How Do You Know When You’ve Found “The One?”

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One of my favorite things to do when I have spare time is to catch a movie. There was no shortage of blockbuster movies this holiday season—and the one that I was most looking forward to was the final part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. There’s a scene in the movie where the elf Tauriel holds Kili the dwarf and they profess their love for one another. I chuckled a bit during this scene because I knew some of my friends, who were Tolkien purists, would absolutely hate it. Tauriel is not a character in J.R.R. Tolkien’s book—she was made up by Director Peter Jackson for the purposes of adding a female character and a love story subplot into the movie. Some fans of the Hobbit didn’t want to see such huge creative liberties taken on such an amazing story. As for me, I understand why Peter Jackson added the character—every Hollywood movie needs a love story.

Think about it: when was the last time that you went to a movie and there wasn’t some sort of relationship subplot and love story worked into the movie? It’s the one common theme that you will find in almost any movie—regardless of the genre. Hollywood understands that the viewing public will get bored if there isn’t a love story—so you can find one in almost any movie. Why do we get bored? Because love—the kind of love that is selfless, giving, intimate and fulfilling—is what God made us for. Love is the deepest desire of every person and many people will spend the better part of their early life looking for “the one” who will fulfill this deep desire for love and happiness.

Unfortunately, finding “the one” isn’t as easy as Hollywood makes it seem. Our desires for love and romance can lead us astray—sometimes into relationships and situations where we wish the person that we are dating would be “the one,” but in fact, the relationship ends in heartbreak and confusion. Relationships are messy, and making a lifelong commitment to another person for better or worse is a pretty big deal. So how do you know when you have found “the One?” Here are a few things to consider:

They challenge and inspire you to become the person you were created to be.

A relationship that is worth a lifelong commitment is a relationship that brings out the absolute best in both of you. Marriage is a vocation. A vocation is the process of discovering who God has created you to be. Therefore, if you are with the person that God has intended for your life, that person will motivate, inspire, and challenge you every day to become the best person you can be.

They won’t give your their body without giving you themselves.

Sex is intended by God to be a physical expression of love that communicates the promises of a lifelong commitment. That’s a fancy way of saying that sex renews your wedding vows. A man or woman who wishes to engage in intercourse (or sexual expressions intended to lead up to intercourse) before they make a lifelong commitment in marriage is not worth your time. Expect them to give you everything and not just their body.

God gives his blessing to your relationship.

God has made you and your future spouse for each other. You cannot know if the person you are with is God’s plan for your life unless you pray (and pray together). The closer you get to Christ’s heart, the more self-aware you become of your own heart. Also, always remember St. Ignatius Loyola’s advice, “Never make serious decisions when in a state of spiritual desolation.” This means that God, not simply your emotions, should guide the major decisions in your life. Trust in God, grow closer to His heart every day, and he will reveal His plan for you.

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Everett-Fritz-headshot3-840x1024Everett Fritz works in Catholic Youth Ministry and enjoys speaking on the topics of chastity, discipleship, and youth evangelization. He is the Content Development and Promotion Lead for YDisciple at the Augustine Institute where he also holds an MA in Theology. Everett resides in Denver with his wife Katrina and their three children. You can connect with him through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catholiceverettfritz or Twitter: @everettfritz and http://everettfritz.com/

18 Comments

  1. I’m 17… all my friends are in relationships and I try my best to keep them grounded reminding them it’s just high school…but I contradict myself everyday because I met a guy online when I was 15 and just recently (August) we’ve developed more than friend like feelings, and as much as I tell my friends not to sit and believe it , I find my self believing that he is the one….everything you described up there he does but not all the time… I don’t know what to do because I know he’s not perfect and he’d my age and doesn’t know all about love either….what do I think?

    By Lexi | 2 years ago Reply
    • Well, there’s one thing you can know for certain. At ages 15 and 17, you can be sure that even if he is “the one,” you’re not going to be married anytime soon. You don’t need to worry about making that kind of decision right now because neither of you is even at the age of legal adulthood where you can legally get married. And even then, it’s usually not advisable to get married at 18 (though some couples do find ways to make it work. So you have at the absolute bare minimum 3 years till he can marry you, and probably even longer than that given prudent decision-making.

