you just know.

how do you know he/she is the one? you just know.

i was never a huge fan of this response before i met robert (or even while i was dating him, for that matter). because what exactly does that mean? and let’s be realistic — there are probably plenty of couples who “just knew” and ended up getting divorced, not to mention all the ones who “just knew” and never made it to the altar. hell, i “just knew” that i would marry my then-best friend at age 16, and our pseudo-relationship fizzled after a whopping 3 weeks.

so when people ask how i knew that i was going to marry robert, i try to provide a more substantial explanation. because yes, i just knew. but it was a little more nuanced than that.

from what i can assess, there were two key factors at play. the first was affective. i knew how i felt about him, and i knew that these feelings were stronger than i’d ever experienced before. i also knew how i felt in our relationship; i felt significantly happier, healthier, and safer than i’d felt in any of my previous ones (and i cannot underscore enough the importance of feeling safe, because if that feeling is absent on any level, physical or emotional, you better run while you still can). and from what robert told me, i knew that these feelings were mutual.

the second factor was cognitive. this is best expressed in equation form:

p(meeting another man as good as robert) * p(being as compatible with said man as i am with robert) = virtually 0.

in english: i knew that the odds of me meeting another man as good as robert (who is the best man i’ve known to date, and i know some pretty extraordinary men) AND that i’d be as compatible with this man as i am with robert (with whom i am incredibly compatible) was slim to none. i’m not an old lady, but i’ve been around long enough to know that it’s not easy to meet an exceptional man with whom you are extremely compatible.

so for me, there was an element of emotional “just knowing” involved, but there was also a lot of logic and reasoning going on there too.

and that’s how i knew.

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