POLL: How Many Before You Met "The One"?

This is a question for married/engaged/committed people only. How many boyfriends/girlfriends did you have before you met the love of your life? Also, what qualities led you to believe that your current SO is “The One” for you?

The number of women I actually had relationships that
lasted more than a couple of dates is only 2, then my
wife. I dated, but only a few of them were what I
would consider serious.

I only had one real committed relationship before my wife, but there were several ‘friends with benefits’ before her, and a couple of one-night stands (actually, that was all she was supposed to be :slight_smile: ).

Only 1 serious relationship before my now SO which I happen to still be absolutely crazy about when she does the cute little pouty thing. Now as for the number of girls that I’ve been on dates with is a different story.

And as for qualities leaving me to believe that she is the one well I don’t think it was necessarily qualities that made me know I just knew ya know? Okay well that was probably confusing, but honestly I’ve never met a girl like my SO. She’s smart, funny, cute, ill-tempered (but in a good way), fun to be around, loving, attentive, caring, abso-frickin’-lutely beautiful, and I could go on and on. I really think you just know whenever you are with the person. It feels right inside of you ya know?

I dated 14 or 15 others before I met my wife, but most only once, none more than four times. How did I know she was “the one”? She was (and is!) bouncy, outgoing, interested in most of the same things I am, and, of course, drop-dead gorgeous. Fortunately, it wasn’t hard to convince her to feel that I was “the one” for her as well.

Anniz is the fifth serious girlfriend I’ve had, and will most likely be the last. :slight_smile:

I had unrequited interests galore, including one that seemed requited but fizzled for reasons unknown before it got past the getting to know each other stage. Only really dated a couple of guys. So, not counting fleeting crushes, you could say 3 or 4 men in my adult life that I thought I wanted to be with.

What sets my BF apart from every other guy I’ve known is the fact that I feel utterly comfortable with him, and did from the moment we started chatting as friends at work. Even with “Requited then Not” Boy, and the guys I dated, I always felt a bit tense. I wrote it off as inexperience with dating and my own basic shyness, although on some gut level I always knew that if these men were right for me, I’d feel more relaxed with them.

If you want to boil it down to the qualities of his that make me feel this way about him, I’d say it’s his basic decency (not screwing around), patience (never attempting to cajole me into moving things faster than we did), sense of humor, intelligence, and stuff like being a really ethical, hardworking all-around good man.

On a more shallow note, he looks damn good in jeans, too.

Um, lessee…

Boyfriends/girlfriends: Eight, … oh, wait, nine. No… ten. Keep forgetting people. Not counting the few odd dates and one one-night-stand (body of a god, but didn’t have a clue what to do with it… sigh). Disgusting, huh? I half-jokingly called myself a slut in college because I managed to date every hot available guy in our social group. But each was serious from my perspective. I only once dated someone completely just for fun, and well, he is the one I married. Most lasted more than a few months, often a year or more, and I was seldom single.

I thought I’d found the ‘one’ twice before finding the real ‘ONE’. Madly in love, heartbreakingly so, with the first of those. He broke up with me, I didn’t get over it for years. I still was more in love with him than the next ‘one’ - who I had known for years, dated only a few months before getting engaged. ‘One’ number 2 and I were (and still are) great friends, to the level of being family forever - there was no way I could sever the relationship, because it existed below or beyond the conscious level. We could CHANGE the relationship, but not break it. After a few years of unending engagement, I left him - not enough respect in the relationship to marry him (we’re still good friends, though, and we were each deeply involved in each-other’s weddings).

Two others thought I was the one, but I didn’t feel the same about them. Yeah, my friends hated me (‘How come guys are always asking you to marry them?’ ‘Hmmm, I don’t know. Must be the sex.’)

And the ‘real’ one. He was the first who eclipsed that former great love. By miles. And completely by accident (coming off an engagement, I was looking for fun, not lifelong committment). I knew he was the ONE because he was the first person with whom I could not say ‘well, if this doesn’t work out, there are other men (and women) out there.’ Nobody else would do, when I was always a type to be aware of the potential value of everyone and his/her brother or sister. I’d survive without my epeepunk, absolutely, but I suddenly couldn’t see ever wanting someone else instead of him, does that make sense?