      “The one” is the person you could spend the rest of your life with, and the person you are willing to wait for, however long it takes. So let the next few years be a time of prayer and growing in Christ together. Simply love one another and listen to God’s call in your heart. Learn to distinguish between your emotions (the loud voice in your heart that shouts with unnecessary urgency) and God’s voice (the quiet voice that whispers to you in peace and calm). You have plenty of time, no rush. If he is the one, you have the rest of your lives to spend together, and if he isn’t, you have plenty of time to figure that out.

      By David | 2 years ago Reply
    • hi Lexi, have you actually met this person in person? Does he live in the US? Online relationships are not a true indication of how a real relationship would go so I would be very careful. I would listen to your own advice. Your feelings are not a bad thing- we all want to be loved, but with an online situation we can read into things that really aren’t there.

      By Jenny | 2 years ago Reply
  2. Fan-tas-tic!!

    By Janaína | 2 years ago Reply
  3. Such a great article. I like how you were able to talk about such a deep topic using simple things that we can relate to like a movie. All three tips for knowing when you have found “the one” were great, but I especially like the first. Finding someone who pushes you to be who you were called to be.

    By Zeus Sumra | 2 years ago Reply
  4. Such a great article. I like how you were able to talk about such a deep topic using simple things that we can relate to like a movie. All three tips for knowing when you have found “the one” were great, but I especially like the first. Finding someone who pushes you to be who you were called to be.

    By Zeus Sumra | 2 years ago Reply
  5. Such a great article. I like how you were able to talk about such a deep topic using simple things that we can relate to like a movie. All three tips for knowing when you have found “the one” were great, but I especially like the first. Finding someone who pushes you to be who you were called to be.

    By Zeus Sumra | 2 years ago Reply
  6. Although short, this article has helped me open my eyes about relationships… Especially ones that occur in high school. I will definitely think back to this article every time I am in a need of guidance on a relative situation. Thank you so much for writing this! God bless.

    By Megan Patterson | 2 years ago Reply
  7. I am so glad to have such sound and wonderful advice. I certainly want that with the relationship God intends. I believe He revealed in Eucharistic adoration . Tough to wait

    By Laura | 2 years ago Reply
  8. Not to detract from your (excellent) main point but,…In the movie…why does it have to be contrived romantic love to get people into the theatre? Why can’t there be a popular story about friendship and love for neighbor instead, which is more what the original story intended? The book is a classic that people have returned to for decades, even without a romantic love story, and with good reason. (Can you tell I’m a Tolkien nut? LOL.)

    That said, good points in the rest of the post. Pretty spot on. When I found my husband, he was someone who took regular prayer with me seriously (even in a long distance relationship!), supported me as I worked through some issues and finished school, and (when we DID get to actually see each other) was as interested in keeping chaste as I was, and worked to maintain it. This is actually a pretty good ‘checklist’.

    By GiannaT | 2 years ago Reply
  9. Nice article….i would share this wit my youth group….God bless u..

    By mariea | 2 years ago Reply
  10. Aaand thank you very much for a good, concise, optimistic piece that was not narrowly-written for a teen/20-something audience!

    By Noah | 2 years ago Reply
  11. Hello! I like this article. Well done! But I have one question… What does it mean to have God’s blessing in your relationship? Are their any signs? The article didn’t seem very in depth about that…. Thank you so much!

    By Anon | 2 years ago Reply
  12. Great stuff! Love the quote from St. Ignatius – when we’re in a solid place with God, then we should make those big decisions. Having a spiritually dark and confusing day where you start to doubt stuff you believed yesterday? Wait till tomorrow with your big call. Storms pass. The goodness of the Lord, and his plan for you, doesn’t.

    By Pio | 2 years ago Reply
  13. I’d been in a relationship for almost 4years, he was my first boyfriend. When I first fell in love with him, I thought he was “the one”. During Sundays, I ask him for us to go to the church before we drive on our date. He agreed to join me in praying but I never saw sincerity in his eyes whenever we pray. I try to ignore that. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs but I came to a point that I realize that something is missing in between us. Until such time, I caught him cheating on me. It was an intense trauma in my heart. That day forward, I go to church daily and cry. I don’t care if other people see me crying. I asked Jesus to help me heal and I’m still hoping that we can revive our relationship. One day, out of nowhere, I suddenly had the courage to break up with my ex. Then, a few days later, I met a guy who drastically changed everything. It’s like I felt complete again. Before, I always make my ex-boyfriend my Number1 man. This time, this guy that I just met made me realize that he is Number 2, because the real Number 1 man in my life is Jesus.

