You know when people say that when they met their spouse they “just knew” from the first date? I’ve always been a little bit skeptical about that knowing. I mean, how many times did they “just know” with people they didn’t end up marrying? Does anyone keep track?
All you have to do is tune in to any FM radio station to hear that very often one party “just knows” while the other sees things completely differently. I had a hard time believing that “just knowing” about someone you’ve only just met really works.
So I vowed, for the sake of scientific inquiry, to keep track if I ever “just knew” about someone I was dating.
Except, it’s never happened.
Most of the time I was disappointed by the caliber of men I was dating. Where were the confident, competent men? The ones with foresight and enthusiasm and all that good stuff? Was it too much to ask that the guy I marry be at least as good at Life as I was?
My father despaired that I was being too hard on men.
When I did find myself dating someone competent, I would often realize, in horror, that I could potentially marry this person and live a perfectly contented life. Horror, yes. Because when I asked myself if I was willing to give up my independence, my hair, and my nongravid state for a merely contented life with this man, the answer was always a vehement “no.”
My mother despaired that my priorities were all messed up.
And sometimes I wondered if she was right. Was the purpose in life to get married and have kids, like good Zeldas and Tevyas? Or was I part of a new generation that could demand just a little bit more?
But then I met a guy and just knew. It wasn’t hearts-in-the-pupils love. But I respected him so much that I just skipped over the questions about hair and independence straight to the question of how we could effectively merge our lives. He was smart, competent, funny, and I wanted to be better so that I’d deserve him. I had never felt that way about any guy I dated before.
So, my mother was wrong. The people who were right were the ones who said “You just haven’t met the right guy yet.” And now I’d met him.
Except for one problem: We broke up at exactly the same point as I had with all the competent guys. For the best.
At least I got a datapoint out of it.