Yes. You! It just might happen that you meet someone you can't get out of your mind, a wonderful one whose chemistry seems to mesh perfectly with yours. The mere thought of this person makes you grin with a happy secret between you and — well, you. In other words, for the first time in a long time, you're floored. And private time spent with this candidate-in-question only seems to make you think even more that this relationship could very well be it. And yet, there are those early morning hours that rumble you upright in your bed and begin the questioning.
—Is this person in my corner, on my side, an ally? Is he or she for me?
—Does this person make my life easier, more fun, more interesting?
—Does this person add something to my life? Do we as a couple add up to more than two individuals? (It's that old synergy thing.)
—Does this person have my welfare/benefit/interests in mind?
—Do I like this person? Do I like his or her values, view of the world, way of relating to people?
—Can I trust this person? Do others trust him or her?
—Is this person grounded, solid, down-to-earth, realistic?
—Am I proud to be with this person?
—Do we see the future the same way, with similar goals?
—How sure am I that this relationship will endure? How do I feel about living together for a few months to test our compatibility?
—Would I gladly go out in the middle of the night to get medicine for this person?
—How will I feel about this person when sex between us loses its novelty, disappointed or even more loving?
—Am I quite sure this is my life partner?
Those questions don't come with a lifeline or studio response. Only you can wrestle them to the mat and come up with responses that satisfy your soul. Some may not apply right now, but that's fine. They're not meant to be one-size-fits-all. This is pick-and-choose time. The goal here is to jump-start the thinking and channel it in directions that make a difference in your life — perhaps a significant one. My hunch is that when you start thinking along these lines, something quite startling will occur: All of a sudden, this person's packaging won't matter nearly so much as before.
AFTERTHOUGHT: Don't for one split second think this exercise is for marriage only! Its questions work for any relationship involving love and caring between adults. They're meant to tickle you into a mood of self-inquiry, to start a chain of queries about anything that pops into your head (and heart). It pays mightily to inject a dose of reality and rationality into this thing we call love and to balance its high jinks with responses that bubble up from deep within.
DEAR READERS: We've uncovered a treasure-trove of "Single File" paperbacks — in perfect condition, ready to read. Send $15 and your address to: Susan Deitz, C/O Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. I'll send you a signed copy.
Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at [email protected]