4 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE You Decide He’s “The One”

Stephen Hussey

I remember a girlfriend who used to get insecure anytime we were at a party together and I spoke to someone else for more than 5 minutes.

She would become jealous and upset and we’d end up going home to have long protracted arguments about something I saw as a completely unreasonable standard.

Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last long.

That was when I was 20. You learn a lot in your early twenties about the kind of behavior you don’t want to tolerate in people you’re close to.

As I’ve grown up and learnt more about myself, I’ve tried to find patterns in other people’s relationships as well as my own. The secret to being in a happy couple I’ve realised is incredibly complex, but that hasn’t stopped me searching for the algorithm.

I guess the aim of all this searching is always same: I hope this will help me make better choices in future.


What You Should Know BEFORE You Commit Long-Term

I’ve never believed that “The One” exists. I think you decide someone is “The One”.

People get upset when you say that, but I don’t know why. It always seemed more romantic to choose the person you’re meant to be with for me, rather than act like it was all a matter of pre-determined luck.

But how do you decide who to choose?

I’ve been obsessed over recent years with how to decide whether someone is “right” for you, probably because I’ve seen so many people (including myself) face that age-old question: Should I stay or should I go?

What I’ve begun to believe is that it comes down to a few very precise questions.

I used to think it was about enormous checklists lists of traits, then quickly realized that this leads to a sort of obsessive pickiness that leads people to overthink their choices too much, always imagining that perhaps their partner is only 86% right for them, instead of 94%, or 99%, their brains forever finding fault with those who don’t reach a perfect score.

There is no 100% perfect person. The only 100% is the feeling of absolute certainty that your partner is the person who makes you infinitely happier for being able to share your life experiences together.

Like I said, I’m kind of obsessed with this topic, having written about it twice already on this site (here, and here).

I don’t know any quick formula for knowing if he’s “The One”, but I have come to think about four BIG questions that should always be a part of that decision:

1. Do you feel a unique sexual attraction to this person?

I stole this one from a Steve Pavlina article, but it’s so fundamental that it can’t be left out of this topic.

Let’s face it, a lot of couples get into trouble from the start because they don’t choose someone who turns them on enough physically.

Without that feeling that things just “click” between you sexually, it’s hard to develop anything sustainable for 5 years, let alone for the rest of your life.

Yes, the actual sex gets better as the relationship goes on. But sexual chemistry doesn’t. It’s either there from the beginning or it isn’t. Ignore it at your peril.

2. Do you find it easy or difficult to get your needs met in the relationship?

Whether your need be for intimacy, respect, emotional connection, intellectual stimulation, fun, or fulfilling your sexual fantasies, couples that work best involve two people for whom fulfilling one another’s needs doesn’t feel like an arduous chore.

Rather, because they both fit together so well, it works naturally without an excessive amount of effort. For example, you want a life with travel and adventure, and so does he. Or you both share a need for physical touch and affection. Or you both have the same level of optimism and passion.

You don’t need to both share EXACT same levels of need, but you do need to be able to satisfy one another’s needs without having to CONSTANTLY explain yourself to one another.

For example, if one of you is extremely jealous and the other is really laid-back and independent, it’s unlikely you’re both going to be able to ever make the other person happy, since you’ll always find the other person’s perspective to be unreasonable and misaligned.

If you find it impossible to see things from his side, or always think to yourself after arguments, “he just doesn’t get me at all!”, you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of frustration and resentment.

3. Is his lifestyle compatible with yours? Do you feel ok with how he spends his free time?

Because relationships are for a long time. And how a guy spends his time is a strong reflection of what he values.

This ultimately comes down to who you want to be around. If you hate the idea of someone who zonks out in front of the TV all day and like to get blind drunk in nightclubs every night on the weekend, it’s probably a safe bet to say a relationship with that person is doomed before it begins.

Relationships that begin with wanting someone to change who they are end up with two people who feel bitter and unsatisfied. Pro tip: Assume he’s always going to have the priorities he does now: whether for work, family, or his friends. Are you ok with that kind of life?

You don’t have to spend your free time in the same way as one another, but you do have to make sure you’re OK with the way he spends his.

4. Do you both want the same things in your future and see yourself being able to give the same amount to the relationship in 5, 10, 15 years? 

Relationships in which two people fundamentally want different things  never work. The strongest couples contain two people that build a future they want to share, and who are able to give just as much to the relationship after 5 or 10 years as they did in the first 6 months.

If you feel like it works “for now” but long-term find yourself hoping he’ll come around and want something different than he does currently, chances are he’s not the one for you and it’s time to make an exit post-haste. Sure, he might change his mind later on, but he also might not, and by that time you’re 5 years into a relationship and it will feel incredibly difficult to let it go.

