Friday, February 08, 2008

How Do You Tell If He's the One?

Terry, I have a question here-

Say you've attracted a man that fits into what you've visualized. Or at least 90%. How do you know he's a "flagstone" in your path, or if he's the real one? Thanks!


Hi, S-

Sorry for the delay in replying.

For me, it was a matter of paying more attention to what he did than what he said. I took notice of the way he treated not just me but other people, everybody from his mother to waitresses. I watched how he handled disappointment and conflict. I listened to the way he spoke about other people.

I spent time with his friends, male and female. You really can judge a person by the company they keep. Some women hate their boyfriends having female friends, but I think it's a good thing. Peter has a couple of great female friends, and their behavior and assessment of him provided a compass.

When we'd been dating a couple of months, a friend and I took a vacation to San Francisco and San Diego. It offered a great opportunity for all the old fears kick in: Will he pick me up at the airport as he promised? Is he too good to be true?

My friend and I went back to the hotel room after visiting Seaworld (those poor animals!) to rest up for the evening festivities. My friend snapped on Oprah (Oprah again!). The day's subject was men who had beaten their wives to death.

I lay there watching and wondering what the hell I was getting into. How many men beat their wives? According to Oprah, plenty. Had I become involved with such an individual? I had dated a smack-arounder once before.

My friend slumbered peacefully while I cranked myself into a fetal position, gasping through a panic attack. She woke up, and we went out. Had a lovely dinner, went to a comedy club, had a million drinks.

But then I remembered: I'd gotten to the point where I enjoyed being alone. If this guy didn't fit the bill, sure, I'd be disappointed, but I would most definitely live.

I'd like to tell you I stopped worrying about him picking me up at the airport, but I didn't. I had a history of dating unreliable people. On the flight, I tried to concentrate on Bonfire of the Vanities , but I didn't get far.

He did pick me up at the airport. The thing I like most about Peter is that he does what he says he's going to do. I guess if I could sum him up in one word it would be "earnest."

Also: At one point in the relatioship, I did say to him, "I've been hurt before. If this relationship isn't working for you, would you please let me know? I can take that, but I can't take the not calling and disappearing."

And then he asked the same thing of me, which gave me some peace of mind.

But in the end, I learned it's best to follow the advice of not only Jeff Mac of but my 3rd Grade teacher, Sr. Mary Maurice: "Actions speak louder than words."