Let’s start with the obvious. If you know in your heart and soul (awwhhhhhh) that she’s The One, perfect, skip this. Move on to another article.
Now if you’re more on the fence and wondering if she’s the ideal perfect one-in-a-billion?
Probably not. If you cling to the fairytale of a mythical, perfect girl out there—who both “completes you” and has flawless teeth—the one girl, the only girl…your girlfriend’s probably not it.
See also: 10 Commandments of Proposing
The odds are low. Let’s say you had a chance to meet, fall in love and live out your years with thousands—make it millions—of other women around the globe. You’d likely find an even more perfect girl in Munich, or one in Barcelona, or maybe one in San Pablo.
But here’s the thing. You’re not going to San Pablo. You’re not seducing Munich Girl. So even if some imaginary, theoretical girl in Barcelona could rightfully claim the mantle of “The One,” as a practical matter, it’s utterly irrelevant.
Think of your girlfriend like a hiking boot. It’s not important that she’s perfect; it’s important that she fits. So instead of asking if she’s “The One,” you should ask yourself: Is she “One-of-the-Many-Ones-Who-Would-Work-Out-Okay-Enough?”
You must answer this in utter secrecy. Remember that Friends episode where Ross made his “Pro and Cons” list to decide between Rachel and Julie? True, Ross is a tool, but the exercise has merit; learn from his mistake and never, ever let your fiancée discover this Q&A.
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The important thing is that you’ve asked the right questions, given it some thought, and not rushed into 70 years of commitment half-hearted and half-cocked.
And to further clarify: this Q&A is not, in spirit, cynical or anti-marriage. Just the opposite. You have something good. You have something that more fluttery publications would call “special.” Embrace it. Celebrate it. But to avoid screwing it up, you need to realize, finally, that she doesn’t need to be the only girl out of 2 billion that you should marry. That’s an unfair standard.
Remember—if you have cold feet, this is the time to act. Right now. You either propose to her or you don’t. Never think that you can get engaged and then, later, weasel out through the back door. The wedding has too much engagement, and you’ll never have the guts to call it off. When you get engaged you’re as good as married.
And remember, she is doing the exact same thing. Asking these exact same questions. If you feel solidly confident that the answer to whether or not she is the one is a yes? Then congratulations. She’s One-of-the-Many-Ones-Who-Would-Work-Out-Okay-Enough.
If that’s not true romance, we don’t know what is.