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Q. “I have had difficulty with relationships. I have trouble identifying whether the person I’m seeing is someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. This time, I feel differently than before, but I’m still not certain I want to invest a lot of time if he’s not “the one.” Are there any indicators that should alert me to the love of my life?”

Joyce’s FIX: Love is more than a spark that ignites a flame. When it’s for real, it becomes a blazing inferno of the deepest care and concern for that special someone. Our exploration of relationships really begins as a child. We learn to love our parents and siblings and extended family. We then develop relationships with friends, and we move on to casual boyfriends/girlfriends, and finally graduate to looking for that soulmate.

I appreciate the deliberation you have given this very serious decision for your future. Given the statistics of divorce, it would behoove many people to put as much thought into love and commitment as you have. As generic as love seems, it is the most individual emotion there is known to mankind. I dare say no one has the magic formula to recognize it when it comes, but for certain no one can deny it when it happens.

You aren’t a novice to relationships, but I might offer a few things to consider in search for your future husband. The following is a litmus test each of us, whether married or contemplating, might use to measure our relationships. Those of us who have been married for a few years should self-evaluate our connection to ensure we’re not missing out on a fulfilling marriage. You and others like yourself should carefully examine each one of these questions with honesty and purpose.

1. How often do you think of him when he’s away from you?

2. Are you excited to see him each occasion you have to spend together?

3. Have you influenced one another positively?

4. Does he make you laugh?

5. Do you feel comfortable to talk to him about anything?

6. What hobbies/interests do you enjoy as a couple?

7. Have you had feelings of jealousy?

8. Is there mutual respect for one another?

9. Who typically begins an argument, and who generally compromises?

10. If the relationship ended, would you attempt to reconcile?

One could spend from now until eternity with all sorts of inquiries about whether he/she is the perfect fit for a lifetime of love. At the end of the day, however, you and your special someone are the only two who can settle on the answer. For certain, your heart will be your biggest and best indicator that you need look no further.

Struggling with a relationship issue? Write Joyce Oglesby, Family Life FIX-IT Pro, and find a solution for life.

P.S. Read more answers from Joyce about how to improve our relationships.

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