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When people talk about marriage, a phrase that is often utilized as a metaphor for the process, is the idea of “two becoming one”.  I was asked recently to describe the intrinsic qualities that separated my wife from the pack, and how I knew she was The One.

The truth is, that there is not a set of “bullet points on a list” that a person can check off, to achieve the “one” status, in a man’s heart necessarily.  But in MY particular case, there were definitely some defining characteristics that separated her from her peers.  As I look back at it now, I realize that I was checking these things off in my head subconsciously without ever realizing it. I hope my description of these traits helps someone out there.

“I know my value.”

What I am describing here should not be confused with “self-confidence”, at least not the external kind that is often confused with Bravado, and arrogance. My friend at the time (who is now my wife), was aware of WHO she was, and WHAT she wanted to do.  She was undeterred by the presence of a new man in her life (at least she appeared to be).  She was aware of both her strengths, AND her weaknesses, and was COMFORTABLE with the REALITY that she wasn’t FOR everybody, and everybody was not for her.

This sounds like such a simple thing, but in reality it is not.  You’d be surprised with the number of women who are spending time – even as we speak – trying to CONVINCE some man, somewhere, that they are they one for him.  Well, I’ll tell you a secret:  When you are convinced that you are right person for YOURSELF, then the right MAN will see that you are right for him, without you having to do much to convince him.  This is not as simple as “understanding your value” or “self worth”.  It’s something more intrinsic.  It is the understanding that REGARDLESS of your perceived “value”, you are EXACTLY who you are supposed to be, at that moment in time, and despite your flaws and all, you are OKAY with that.  There’s a liberation with that, that the Man who sees you at as the “one” will find irresistible.

“I don’t need a man.”

This is sort of an extension of point number one, but because she was COMPLETELY comfortable with who she was, she was okay with being alone.  That isn’t the same thing as NOT being lonely sometimes.  Sure she had moments (she shared this with me), when companionship would have been ideal.  But she was WILLING to be alone, so as to not entertain those who were not worthy of her time.

This had very important implications for our relationship.  Chiefly, it meant she could not be pressured into having sex in any attempt to hang on to the WRONG man.  She was CELIBATE at the time.  I’ll say it again:  She was CELIBATE when we met, was not ashamed to say it, and in fact, used her celibacy as a filtering tool, to weed out men who were there for the wrong reasons.  I knew within a week that we would not be having sex right away.  She knew a few seconds afterwards, that I was undeterred by her journey with celibacy, and wasn’t going ANYWHERE.  Frankly, sex tends to turn otherwise clear waters, quite murky, and I was just looking for a cool friend to enjoy outings and laugh with.

But also, and perhaps equally as important, her comfort level with being ALONE meant that she wasn’t NEEDY.  We talked every day while we were getting to know one another.  We laughed.  We played.  But it never felt forced.  It never felt like either one of us was in a hurry to “see what was next for us”.  And the biggest reason why, is because she was okay, if there was no “what’s next for us” beyond the growing friendship we shared.  Now, SOME of that had to do with the dynamics of her life.  She had plenty of other activities (work, spiritual outings), and PEOPLE (friends and family), to keep her busy, in the absence of a man, at any level or role in her life.  Nevertheless, the fact that she didn’t NEED me, and she KNEW it, made her all the more attractive TO me, even though it was never expressed in the traditional (I don’t need a man) kind of way.  Please understand – I’m not suggesting that you SETTLE for a man who is not giving you less than what you KNOW you already want with him.  I’m suggesting that its okay to WANT MORE, when YOU are ready…and NOT on HIS timeline.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

By now I’m sure you have realized that I’m using a number of tropes and memes that tend to play out on social media.  But there’s a lot of truth in the above statement.  CONSISTENCY is very very important.  It allows you to believe someone based on the synergy between their ACTIONS and their WORDS.  When words and actions don’t mirror each other, it creates inconsistency, and inconsistency breeds distrust.  Concerning the first two points I’ve outlined, my now wife was REMARKABLY consistent over the period of our dating experience.  She was CONSISTENT in her wants and desires.  She was consistent in the expression of her flaws, and areas that she highlighted for improvement.