    By J. Galura | 2 years ago Reply
  14. Hello I was wondering what to do and what to expect from my partner in life and if dating is really a thing or not.

    I know there is much to be said about being shallow and I do not want to set my standards to high, so that no woman would ever be able to attain it. However, I want a girl who is basically a tom boy aka she shares many interests I do like sports, hiking, camping, fishing. I don’t really want her to be a stereotypical woman. But am I asking to much or going about things in the wrong way. I mean at the very least I have a list that

    1. She needs to be catholic ( or at least have strong faith in God)
    2. She needs to lead a healthy lifestyle ( aka makes good choices, no drugs, not an alcoholic)
    3. She is active (she plays at least one or two sports well enough to play with me, she does something good for her body, some kind of workout)
    4. She is attractive to me (Not that looks are everything and I’ve had my fair share of relationships so I know what I want and It’s not wrong for me to think she is beautiful)
    5. She challenges me (now this is one I have a hard time with because I know she must lead me to be better, and as far as my faith goes and how i am to treat a woman, with respect and chastity she leads me down a better path and makes me want to be a better man for her. However, does she need to challenge me more than that, like i am pretty active guy, I work out about 3-4 times a week, I run, I play almost every sport under the sun, and she is not really that althletic. However, I am not looking for a man. I want a woman, and she does have interests in sports just as much as me, and I know even if i found a woman who was really really good, she may still be just under my skill set)

    I don’t know. I want to date her and I want to be in a relationship with her. I kinda don’t know what love is. I mean of course I want to have sex with her and have kids with her. Thats natural, but it goes deeper than that. We’ve worked hard to be pure and stay chaste. I’ve talked with her parents about it. her dad and my dad had a talk about what to be and what was best for us. I just want her to be happy and I want to be happy too. And I don’t want to settle for anything I want my wife to be the perfect woman in my eyes and although she is not the best at every single thing, I know she could work towards it. Not that I don’t accept her for who she is now. I just, would like her to share a few more interests in the sports side. (she does like watching baseball and other sports)

    I am just really torn, because on one side. yes I could leave her and just friend zone her. and she would definately be someone I would see as a friend for life. We get along really well she is so damn cute and she has the same humor as me and the best laugh. On the other side I could see us being together and we could make each other very happy, I just worry if something happens down the road it will kill what we will have and I will not see her again.

    She is about 19 and I am 22 about to graduate from college, My mom says she needs time to mature and I agree there are somethings she is nieve about but so am I. I do not claim to be the smartest guy in the world but I just want to do the right thing. I read theology of the body, I know for a fact having sex with someone you love is better than using women, we both have made a pact to sotp watching porn, and thank God I have fought off all tendencies for it and have been clean for 3 months now.

    Basically I just wish there was some checklist to know if its really love i have for her. Or if its all just lust and i am leading her on and she would be better without me. I don’t want to break her heart, she likes me alot and I am the first guy she has done anything with and I remember my first love and it meant alot too, so I know some of those first time emotions are going through her and I just want her to think more logically about it and understand what she really wants and that I am not just a first time kiss or love thing for her. Its not all sunshine and rainbows, this is no movie.

    So yeah, If I could get some help, this is kinda a life changing decision and I just don’t want to screw things up. I don’t want to be the bad guy, I want her to know I’ve put thought into everything and I just want whats best for her. And if its to leave her alone, it will hurt alot but If its the right thing I will do it.

    I could probably go on for days Please get back to me thanks. I am riding the struggle bus.

    By Charlie | 2 years ago Reply
  15. I prefer movies without shoe-horned love stories.

    By Kam | 2 years ago Reply
  16. Hey I just read it and I think I found the one! We have known each other for 2 years, I have liked her ever sense we met! We are not in a relationship right now but I hope for the best❤️❤️ I’ll be praying!!

    By Ben baker | 2 years ago Reply

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