From the time I was little, I had the pleasure of watching my parents in love. They laughed, they smiled, they hugged, they talked, they went on dates, they bought thoughtful gifts for one another, they cooked for one another, they resolved problems, they did everything. When I would watch romance movies as a little girl, I always wanted to be the girl who found her prince charming.
I wanted to find the one. Just like in the fairy tales.
My mom always told me, "When you know, you know."
As a young girl, I did not really understand what she meant. As a kid, I played outside with boys in the neighborhood. I played soccer at recess. I bought posters of famous boys for my room. I crushed on boys. But one thing I never did was fall for "the one."
Growing up in middle school, I remember that one truth or dare game that spilled out my secret crush. I remember that one time someone dated me for an hour for a dare. I remember that one couple that kissed in the hallway in 5th grade. I remember it all.
That one health class where we learned where babies came from—where we laughed about the two funniest words on the planet (so it seemed) to describe our private parts. It all sounded so different.
My first kiss came along, I reenacted a "Romeo and Juliet" scene at the dead end of my street. But, one thing was for sure, I didn't fall for "the one."
Passing notes in class, one by one, discussing our crushes, and asking people to be your boyfriend or girlfriend with a "yes" or "no" box to check. We did it all.
Changing relationship statuses on Facebook, creating confessions for statues, oovooing with your friends, we did it all.
Wearing football jerseys of the boys we liked, saying hi to them passing in the hall, getting a "like" on Instagram, we did it all.
As I grew older, I realized not everyone's parents were like mine. Not everyone's parents shared that same kind of love. But, I also noticed not every love is the same. And, not everyone finds "the one."
High school is the real test. Some people find that high school sweetheart. Some people find that one person they want to be with forever. But most people are like me, they see every clear reason why he isn't "the one."
There is no time restraint on when you find "the one." The objective to finding "the one" is that feeling my mom always told me, "When you know, you know." Whether that takes you 20 years or 40 years, you want to find "the one."
During your first heartbreak, you may have thought he was the one. You may experience that feeling of emptiness. Your heart may be broken in two. But I promise you, that means he wasn't THE ONE.
Now that I'm in college, I'm surrounded by people of my generation mostly. I'm surrounded by boys who want a different girl every night. I'm surrounded by boys who think relationships are non-existent. I'm surrounded by boys who think dates are too much. I'm surrounded by boys who laugh at the thought of feelings.
Not all guys are that way. Some want one girl, one relationship, and may keep dating rituals alive from the past generations. But, one thing you have to make sure, do not settle if he isn't "the one."
Dating around can be fun, it can give you experience and show you what you like and don't like, but in the end, you want to choose "the one."
For me, "the one" needs to have those same goals and qualities that I have watched within my parents from the time I was a young, little girl.
He needs to laugh at my dumb, corny jokes.
He needs to smile while staring at me across the room.
He needs to hug me and never let go.
He needs to talk to me whenever I need him.
He needs to cherish "dates." Whether we are at home cooking or going to our favorite restaurant, he needs to enjoy it.
He needs to put together a thoughtful gift. Even if that means a hand-written card, it will mean the most.
He needs to want to cook for one another, whether he or I had a busy day, let's start cookin!
He needs to resolve any problems we face.
He needs to do it ALL.
Now, with all this being said, I am still a young adult. I am still entering true adulthood after college, but I am not super, super old. I have plenty of time to find "the one," but I do think it is important for every young female to keep in the back of her mind. I see so many people settling to have someone, just because, but in the end realizing, he isn't "the one."
As I sit here writing this, I'm smiling at my computer screen thinking about my parents' love. My dad still takes my mother on dates. My dad opens the car door for my mother. My dad buys flowers "just because." My dad cooks his Sunday dinner sauce every weekend. My dad hugs my mom every day. My dad talks to my mom in between commuting 6 A.M.-8 P.M. to NYC every single day. My dad solves any problems they face. He is "the one" and one day I hope I am lucky enough to find someone like my father to call him officially "the one" in my personal life.