similar life visions for 5 to 10 years down the line? The first part of this question assumes that you are clear on your own life vision. The second part assumes you two have spoken about both of your visions and have envisioned your life together. Both of these aspects should be addressed in order to get a full picture.

8. Do we have more similarities than differences with both big and small issues? Make sure to talk about the big things and the little things. Some couples focus too much on one or the other. Having more similarities than differences is very important. Opposites may attract, but when it comes to marriage we’re looking for stability. Marriage is challenging enough. The more you have in common the less likely you are to have conflict.

If you still lack clarity, spend more time together. Don’t pressure yourself to move ahead if you need more time to get to know someone. Take the right amount of time so that when you are standing under the chuppah you can smile, knowing you are marrying the right one.

May you recognize your other half with ease, and may it happen speedily.

Aleeza