Finding the One

My husband’s and my 45th wedding anniversary is days away. Our older granddaughter has a boyfriend and is the same age I was when Frank and I married. The world has changed dramatically in 45 years, but the basics of a good relationship haven’t. Join me as I give advice to help my granddaughter and any others who are deciding if he’s “the one.”

Choose a life partner you can trust, someone who has integrity, and who keeps his word.

Find someone who shares with the chores. A good marriage is having one partner who is willing to shower with the dog, shampooing her clean, and another who is willing to blow dry and comb.

Choose a mate who is willing to compromise and talk through your disagreements.

Here are a few tests to give a potential partner

  • Physical attraction often draws people together initially. Show up with bed-hair wearing grungy sweatpants and see if his eyes still light up. 
  • Play a game of cards or tennis—something that your potential mate is competitive in—and pay attention to his reaction when he’s losing.
  • Overflow the toilet and see how he deals with it.
  • Visit elderly friends or family and watch how he relates to them. After all, if the marriage lasts, and you stay healthy, someday you will be elderly.
  • Ask him to do an unpleasant chore such as scrubbing the floor. Is he willing? How will he react to changing messy diapers? 
  • Borrow a whiny or tired or overactive child and watch how he responds since if you have children, you and he will face those stressful times.
  • Set out one fresh doughnut and see if he offers to break it in half.
  • Take a hike and watch how he cares for the land. Extra points if he picks up litter.
  • Announce your promotion or raise or accomplishment. Is he genuinely happy for you?

It’s also important to find someone who doesn’t object to your having your own interests. My husband and I won’t even be together on our 45th anniversary. He’s getting ready for a Canadian fishing trip, and I’m spending a long-anticipated weekend with my daughter and two grandsons at Woodside Dude ranch in Mauston.  

My husband of 45 years and I will celebrate earlier, because we’ve learned to be flexible. We’ll go out to dinner and share a memory or two and laugh at some recent incident. We’ll probably talk about our plans for the next few days and maybe in the coming months and years. We’ll leave with a doggy bag so pooch Josie knows we thought of her. Once home, like a well-orchestrated partnership, I’ll give our aging dog her pills and Frank will fix her kibbles. 

As I set up the coffee pot for the morning and he checks that the doors are locked, I may glance at the partner I chose long ago.  And I’ll feel fortunate, happy that I found “the one.”

So how about it? How did you know he or she was the one?

2 Replies to “Finding the One”

I think my favorite of the tests is the one about the donut, but they are all truly great suggestions for evaluating the character of the person you think may be “the one.” Nice column!

Thanks for your comment, Gayle. Your appreciation of the donut test has me thinking. If I bought my husband’s favorite doughnut and set it on the table, what would he do? Hmm.

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