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Monday, 18 September 2000

Is He / She The One? a Quick Pre-Proprosal Inventory

Written by  Sara Eisen

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Erica Jong once said, "Advice is what you ask for when you know the answer, but wish you didn't."

Here, then, is some advice for young couples wondering if he/she is "the one." You probably already know the answer to this, but it's difficult to swallow whole. So here's the question back at you, in nice, bite-size pieces (ask yourself one a day):

  1. Do I feel trapped or liberated at the thought of living with him forever?
  2. Can I be myself with her?
  3. Does he know that my uncle is a convicted felon (or any other secrets your family tries to hide)?
  4. Can I tell her my true feelings or concerns without feeling like I want to shoot myself afterwards?
  5. Does he make me laugh?
  6. Does she make me laugh at myself?
  7. Is he able to laugh at himself?
  8. But...does she laugh at everything, indiscriminately? (Is everything a joke?)
  9. Do you feel that he is the same person with you (more or less) as he is with his friends, parents or boss?
  10. Do you often feel that she is a total stranger?
  11. Do you often feel manipulated or tricked by him?
  12. Do you feel in any way afraid of or threatened by her?
  13. Do you feel that you need to be perfect to be loved by him?
  14. Do you think she will love you when you start to go bald and when she sees you reading your newspaper on the toilet? What about you loving her when she gains fifty pounds during pregnancy?
  15. Does he always find things you should be improving about yourself?
  16. Does she know or admit the things she needs to change about herself?
  17. Does she attach her love to all sorts of things you need to do first?
  18. Do you love him as he is, even if he never changes?
  19. Is she far away from what you imagined, and you miss that dream woman? Or has she changed your idea of the dream woman?
  20. Do you share more or less the same long-term goals and values? (Hint: If you want to be a movie actor and she wants to have ten kids and live on a farm, you ought to think this through again.)
  21. Is he a "great guy", or great for you?
  22. Is she someone you want to introduce to your boss, your mom, and your best friend (even if something about her - like her race - may bother them; Is she worth the confrontation)?
  23. Does time away from him make you sigh with grief - or with relief?
  24. Can you fight well, and get to the issue, or do fights always result in name calling and bad feelings?
  25. Do you still feel in love after a fight, or does he need to buy you flowers and sell his mother to make it up to you? Do you need to do that for him?
  26. Does she bring out the best in you, or make you want to rebel?
  27. Does he remind you of a favorite relative, or of one you wish you didn't have?
  28. Does she have good qualities which will endure the test of time?
  29. When asked by a third party if you really love him or her, do you have to process the question a few times? Or is the answer very clear to you?
  30. Can you say I love you to her in the light of day, no strings attached?
  31. How does he treat his mom, dad, siblings? Watch...

This is by no means a complete list, but it does give you somewhere to start. And to paraphrase an old engagement ring ad, is one month's worth of questions too much to ask for something that lasts forever?

Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2012 13:30
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Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen

Sara is a journalist and editor.

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