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 sulky 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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48 Responses to 4 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE You Decide He’s “The One”

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  1. Alice says:

    I learn a lot about you program

  2. Melinda Fehervari says:

    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

  3. Candace says:

    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.

  4. Plami says:

    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

  5. Sanya says:

    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.

  6. Kristyn says:

    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.

  7. Holly says:

    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.

  8. evette schadewald says:

    If you can be yourself with your potential partner

  9. Candy says:


    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.

    • B Grace says:


      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.

  10. Mary says:

    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.

  11. Julia Pylypow says:

    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,

  12. Roxanne says:

    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.

  13. Beth says:

    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!!

  14. Lia Elnatan says:

    Great article!
    Finally I can say, this is the right way to understand weather that’s the person or not
    Thank you Matt

  15. LisaMarie says:

    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

  16. Sheila says:

    Very good insight Matthew Hussey. Good questions to ask yourself. Hmmmmm

  17. Julie MacKenzie says:

    Awesome article Stephen…. ;)

  18. Dominique says:

    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.


  19. yessie says:

    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!

    • Stef says:

      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!

      • Shanna says:

        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!

  20. Margarita says:

    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?

    • Mary says:

      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!

  21. Margarita says:

    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?

  22. Shaminah says:

    Am so thrilled and atleast am confident onto the approach of a man that suits my characters. Thank you so much for this article.

  23. John says:

    Very interesting post, Yes Girls always feel insecure when he talks to someone else. and she always upset to this and start argument with him.

  24. Lisa Young says:

    Thanks Stephen, Awesome Points!! I Never Thought Of It That Way Vs. Having A Checklist, Very Clever Approach With Asking Just A Few Big Picture Questions Instead. Amen!!

  25. Aimee says:

    I like this blog! I agree I used to have this long list of a guy has to be this age, this tall, kids or no kids, never married or divorced and other superfical crap that I changed my mind on daily. But really I think what you build together that works in the end makes absolutely everything else irrelevant. If your happy, if it works, and if your pretty much on the same page with these things I say thats it. You got it. If you cant build a future its over. I also think that its easy to make excuses or disqualify yourself for superficial reasons. Excuses that are imaginary and have nothing to do with trying to be with someone who doesnt care about those things. But imagining rejection that doesnt exist. So much about meeting the right person has to do with building and effort and so little has to do with trying to find perfection. My mom said to me this week that she thinks I need someone who is against organized religion and it made me think shes right cuz I’m against it and I think the limitations Ive experienced simply boil down to being with a group of people that think completely different than me. Trying to date when men will only be with you in a group is tiring. My new focus has been to find someone worth building with & I think a huge key to that is willingness to accept someone and their imperfections & receive that back. I think I’m far more flexible in who Id allow in my life then in the past mainly because I no longer look for perfection but wait to discover if someone shows me he can build a life I can commit to

  26. Kelly says:


  27. AN says:

    Do they truly care about you?
    During our brightest times but also during our darkest hours. The people who uniquely notice and care for you, even if they don’t always know the solution.

    Can you be your true self around them?
    Once the layers peel away, is there the comfortable familiar presence you can let go of and be appreciated for, underneath it all.

    Do they uplift you and have your best interest at heart?
    Even when you argue they want what is best for you and to feel good again.

    • AN says:

      I’ve added a few more thoughts to the list of considerations that may help.

      Do they truly care about you?
      Even during our brightest times but also during our darkest hours. The people who uniquely notice and care for you, even if they don’t always know the solution.

      Are they someone you can count on?
      Through thick or thin, it doesn’t mean people have to be separated by time or distance to know they are someone you can turn to.

      Do they understand you?
      To know what it is you’re feeling on any given day and to share with without being a mind reader.

      Can you be your true self around them?
      Once the layers peel away, is there the comfortable familiar presence you can let go of and be appreciated for, underneath it all.

      Do they uplift you and have your best interest at heart?
      Even when you argue they want what is best for you and to feel good again.

      • Lisa Young says:

        WOW I Love These QUestions!!! Amen!!!

        I’d Definitely Need A “Are They A Loyal And Real Life Shotgun Partner To Have Around?” In There Too

  28. Karla says:

    Do yo think sometimes you have to sacrifice to make all those questions ticked? It’s difficult to find someone who just ticks those boxes naturally.
    I’m with a guy I share great attraction and lifestyle with and we meet each other’s needs. But we’re both very career oriented and our career goal means that we can’t be together in a long term. And for this reason we decided we should stop seeing each other. It’s so sad really. I want to make it work but I can’t give up on things I’m doing in my career and neither can he.

