You can never be sure that someone is the right person for you
"How do I know for certain that a person is the right one for me?"
In interviews, I pushed the elders on this topic. I asked for as much detail as they could provide on how someone in love can be certain that this particular man or woman is the one with whom to spend a lifetime. Are there special signs, a foolproof formula, a magic bullet to know that we've found Ms. or Mr. Right? After all that effort and countless hours of interview time, what was the definitive answer to that question? Umm, well, you see, actually, it's ...
You never know.
That's right. Close to 100 percent of the experts are in agreement on this one point: You can never be absolutely sure that you have found the right person. In fact, the most common responses to that question—how do you know that you have found the right person to marry?—went like this:
You never know.
You can't be 100 percent sure.
You've got to just take your chance.
I don't think you can actually tell.
Do you ever know?
So where does that leave us on the topic of mate selection? Do we throw up our hands in despair? Fortunately (...) the elders actually have a treasure trove of advice about finding the right partner. Further, they believe that the best way to have a lifelong, fulfilling marriage is to make a very careful choice. So if there is no certainty about choosing your spouse, how should you go about it?
I found a mentor in Roxanne Colon, eighty-six, whom I interviewed at a neighborhood center in the South Bronx. While we were chatting before the interview began, I learned that Roxanne likes to gamble occasionally—she needed to end our interview on time because she was on her way to bingo ("It's just twenty dollars," she assured me). She was the first of the experts to give me the solution to the "you never know for sure" dilemma. Roxanne, like other elders, agreed it's impossible to be certain you have made the right choice. But then she told me something very enlightening:
You know, to me, marriage is like a gamble. You get married and when it comes out good, you win. When it's no good, you lose and you divorce. So that's the way I looked at it. Sometimes the beginning is beautiful and then, you know, you're playing roulette and if you win, you win—or then all of a sudden, you lose.
That sounded rather negative, and I told Roxanne so. She laughed and asked me if I was a gambler. I confessed that I enjoy going to a casino a few times a year. She raised her eyebrows and asked me: "Well, don't you try to even the odds?" She went on:
So, okay, you accept that marriage is a gamble; you can't ensure that things are perfect. But you can up the odds in your favor by how you choose somebody. You know, the values that you have, how you respect each other. Study the person before you get married and ask the tough questions. Like I said, marriage is a gamble. So what you do with the gamble is you try to make the odds in your favor.
I don't know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.
My love keeps growing more passionate and egoistic, while his is waning and waning, and that's why we're drifting apart."
She went on musing.
"And there's no help for it. He is everything for me, and I want him more and more to give himself up to me entirely. And he wants more and more to get away from me. We walked to meet each other up to the time of our love, and then we have been irresistibly drifting in different directions. And there's no altering that."
A profile, a look, a voice, can capture a heart in no time at all.
I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.
Limerence is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship with the object of love and have one's feelings reciprocated.