How many relationships?
7 serious/longer term relationships, little more than that if you add in the shorter term (i.e. 1-4/5 months relationships). I was 29 and my husband was 34 when we met.
And did you meet by chance?
No, we did meet on eHarmony. We knew basically within the first exchange (guided communication) there was something very different about each other though and we wanted to meet. I believe there was a lot of great fortune and lucky timing involved.
Did some of you meet while in a previous relationship?
No. We were both at least a couple months + out of our most recent relationships. We were both actively dating though.
Do you think experience in relationships is necessary in order to be able to recognize “the one?”
Well, I don’t know as my only context IS having had previous relationships. However, I will say that my husband and I are both very grateful for our previous relationship (and life) experiences as not only did we learn about what we wanted in a relationship, we also learned a tremendous amount about ourselves both during those relationships and when they ended.
Those experiences encouraged and inspired personal growth and some self-discovery (through counseling for example) and I do believe those experiences are part of what made each of us the “one” for each other AND allowed us to really develop what was important to us in a partner and be on the lookout for it. We have both been very honest with each other that if we had met ten years ago, we likely would have overlooked each other as we would not have been as well matched as we are, or just not been what the other was looking for (or known what we were looking for!).
And was your current relationship “easy” compared to your previous relationships? I’ve bene told that if you are “meant to be,” things shouldn’t be so complicated.
Yes, I would say our relationship IS very easy. But this is also because of the growth and so forth we had before we met, and the people we are. We are committed to completely open and honest communication, share complete trust, have a very strong emotional connection, are best friends, and so forth. More importantly, we are completely our true and authentic selves with each other. It is easy to be together as we are wholly accepted for who we are. We also practice self-responsibility for our emotions, feelings, needs and wants.
This does not mean we NEVER disagree. We are independent individuals and while we really do find ourselves on the same page almost all the time, there are times we get a little off our wavelength and struggle to communicate and misunderstandings happen. However, we always approach these times as a team, not as one against the other. We ARE a team, and disagreements are problems to solve together, not to attack each other for, or blame each other for, and so on. We engage our communication/conflict resolution skills and work through it. I always feel we finish up having learned even more about each other.
In past relationships, in hindsight, I was often trying to “make” something work, or was being someone I was not. I was hiding parts of myself; and/or they were hiding parts of themself. The communication was often lacking, and we were both “pretending” or “acting” the roles we thought we were supposed to act rather than just being our authentic selves. This was for many reasons, fear of rejection, immaturity, insecurity, incompatibility, fear of being alone, believing drama and ups and downs were inevitable, and so on. I also do believe it was because we were not right for each other and the “struggle” was an inevitable outcome of that. I should say these relationships were not “bad” or “toxic” or “unhappy”. They just were not right in the way that I experience with my husband.