  29. Melanie Price says:

    The girl with you at the party should not have been upset…she was with you. If you had gone solo then maybe but she was with you:)

    Ah the mathematical computation:) 65 here 99 there…its called intellectualizing.Very risky if you remain there too long. As fast as time flies you could end up alone. That infinite person you speak of is the one that makes you want to be a better person. Otherwise they are all like the ones that made us less authentic. Less likely to make us want to work for what we want. There are no twin flames/ soul mates that I can see.I see too many variations…making it too easy to back out of a situation the other half doesn’t want to commit to. Kind of like that predetermined luck you speak of. It does boil down to choice.
    I may have a life lesson for you.(you may answer or e-mail if you like) Having all of these qualities in my youth. And mine is not to brag…more a curse. I had no ego problem. I had most of the boxes you mentioned checked. Please don’t get me wrong here. The guys I most attracted tended to scare me off. They would stare at me early on in the relationship.I couldn’t stay around long because it creeped me out. If I wanted to be treated a little more equally I had to date the self assured type. And they had to intellectual. I should have gone for the ones that offered the inner protection. But I choose the ones that looked like they could protect me (I am short)the tall athletic type. Never gave up trying but it never worked. However after they met their match and tried to come back for a rematch…it was too late. I am now much older still carry some charm. But as you stated a man needs to be physically attracted to want you.So beware! I am alone because I used that procedure too long to solve my problem…that of algorithm

  30. Julie MacKenzie says:

    Awesome article! Great insight Stephen….Loved this article…;) <3 Keep them coming! I look forward to each & every one…

  31. AN says:

    Do they truly care about you? During our brightest times but also during our darkest hours. The people who uniquely notice and care for you, even if they don’t always know the solution.

    Can you be your true self around them? Once the layers peel away, is there the comfortable familiar presence you can let go of yourself and be appreciated for, underneath it all.

    Do they uplift you and have your best interest at heart? Even when you argue they want what is best for and to feel good again.

  32. Ellie says:

    He needs to be open and honest. I verge on autistic with my need to be honest and believe others, so any dishonesty will make me feel let down or betrayed.
    He also needs to be excited by new experiences. I love the thrill of trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone. I want him to come with me not hold me back

  33. Kathryn says:

    Maybe, Are you genuinely interested in them as a person over time, all the traits and experiences that make up who they are and are you impressed by them constantly? Even after years. Do you feel excited to see them and when you’ve seen them and they’ve gone away, wherever, is there a grin on your face you can’t wipe off and you are filled with a lovely sense of closeness and inner contentment?
    I would decide he’s The One if I chose him, he chose me and we shared all you mentioned coupled with the utmost respect and sheer enjoyment. Life is too short to tie yourself down to someone who doesn’t think you are utterly amazing, like no one else on the planet and you feel sheer joy and exhilaration just being around them, like even making a sandwich together or chilling watching tv. xxxx

  34. Sydney says:

    I don’t know… but this is a good article

    I want to find someone who philosophically values the same things I strive for (not always successfully)

    1) positive
    2) present
    3) productive

  35. Sydney says:


    Where the hell is your flow chart!!!! And process diagram

    Writers. Pfft

  36. Shipra says:

    It was a wonderful article!!! Everything important has been squeezed in a few words..
    For your question,I feel would like to add: if two people can laugh at same things or can find fun and enjoyment in similar interests !! I may b wrong but its my opinion that if hilarious levels of 2 persons don’t match, they can’t go for long enjoying each other’s company..

  37. Vasiliki says:

    Hi Steve! Beautiful written post!

    In one short sentence the one for me is someone that I am compatible with and I don’t doubt.

    Here are some questions that I find important:
    I would add one word to your first question and say: Do you feel MUTUAL unique sexual attraction?
    Is there any subject that feels scary to talk about (including your future together)?
    Is there any drama or mystery?
    Do both of you provide strong, positive reinforcement and support to one another?
    Is there demonstration of affection and expression of feeling? (Looking for someone who has a similar emotional style to our own and who feels strongly about us, as we feel about them)
    All the above

  38. Kerly says:

    This is such a good one!! Love it!!

  39. Harshada says:

    Hey Stephen, amazing article I must say! It’s actually a perfectly genuine checklist that everyone should have. Well this the first time I’m reading your article and I really loved you style! Great job!

  40. Arianna says:

    Nice article, Steve! :)

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately as well. What does it mean for someone to be the right one? And how do you know you are really in love?

    The points you bring up are solid in that they help differentiate between short term and long-term relationships. :)


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