How to Find "The One"

Finding the one is not only tough, but also overwhelming. You will be spending the rest of your life with this person so it is obvious that you want to make an informed decision. But, it is complicated, well, because humans are complicated and there are emotions involved. It is hard to keep things in perspective sometimes and not get too overly emotional! Below are some of the lessons I learned from my experience:

Have faith
We all want to have someone, for companionship and  support. Know with conviction in your heart that thee IS someone out there.. It is just a matter of time and you WILL find someone when the time is right. Until then, keep learning and growing

Seize the moment
Marriage brings along a lot of responsibilities. You wont have as much time as you had before. Seize the opportunity and explore. Make a bucket list and experience life. Learn a language, bond with your siblings and seek new opportunities. Marriage doesn’t make it impossible to do it all, but it does get a bit challenging, especially once you throw kids in equation

Get to know yourself
I feel like this is a lifelong process but it is something you should actively work on while you are single. Get to know yourself, observe your likes, your dislikes, and your values. Find out what defines you. This is a good starting point when looking

Know what you want
There are things that are intrinsic part of who we are. These are values or beliefs that define us, and then there are things that interest us and we like. They are ever dynamic and keep changing from time to time. Take time to jot down things you cannot compromise on. These things are absolute qualities a person should have and then make a separate list of things you’d like. A lot of times we confuse the two. You might like basketball and find someone who likes basketball and in your head, you’re thinking ‘OMG We both like bball, we are meant to be!’ Actually, no. You might feel all fuzzy but the real stuff is more important, and boring. You have to nail the boring stuff first. The rest is just cherry on top. If you can’t stand someone lying, those are your values. Don’t compromise your values and marry someone who lies just because they like bball. Our interests can change, whereas our values and habits are hard to change

Involve your family
“Do not raise your children the way [your] parents raised you, they were born for a different time.” Ali (RA)
I love this quote. I wish every parent read that. I know sometimes parents don’t understand where we are coming from, and that’s OK. Regardless of difference in opinions and values, I strongly believe parents should be involved from day 1. They have valuable insights based on their experiences. Discuss everything with parents and ask for their advice. Know that they want the best for you and respect their opinions. Try to reach a middle ground with your parents and take their suggestions into account.

Have realistic expectations
No, a 6 feet tall, handsome guy with a six-figure job or a 5 feet 10 girl with blue eyes is not realistic, and you might not be happy even if you found them. Always ask yourself if you are rejecting someone just because they don’t meet your ‘standards’. Look for real things instead: good values, ethics and character. These things last long. If your handsome 6 feet tall guy or pretty blue-eyed wife has anger issues, you will get over their looks very quickly.

Be genuine
Never try to be someone you aren’t just to get someone to ‘like you'. It won’t work, and even if it does, you will live a horrible life pretending to be someone you aren’t. be honest and genuine about who you are, regardless of whether the other person likes it or not. You guys don’t have to share the ‘exact’ same likes and dislikes. You both should be ok with the differences.

Build strong relationships
Marriage is all about building respectful and kind relationships, with your spouse, their family, their friends and acquaintances. Practice this skill a lot because well, you will be using it a lot. Be kind, patient and respectful to people around you, whether it is your parents, your siblings or someone you met at the bus stop. You are practicing this skill for future, and you never know, someone might notice your kindness and generosity and recommend you.

Never take it personally

Let’s face it. Rejections stink. Everyone feels bad when they find they are not good enough. When things don’t work out, let it hang in there for a while but then get back up. Don’t ever EVER take it personally and doubt yourself. Know who you are and what you have to offer, stay positive and look ahead. Take this as a learning opportunity. Whenever things don’t work out, take a moment to write down what you liked or disliked about this person. Keep those things in mind and look ahead

You don’t see the dirty laundry
Social media doesn’t help when you are single. It seems like EVERYONE is getting married, or engaged or having kids. Trust me, those pictures look all great and pretty but you don’t get to see their dirty laundry. They’ve had bad days and good days. You only get to see the good days; the vacations, awesome food and cute babies. The food gets burnt, their house is a mess and those babies cry a lot! No one posts those pictures too often!

Take time to get to know each other
Take your time to get to know the person. Ask good questions that tell you about their values and character. Discuss expectations, goals and dreams. Ask them about the life they’d like to have and reflect on whether you see yourself living that life. Get to know their friends. They can tell you a lot about the other person. Invite them to family dinners to see how they interact with your parents and siblings. If you don’t like the way someone eats or the way they talk to your sibling, you need to think if you’d be ok with that. Do a quick social media search to see if you find anything inappropriate. Be open and honest about your concerns and fears.

Don’t be afraid to approach someone
Many times we find someone and we wonder if this is the right person, and we keep wondering, and wondering. Instead of waiting for answer, approach the person through a friend or acquaintance, or yourself if you're ok and see if it goes anywhere. This would save you so much time and energy. If it does work out, you’ll be glad you asked, and if it doesn’t, well now you know. Instead of wasting all that time wondering, you approached and got the answer. I always reminded myself of prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and Khadija, prophet’s first wife. She liked prophet’s character and dealings and sent a proposal, instead of ‘wondering’ for days whether he is the one! They got married and had a great life together, so much so that prophet said about Khadija, “She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand.”