My husband and I couldn't be more opposite in so many ways. I often say that he is everything I'm not, and I'm everything he's not. But when I talk about that, I'm talking about the practical day to day type things.
His strengths are in areas that I used to view as my weaknesses.
But the truth is, as much as we are opposite each other in many ways, in the things that really matter – like values, like morals, like our parenting styles, like our communication styles – we're anything but opposite.
We may drive each other crazy sometimes (and yes, we do!) with his attention to detail and my insistence on looking at the big picture, but when it comes right down to it, it's the very things that are so different from me that I appreciate so much about him.
Like when I can only see the emotional side of why someone behaved a certain way with me and he offers the logical side as well. Like how he has such a great ability to be surface friendly with everyone (and I mean everyone!) while I struggle with surface niceties and do so much better going deep.
Where I will always have the internal pleaser somewhere inside of me – yes, no matter how far I've come, under the right conditions, I can still feel that pressure to perform – my husband somehow has this natural ability to take nothing personally, and can't be guilted or shamed into anything the way I can.
I remember when we were first married and I would be in tears about something that happened at work, and my husband would calmly reframe the incident in a way that would help his sensitive wife see things a different way.
It was the beginning of how I would come to see his ability to ground me.
When I was about to fly away with my intense feelings, he would bring me back down to reality, the reality I was never good at seeing. And when I began this work, it was he who gave my ideas wings grounded in the mechanics of website technical realities.
You see, what makes all the difference is his heart. That's the part that matters more than anything else.
More than all those little things that you think make you both so perfect for each other. More than all those surface things that you so want to believe are such accurate predictors of that happily ever after you've always wanted to believe in. More than a match according to your horoscope. More than a match predicted by all those little signs that you just know are telling you he's the one.
What does his heart tell you?
Not just what he says. Not just what he does. But who he is at that heart level. The place where his ethics and morals lie. The place where you see his compassion, his empathy, his lovingness come through.
Does he share that with you? Does he let you see the vulnerable side of him? Does he open himself up to love?
That's where the heart comes in.
Take the time to watch, to listen, to observe closely where this person you're pinning so many of your hopes on places his priorities. Slow things down to a pace where even if you can't tell for sure, at least you'll be able to have a pretty good idea of what he's made of.
That's what really matters. You're not just looking for someone to date. You're looking for someone to live with. To love with. To build a future with.
Whatever age you are, whatever life stage you're in.
Real life gets real really fast.
Don't settle for someone who's only looking for the surface, when you deserve a whole heart.
And a whole life.