If it doesn’t feel right at the beginning, trust your instincts and realise there are plenty of people out there who will want the kind of future you envision in a relationship.


So that’s my two cents (or four, I guess). Like I said, I’m always reassessing this idea of who is “The One”, mostly because like everyone else I’m always trying to ensure I make the right choices in love.

Forget the giant checklists regarding his height, income, penis size, education, etc.

Assess each person as they are and see if they meet the above criteria and you’ll soon know whether it could work long-term between you or not.

Question of the day: What would make YOU decide a guy is “The One”? What questions would you add to the list above?


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50 Replies to “4 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE You Decide He’s “The One””

  • Hello Stephen,

    Such a well written, profound article.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom to all of us.

    If I may ask an advice, My man, he is all these,except we might clash eventually with our religious beliefs. He isn’t at all spiritual. I know,ultimately it will impact our relationship negatively. But all I want is to meet half way,compromise and see if he will be willing to sacrifice. I would talk very lightly about the issue, but we really never had the conversation. What do you think I should do?

    1. You cannot expect a person to change. The person will only change because s/he wants to change on his/her own. Seemingly small things that bother you at the start of a relationship will only become more problematic the more you invest in the relationship. Therefore, the only actions you can control are your own. Hence, you have to decide are you okay with practicing your religious beliefs on your own because he is not spiritual, are you okay with not practicing your religious beliefs because he is not spiritual, or is this a deal breaker for you whereby you leave the relationship. Having a discussion with your significant other is a start. Best!

  • I so appreciate this article for I am confused in my relationship. We were together for 7yrs broke up for 1yr n 8 months before getting back together. He’s never wanted the same things as me. He also looks at things differently than me. We are kinda of opposite you can say in many areas but I chose to be with him for the reason that he is a hard worker doesn’t smoke or drink doesn’t have friends doesn’t go out not unless we go together no drugs no other girls. However after now 10yrs I still haven’t met his soon to be 11yr old daughter and it took 10yrs for his mother in Mexico to want to get to know me.
    So am I settling? I’ve never had great luck with guys I’ll be 41 next month and he’s only my 3rd boyfriend if not I’ve been alone. So I need to really think about your 4 questions or should I stay alone again and live like that cuz there’s really no more real men out there!

    1. I. Our generation (41) it is hard to find a man with no vices who also doesn’t have too many friends and family influencing him. At our age we must start asking ourselves how many voids are being met within us. Cause our patience is much thinner. Needs are different as well. Are you excited about trips together or hanging out when you invision you two going out together?? For me I felt anytime I couldn’t fathom taking a man out in public due to his inability to see me flourish and network with others or because he is just socially awkward, for me it was a deal breaker because it meant a lot of staying at home or JUST attending events that pertained to only us. But no future group or public outings w/others This was vital to me at 41 because we should have our social stuff kinda down pact by a certain age and to me its a warning red flag for other possible developmental setbacks. I think as long as you’re not dealing with developmental setbacks and they go right to work on your feelings,request and desires, with a fair amount of sexual attraction, its worth stating. But I also feel that if you are always wondering should you stay or go, the answer is right there. Because when its with the right one, the one you can’t get enough of, u will never ask that question. We ask that question when we are trying to find solace in settling. So really you’re asking should you settle. And that’s just not a really fair question to ask ur self. No you shoukdnt. You are looking for spark! Don’t stop until you have it! The spark is the spirit of the relationship. Its dead with out it. Don’t be afraid to be lonely. Raise your frequency and the ubiverse will send you a higher vibrating being who will fill the most basic anD vital needs and voids within you so much so that you won’t ever get the chance to ask ur self should you stay for one second b/c the answer will already be a knowing.. I found my true love at 41 on new years day. He was someone pursuing me ten years…he went back and changed a lot and grew into what I wanted. Ive never been so happy in my life. I too only had a couple of long term boyfriends. Everyone had began giving up on me but I kept 100% faith I’d find him! And I did! So don’t settle or give up on love!

      1. You nailed it! I hope n pray that I find the one I’m supposed to be with. I’m so sick of being disappointed,and used. Please God help me!

  • The same level of honesty ~ and that being evasive or secretive (so “private”) is just another form of dishonesty and prevents intimacy. It’s so important to me that the other person is on the same page with me on this.

    Also consistency, reliability. How can you trust anyone who constantly blows hot and cold or their actions often contradict their words. Roller coasters should just be at theme parks. ;)

    Blessings to you, Stephen, for posting this. It’s exactly what I needed today and SO succinct. You and Matthew are Angel heroes on this planet, and we really appreciate all the research and hard work you provide for all of us.


