How Your Body Can Tell If He Or She Is Really ‘The One’

By Bruce Y. Lee

All you need

On Valentine’s Day, a dating anniversary, National Girlfriends Day (August 1), any day you see a romantic comedy, or basically any day, you may be asking the following question about the person you are currently seeing, dating, engaged to or even married to: Is he or she The One? We’re not talking about Neo from The Matrix but instead the one person with whom you will spend the rest of your life. With high divorce rates and many other marriages being rocky behind the scenes, most people clearly are doing a bad job at answering this question. So how do you know? The answer is simple. Listen to your body.

No, not that part of the body. (Your naughty parts tend to get you in trouble in the first place.) What I mean is your total body. When I once asked a friend why he decided to marry his wife, he responded simply, “Because I feel stronger with her than without her.” What he meant was that if the other person makes you stronger mentally, emotionally, and physically then you probably have a keeper. In other words, let your health be your guide.

Your body (which includes your brain) has a way of telling you when something is wrong. The trouble is, you don’t always listen. Countless other competing messages come from romantic comedies, the Internet, advertising, music, Facebook posts, your workplace, your peers, etc., such as: “Must look like Channing Tatum. Must look like Channing Tatum. Must look like Channing Tatum. Must look like Channing Tatum.” These messages pollute the communications, so that you no longer are really listening to your body. Yes, your body is the neglected one in a relationship. (No, not in that way.) So to answer the question, “Is this person The One?” ask your body the following questions:

Do you feel more relaxed when you are around this person? Butterflies in the stomach may be nice at the beginning but after a while may require an endoscopy or some heartburn medications. Wanting to feel excited all the time is just not realistic, sustainable, or healthy. Former Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre once said that he plays best when he is relaxed. Similarly, you are at your best and can accomplish the most when you are relaxed.

Do you have fewer unexplainable symptoms around this person? If your significant other causes you to have explosive diarrhea, that’s clearly a bad sign. But other symptoms may be more subtle such as less explosive diarrhea, neck, joint, and muscle pain from feeling tension, jaw pain from grinding teeth, itchiness from stress-related skin conditions, heartburn or burning during urination in case you caught a sexually transmitted infection. True, other aspects of your life such as your workplace or Justin Bieber music may be causing such symptoms. But these tend to improve on the weekends or when the music is not playing.

Does you feel less of a need use addictive substances? Addictive substances may include tobacco, alcohol, pain killers, anxiety medications, anti-depressants, amphetamines, oven cleaners, cocaine and Cinnabons. Granted, unless your significant other is an addiction counselor or a nicotine patch, weaning off addictive substances may not be so easy. However, if your substance use is increasing, perhaps your significant other is a bad influence, you are compensating for relationship problems, or you need to deal with some demons (such as move out of the Cinnabon store) before you can have a healthy relationship. On the other hand, feeling less of a need to use addictive substances is a good sign.

Has your diet improved? You have heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” So, do you really want to marry a pizza? (OK, if you are still pondering the pros and cons of this possibility, please stop.) The people you spend most time with tend to influence your diet the most, and your diet will be your fuel for the long term. Some of the best couples help each other eat better by cooking, shopping and eating together. Plus drowning your sorrows in bacon grease can just be compensating for something that is missing in your relationship.

Are you exercising more? Now, of course, this is different from running angrily on a treadmill after arguments or tackling people on a basketball court because of sexual frustration. This is also different from exercising because your significant other is telling you that your body is inadequate. Healthy relationships can motivate you to exercise more in several ways. First, if your partner stays in shape you are more likely to do so. Secondly, you and your significant other may exercise together, which is infinitely more fun than working out alone. Thirdly, sex is exercise, and wanting to keep in shape for sex creates a nice cycle (a figurative cycle and not a bicycle…although you may be into that). Finally, knowing that you are truly invested in your partner may subconsciously motivate you to improve yourself and stay as healthy as long as possible.

Does the person support you when others try to hurt you? If your significant other’s family members or friends or anyone else attacks you (e.g., verbally, emotionally, professionally or physically), what does that person do? If he or she is reluctant to defend you, run the other direction quickly. This would be equivalent to Robin telling Batman, “Well, the Joker has a point,” or “I don’t want to get in the middle of your disagreement with the Catwoman,” or “Yes, the Riddler did try to kill you, but maybe he didn’t really mean it.” (Note: In a relationship, you can both be Batman or Batgirl or Robin, or one person be Batgirl and the other Batman or any combination. This doesn’t mean that one should be subordinate to the other. Please don’t take the Batman-Robin analogy too literally.) When you are married, you are a team, and a team helps each other. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Does this person help you when you are injured or sick? Some things in life are guaranteed. The sun rises in the east. The stock market will go up and down. People will throw drinks at each other on a reality show. And you will get injured or sick. How your significant other behaves when you are down is critical. Studies have shown that emotional support can play a major role in how you fair when sick. Again, if your significant other is not going to be there for you in times of need, what’s the point?

Do you feel optimistic and confident with the person? Everyone struggles with self-doubt at times. (I think so. Yes, I believe that’s right.) Having a partner who can encourage you and help bridge those times can be crucial. No one achieves success without support. Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen and other teammates. Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak, his wife (Steve Jobs’ wife, not Steve Wozniak’s wife) and the many people who worked for Apple. Who wants a partner who puts you down and makes you feel inadequate? (Well, apparently many think they do. That’s the initial allure of the bad boy or the bad girl. But in the end, being with ”bad people” will make you sick.)

In the end, dating and marriage are about finding the right fit. You want someone who complements you, makes you stronger. And this has nothing to do with the person’s clothes, car, skin color, facial features, musical tastes and all the other things that many people focus on and put on their dating profiles. Your body really does not care about these things. Maybe you should listen.

Follow me on Twitter @bruce_y_lee and visit our Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC)



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