Something fundamental about how I usually (always) worked changed because of him. And for him, he could see spending the rest of his life with me (and wanted to), where no other woman had caused that leap. He respected me, I respected him, he showed me how to love the things he loved, and he learned a fair bit about the things I loved (and respected them, even when they are totally not his thing), simply because they were part of my life, and so was he.

I guess for me, the “ONE” is the person who enables you to transform yourself into something better, as well as just that mutual knowing. But you both have to know the same thing, or it doesn’t work (but sometimes the timing differs - epeepunk and I were offset by about 3 months - I knew before he did). I’d have been happy ‘enough’ with love number 1, but I wasn’t the one for him. And I am happier with epeepunk than I would have been with that other love.

To large degree, there became just one choice with epeepunk. It wasn’t a matter of making the decision to stay together forever (marry, in our case) or not, because there was no other right choice between us. Actually, when he told his family we were engaged, he said that he had to marry me (and no, I wasn’t pregnant). It was like being hit by a freight train - there wasn’t even an option to hang out and just let things roll along (though that may be the path for some), we just got carried along at 90 miles an hour. We HAD to move forward, that was the only path open to us.

Dang. Hard to explain.

If you are asking because you are trying to figure this out, hopefully you’ll have enough gut feel to be sure, and so will the other party. It has to be mutual, and beyond that, it has to be functional. A bad relationship even with the ONE is still a bad relationship. Good relationships grow until you either become the one for each other, or you don’t. I’ve known more often that someone wasn’t the one for me, long term, than the other way around.

Doesn’t hurt that epeepunk is a major babe. :wink:

I went on two dates with one other girl before I met and fell in love with my wife.

As for how we knew… I really can’t say. We both knew within three weeks of meeting each other that we were going to get married. The only question was when.

Zev Steinhardt
(what a nice topic for my 1000th post!)

Happy 1000th zev_steinhardt! I just passed 1000 myself! :slight_smile:

As for the OP, I dated quite a few guys before I got married the first time. I thought that he was the one for the first 3 years we dated and it wasn’t until after we got married that I realized that I wasn’t in love with him and really didn’t even like him! So that ended in divorce.

After my divorce I was without a man/boyfriend for the first time in almost 10 years and that lasted about 5 months. Then I started dating a guy that I used to date when I was 16. While I was dating this guy (guy #1)I met another guy (guy#2). It was really hard to choose between the two because they are both good men and each had something different to offer but I couldn’t go on dating both of them so I made a choice. I chose the one that I could see being with me 50 or 60 years down the road, the one who would be a great father to my 2 kids, the one who made me feel safe, loved, and secure… guy #2. We moved in together about 5 weeks after we met, got engaged 6 weeks later and are getting married.

I had one serious relationship before my wife. I was so in love with that woman, and I found that she didn’t feel the same for me (by walking in on her and another guy sleeping in her bed – long story).

Then, my wife came along. We got to know each other over the phone after meeting on the Internet. By the time we actually met in person, we both very much admired each other. I think she pursued me more than I pursued her. After the experience I just had with my previous woman of my dreams, my wife gained mega-points for being emotionally available.

She moved from New York to Missouri to live with me just six months after we met face-to-face. We knew we had to take a chance. It worked out for the best. I love her. She and our 4-month-old baby are my life. What makes our relationship work is that even when we disagree, we work on it. We have problems concerning money sometimes, but the high points to our relationship far outweigh any problems.

The ‘One’. Hmmm…

Seven serious relationships, three that were of marriage quality. The first two serious relationships set my attitude about women for all time: Smart, sexy, fun, and self confident. The next two (including one mariage-quality) taught me about the hurt, the glorious agony that love can bring. The fifth was a one-nighter that lasted more than a year, but was never going to be more than fun and friendship.

