A SURPRISING WAY TO KNOW IF HE’S ‘THE ONE’
A month or so after meeting Joe at Wilderness festival I found myself sitting on a plane to Morocco next to my friend Jess, reading out a list of all the reasons I should be with Joe - and all the reasons I shouldn’t.
I can still pin-point the exact moment our love story came dangerously close to falling off the cliff of our blossoming romance for me.
(Unfortunately, it turns out that it was the same moment to clinch the deal for him).
Ever since our worlds had collided in the middle of the rave in the valley that first night, I was convinced he’d be nothing more to me than a fun story to relay to my friends, a short-lived festival fling at best.
I should’ve guessed he wasn’t on board with this assessment of our connection, seeing as he took me back to his aunt and uncle’s house (for what ended up being both bed and board) a mere three days after meeting.
In the weeks that followed, I felt trapped between the ease and flow of our dynamic, and the scrambling panic this stirred in me because it felt so foreign.
Despite the fact I’d literally just completed the first draft of the self-help book I was writing about trusting your intuition, dating Joe had incited a very real battle between my heart and my head, which tried to talk me out of the relationship in any way it could.
It all just seemed too easy, and all my love stories had begun with lots of challenges, obstacles and drama.
(Plus, I think a lot of me still didn’t really believe I was deserving of a good man – or relationship, given my past).
It was actually all my book’s fault, truth be told.
Joe and I were driving back to his family home in Worcestershire to make the most of the free house while his parents were away in Italy.
Being on a strict deadline with the book, I monopolised on the three hour car journey by reading through the draft I’d printed off and making editorial notes in the margins.
After twenty minutes or so, Joe had clearly grown bored of the silence and asked me to read some of the book out to him.
Never one to shy away from the opportunity to hear the sound of my own voice, I turned back to the first page, cleared away the frog in my throat, and began.
Sharing my words and my story with a man I’d just met wasn’t a particularly new endeavour for me.
Having been both actress and oversharer for the majority of my life, I was well accustomed to revealing all sorts of intimate things about myself, a not so subtle method for hoodwinking men in to falling for a version of my identity that existed several layers above the truth.
But what I learned in the car that day was that it’s not so much what you share that initiates authentic intimacy, but who you share it with.
When I was with Joe, there was no space or possibility for roleplay.
My usual bullshit games just didn’t work, because a game requires two consenting players - and he had zero inclination to don a mask of any kind.
In the simple transparency of this dynamic – with its total absence of the intensity I was so used to experiencing with a new lover, there was nowhere for me to hide.
As a result I felt gut-wrenchingly vulnerable, and it took every ounce of self-restraint I had not to ask him to pull in to the nearest service station so that I could go and lock myself in the neutral space of a toilet cubicle for a bit.
My mind was clambering around for an exit strategy from the very person and relationship I’d been so dedicated to manifesting only weeks beforehand.
This is what we do:
We obsess over finding real love with someone who will stay, but the moment we do our first impulse is to run from it as fast as we can.
(Often, back in to the arms of someone who has no capacity or availability for real love – at least, not right now).
The truth is that even though we say we want commitment and intimacy, if we’ve never actually experienced these in our love life in a mature and healthy way, then they’re totally out of our comfort zone, so we sub-consciously rule out potential partners that could actually be a great fit for us.
I’ve seen this time and time again with both my friends and my love-coaching clients.
We tell ourselves we don’t really fancy them, they’re not our type - or that they’re boring. We nit-pick about the smallest, most irrelevant things as a way to keep real love at arms distance.
It pains me to think how close I was to ending it with Joe in those early days because of how uncomfortable it felt to be offered real commitment by an emotionally available man.
But, imagine if I’d let that loud, fearful voice in my head override the little voice in my gut that told me to stay.
That told me that this man had the exact qualities – and imperfections – and past – that would help me heal my love life to an even deeper level, so that we could evolve in to the people we were meant to be together.
(Well, I wouldn’t be writing these words to you right now, for one!)
Look, maybe the person you’re dating isn’t quite right for you – maybe you won’t ever really fancy them.
But please, dear one, take it from me:
Stay open to the possibility that they could be, and so could you.
And, for God’s sake don’t walk away before you’ve given it a proper chance.
Don’t walk away because – even though it feels good – it’s not perfect, and it doesn’t look how you thought it would.
But, most importantly, don’t walk away before you have sat and meditated and journaled and asked for guidance – A LOT.
Because I promise you, your intuition will soon make it indisputably clear whether you should stay or you should go.
Don’t listen to your head, listen to your gut with this one:
It will not betray you.
Several weeks after that car journey, whilst Joe was away in Bali, I was waiting to board the Northern Line at Tooting Bec station en-route to one of my oldest childhood friend’s wedding dress fittings, when I received what I can only describe as a ‘download’.
Out of nowhere, I heard a voice (well, my voice – but not as I knew it; my voice as though it were merged with the calmness and authority of David Attenborough’s) speak to me from inside of my own mind.
Over the last few days I’d been deliberating over whether or not Joe was ‘right’ for me, because I could sense that he was going to ask me to be his girlfriend the moment he touched back down in London.
The reason I was so terrified of this was because I just knew it would be the last time I was ever asked that question.
The voice said:
Joe is your lifetime romantic assignment.
Your relationship will provide the perfect environment for full healing of the wounds from the relationships that came before.
You will travel the world learning how to give and receive peace and love, and then share what you’ve learned with others who are ready to experience it at a deeper level for themselves.
You will agree to marry him, and create a whole weekend festival wedding experience together that will facilitate deep healing and magic for all the people you love the most.
In order for this to manifest in your reality, you need to trust this feeling, follow this feeling.
You need to be like the pillars of the temple: stand together, but let there be space between your togetherness.
Keep seeing the good in one another.
Keep communicating and sharing your individual and shared dreams, and support one another as you work towards them.
Everything you’ll need to achieve them is already inside of you, so stay positive, stay focused on the vision.
But most importantly, surrender to the festival of your life and your love together, and let her take you wherever she wants to take you.
She will not disappoint.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Was there a time you struggled with a partner treating you ‘too’ well?
Have you ever felt conflicted over whether someone’s right for you because your connection didn’t have all the usual drama?
I’d love you to share your stories & insights on this topic in the comments below <3
Love Persia xxx