  • Sense of humor: If he is laughing at something you think is offensive and vice a versa . I remember starting to hate the laughing of the man, I thought I was in love, with because of this

  • For the most part I agree with what your saying but if you have a check list where something is important then that can be a deal breaker like for me if someone doesn’t like animals I wouldn’t be able to be with them cause I have a cat and I don’t want a boyfriend who hates them!!

  • I think the 4 are good but there is one more… one people completely miss. Is this person you will be willing to take care of when they are old and infirm? Is this someone who you would be willing to bathe, clean up after they go to the bathroom, and help them remember to take their medications when they can barely remember who you are. You need to spend time observing older couples who have been where you are. I believe this needs to be considered when “choosing” the one.

  • Thank you Stephen,
    You and your brother always seem to pop up with just what is needed. I am always thinking about something, then within a day or two a post, article or video comes up on my feeds about just that very thing from you guys. Always wonderful to get the extra information. Thank you for your insight and experience sharing, greatly appreciated. :)

    Truly & Sincerely,

  • Excellent articles, Stephen. What made me decide he was the ONE? He is a good man. He inspires me to be a better person. We complement each other/are even better together than when we are on our own. We share values, interests, and goals. He is someone I can see myself growing old with.

  • Stephen,

    You always write great articles. I do have something to add.
    Two things that I look for in a really great relationship are:
    1. Does he listen to what I am saying about my standards
    2. Does he honor them, whether he agrees or not.
    Of course this goes for both partners.
    Oh, and #3, the most important. Does he support me, stand up for me always, whether he agrees or not. This one goes both ways, also. When you two are alone you can debate, never in front of anyone else.

    1. Candy,

      The entire article left me with a heavy heart because it’s spot on; I know I have to get out of my current relationship…but it’s when I read your three points that I thought: that’s exactly what I’ve been struggling with and what I need in my life: someone who will respect (me and) my standards, and always have my back because I do the same. Why have I been accepting anything less? I hope you know that I appreciate you taking the time to contribute your thoughts. You’ve left what I hope to be a lasting impression on me.

  • I think it’s important to have dwal-breakers and must-haves (like being kind, responsible with money, etc) and the ither and physical things can be more open-ended. I want a smart guy, preferably someone with a college degree, but it’s not a requirement. My filter process helps weed out men that will never have a chance with me but it’s not so rigid that no one can meet the requirements.

  • I loved this article and definitely agree about the chemistry and having similar values that you can build on over time. I’ve had 2 relationships one for 18 months and one for 18 years. One was a cereal cheater, the other a narcissist so for me I feel the following is really important:
    Are you both prepared to walk in with a clean slate??? Yes your last relationship may have ended badly or his previous girlfriend never valued his opinions but you didn’t do that to each other so you can’t go into the next relationship already holding a grudge. A new relationship allows you to wipe that relationship slate totally clean. Yes mistakes are going to be made because no relationship is perfect but they are new mistakes with a new partner and should be treated as such. If you can’t find it in yourself to wipe the slate clean then you need to focus on your relationship with yourself first so you can let the past go so it does not ruin your future otherwise that slate will be full of triggers and negativity before you know it and it is not fair on either of you to pay for other people’s past transgressions.

  • Love language plays a crucial role as well. As Stephen pointed out in point number 2, communication through similar methods to some extent helps a lot. If one partner is expressive and the other person does not express at all, this can become a problem in long run unless their communication game is strong.

    Previously, I was in a relationship where I felt it was always one sided and when it broke off after 3yrs, I was devastated. But then I discovered Matt and Stephen, and since then I am doing great. My life has taken a 360 turn. I am able to identify the red flags quicker and leave before things get messy.

  • Stephen I remember one of your lives on IG, where you answered my question : “How to know whether he is the right one for me?” And back then you answered me with the exact same answers- short and clear. I will never forget it. The information in this blog post is very valuable and is remaining in my mind like an arrow which shows the right path. So everytime I meet someone I have this in mind.
    I would add to your question, that what would makes me decide if the guy is the one is- the energy, the level of kindness and if he makes me feel secure and loved enough and he is proven it over time.
    You know female nature.. we are always seeking stability and security..:)

    Have a wonderful Thursday,
    Plami xxx

  • Thanks so much for this! So very true, Every last one. Some people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

  • Oh my God!!! I love everything you and brother come up with!! I wish I had half of this relationships intelligence at your age or access to a book or blogs as it is today… it could have had spare me a lot of drama ‍♀️ bad experiences a divorce and lots of insecurities
    I hope many young women follow your advice, for their sake…really. For sure I’ll hand my book (author: Hussey) over to my granddaughter ( in case my daughter doesn’t do it first) which I had great joy to read through and open hearted recommend.
    Great job ! Always glad and keen to hearing from you two

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