Six was a marriage-quality relationship, and hurt more than anything I could imagine. She was a paraplegic, and a victim of incestuous rape. She’d gone from disfunctional relationship to disfunctional relationship, and wasn’t prepaired to believe she was worthy of anything more than abuse. When I treated her like a lady, she deliberately broke my heart. When I asked her to marry me, she fled to the arms of the first *sshole she could find. I wept for weeks.

Seven was amazing, a fantasy come true. She was beautiful, sexy, uninhibited, smart, and shared most of my interests. she was also a sailor, and worked in the same division, on the same ship as I. She had a little boy who was bright and charming, whom adored me. She was also one of the most damaged people I’ve ever met. When she broke off our relationship, I was hurt, but greatfull. Had I married her, it would’ve been a disaster. She was clear enough to know that we were headed for a wreck, and saved us both.

My Wife now, is nothing I would’ve expected, and everything I need. She’s smart (though she doesn’t admit it), capable, strong, fun, loving, and kind. She’s also aggressive, determined, opinionated, and certain death with a firearm(many years on Reaction Force in the Nav). She can take me two falls out of five, and causually lifts 80lb cases of paper. she’s impressed with me, and has no plans for ‘improving’ me, she actually thinks I can fix the things that are wrong with bureaucracies, and trusts me completely. Her sense of humor is sharp, sly, and has a wicked twist to it. How could I not utterly love a woman such as this?

How did I know she (my wife) was the ‘One’? I didn’t. She’d been making assumptive statements about ‘our’ children, and I’d asked her to back-off, quit making assumptions, and stop backing me into a corner. She did, to my surprise. About a week later I proposed. I had no plan to, hadn’t even thought about it counsciously. The words just fell out of my mouth one day. I think I was more shocked than she, but having said it, I didn’t back down. I’m eternally gratefull I didn’t chicken out. She’s the second best thing to ever happen to me: Our daughter is the the only thing in my life more important.

Hi, hedra!

I had two long term relationships before I got married. One for two years, one off and on for about seven years. (And Mr. Nim and I were together for about two years before we got married – but we got married sooner than we otherwise would have planned for immigration purposes.) As for casual relationships (dating or together as a couple for a few months or less), I guess I had about… 3 or 4.

I knew Mr. Nim was The One because of what we were willing to sacrifice to be together and make the relationship work (on top of being totally in love). As you can imagine, in order to make an international relationship work both people need to be willing to give up all else that is dear to them – proximity to family and friends, country, way of life, etc. In addition to that I also gave up a full scholarship and an intended career as a speech pathologist (or at least put it on hold – I can’t be a speech patholigist in this country because you need to be able to teach people in their own dialect). So anyway, when you’re faced with changing your entire life to be with someone (although not all changes are for the worse, of course!) and can go ahead and do it without an ounce of doubt in your heart, you can be pretty sure that person is The One.

Probably around 15 or so - maybe a couple more.

When I was younger, I was in love with the idea of being in love. I gloried in it. I even enjoyed wallowing in the agony of the post-love split up.

And honestly, I can look back now and see in a loving fashion each of those women. Remember that Sinatra song, “When I was 21, it was a very good year…”(I know Glen Yarbarough sang it first, and better, but it didn’t mean as much when he sang it)? That was it. I truly loved each of them and each of them was the “right one.”

As the song goes, “Now, I’m in the autumn of my years…” but a while before that, I met the woman who would become Mrs. TV. There was no lightning, no explosions, no bells ringing: None of that Hollywood stuff.

It just seemed she was in the right place when she was next to me. I would be somewhere (or maybe nowhere, I’m not sure) and she would be there with me and somehow it seemed special.

A couple of years after we were married we were broke (I mean really broke - sleep on friend’s couches and eat their food broke) and she was feeling bad about it, blaming herself. I turned to her and said, “I would rather be poor with you than rich with any other woman in the world.”

It’s been about 25 years since I said that, and I still feel that way. We just fit somehow. Could one of those other 15 or so have been a good fit?

Maybe, but I’m awfully glad I never found out.