More than her consistency, she was HONEST, and transparent about those things.  Again, such honesty and transparency can only occur when you are comfortable with who you are, self assured of where you are and what you are doing, and comfortable with not having to adjust right away to please a man you barely know.  I got to know her strengths and weaknesses right out of the gate, because a) she wasn’t trying to date me anyway, and b) she was comfortable enough to share the core of who she was with me in a very “take it or leave it” fashion.  It wasn’t that she was unwilling to change for anyone.  Its that she was not willing to waste her time making adjustments for the WRONG one.

Alignment of the souls:  You are a reflection of me!

How many times have you heard a man say:  “My woman is a reflection of me.”?

Each of us has within them, a set of defining traits that come together to determine who we are at our core.  How do we view ourselves?  How do we view the world around us?  What is our place in the world?  How has our view of these things shaped us?  Are we selfish?  Or selfless?  Do we look to elevate everything and everyone we touch?  Or are we overly concerned with our place in the pecking order?  Do we spend more time worrying about what we GET out of others, than we do worrying about what we BRING to them?

There’s a spiritual or “soul” alignment that has to take place in order for relationships to succeed.  They say “opposites attract”.  But there’s a difference between attraction and prosperity.  A selfish person is not likely to align very well with a selfless one.  A good girl may be attracted to that bad boy, but if he is more interested in what he GETS and she’s more interested in what she GIVES, it creates an imbalance that is going to leave someone empty, drained and depleted.

“You are what you attract.”

This one is not quite true.  Women (and men) will attract a myriad of different potential for number of different reasons.  So while you may attract people who do not align with your core being, you are likely to attract some who do.  Who you DATE, is entirely your call, and many times that comes down to what you prioritize and the order you choose to prioritize qualities that you find attractive.  That man who looks like Mr. Elba, or Mr. Ealy, might make your eyes dart, and your stomach flutter.  But does he MIRROR your heart?  Do YOU mirror his?

We aren’t talking about personality here.  You both don’t have to think the same thing, react the same way, laugh at the same jokes, or respond to stimuli in the same fashion.  What you WILL need to do is see the world in a similar fashion, and be certain that the INNER PARTS of who they are, represent YOU well.  In that sense, you are MORE than what you attract.  
You are what you CHOOSE to date.  If you know in your heart of hearts that your cores don’t align, and you KNOW you want MORE, why on earth are you wasting time with him?

I’ve often used fishing as a metaphor when having discussions about attraction and love. This is no different.  If you want to catch King Mackeral, you can’t use brim and goldfish bait.  We don’t eat worms and crickets.  Use the right bait.  And that bait, is the CORE of who you are as a person.  You will almost certainly catch some fish that you want to throw back.  But if you are using the right bait (who you TRULY ARE), and fish in the right waters, eventually the RIGHT fish will bite.  Afterwards, its up to you to reel him in (honestly, and transparently).  If you try to cheat the process, or use the wrong bait, you’ll catch and keep the wrong fish, or worse, your line will break (you’ll become bitter).

As I look back on the “unscripted dance” that would become my friendship, courtship and eventual marriage to my wife, what I can say in no uncertain terms is that she EASILY and DISTINCTLY separated and distanced herself from the pack in the unique ways described above.  It isn’t JUST that she was a great person.  It’s that she was comfortable being a great person, while being incomplete, transparent, honest, consistent, self assured, and possessing of core traits and values that aligned well with my own.  It just so happened that those traits, were the ones that are conducive to a successful marriage.  She wanted a selfless, hard working, thoughtful, deliberate, consistent, loving man.  And one came along, possessing all of those traits, and found her, PRECISELY BECAUSE she was a selfless, hardworking, thoughtful, deliberate, consistent, loving woman.  And she was not these things in her own mind.  She was all of these things, in truth, and in deed.  And at the end of the day, that’s why I got all the way to the altar with her, instead of all the one’s who preceded her, many of who may have had some combination of these traits, but not the RIGHT combination of ALL of them.


Written by Daemon Holmes, Guest Blogger for Code Red Flag


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