It was at least three years ago when I finally realized what I really wanted out of life: to be a husband and a father, the head of a household and of my own family. Everything else -- career, house, money, car -- was secondary toward that end. That was what I really wanted to do with myself.

So I embarked on a quest for self-improvement with that goal in mind. I didn't revamp my entire personality or anything like that, though. I just worked on making myself into the type of person the woman I wanted as a wife would want as a husband. It wasn't easy, of course, and at one point it involved some embarassing confessions to a close friend and six months of paid counseling sessions. But I kept at it.

In the meantime, I followed a related suggestion I'd heard at one point and made out a list of all the qualities I absolutely, positively had to have in a future spouse. I thought for a while about the things that were important to me in a lifemate and the things that I could compromise on or live without, and whittled the "must have" list down to ten things. I kept that list on an index card in a safe place so I could refer back to it when I needed it again.

Finally, one day, I met her. I was in a "dear God, I hate being alone" kind of mood and I started checking out the internet personals. One lady from my area had filled out an extensive profile which matched my "must have" list on three points right out of the box. We started talking, and after making it clear that we were both interested in a relationship with marriage as the objective, we carefully started getting to know each other.

Over the next few months, I checked back against my list from time to time. She had her own list, it so happened, although it was a lot longer than ten items. Eventually I was able to check off all the items on my list, and she told me she'd done the same. We got engaged about four months later, and we're married today.

The point of all that "This Is Your Life" stuff is that neither one of us started our relationship with any doubts about what we were looking for. We both wanted to find "The One." We both had a concrete idea as to what "The One" had to be. And once we were both satisfied that we'd both met "The One," we made that commitment permanent.

If you want to know if your relationship is "meant to be," then, you need to ask yourself three things: What kind of person does "The One" need to be for you? What kind of person does "The One" need to be for your SO? And when you both started this relationship, were you looking to find "The One", or were you just looking for someone to have fun on the weekends with?

Because if this person isn't "The One" for you, they're never going to be. If you're not "The One" for them, you're never going to be. And if your relationship isn't about finding "The One", it's never going to be.

That's just the way it is.

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