Last week, a friend and I were chatting and we got into the topic of ‘just knowing’ that the person you were with was the one you were going to significantly be with. Both of us wondered how people ‘just knew.’ Also, how do you know the other person got the memo? There are, after all, two people in a relationship.
And once you both know, can your past or the stuff that happened with your parents influence you into not knowing?
Almost fifteen years ago (was it that long ago?), I thought I knew. I, we, were both so confident in the fact that we would be together that we spoke of marriage, children, where we would live etc. I was so sure that I failed to see how his dreams and mine just didn’t align. In fact, I was so sure that I didn’t even make my own dreams.
We were so young that we didn’t even know ourselves, so how could we possibly know we wanted to be with each other? When I started to explore my dreams, I realised that trying to be the person who fit into his dreams would be the end of me.
Then about seven years ago, it happened again.
This time though, it was more that I really wanted to know. Perhaps we both did in a way. We worked the social scene well, but he never really met any of my friends. Because I was the nomad and wasn’t fully rooted here, I was just sort of absorbed into his social life. There was a lot about the friends and family that I loved, but in a way, I wonder if I distracted myself into this elusive ‘knowing’. At some point, you have to wonder about not being able to have a meal together without the television on or just being able to do simple things together, like go for a walk in the sun, or go to the beach, things that require you to actually be together.
Maybe it is a personality thing.
I’m such a sucker for love stories it’s quite worrying. In my travels I have friends who met their current partners when they were 19 or even younger than that. Somehow, they knew then and they know now. Something about their knowing allowed them the space to explore their dreams with the comfort of having a place to land in the end. Then I’ve met people who know within the first few meetings. Then I’ve also met people who don’t worry about knowing for sure and just go with it. And yet I also know people who might know but will analyse and second-guess themselves into not knowing.
Is it the curse of the thinker to never find this kind of knowing? – The kind that comes from deep wisdom and intuition instead of the head.
Or is it such that when the time comes, your heart will just know and your head will shut the fuck up?
Perhaps you can’t know until you truly know yourself and embrace the parts that you keep hidden from the world. Until then perhaps you will date the job title, the big car, the physically attractive person who will look good together walking hand in hand and at social events. It is perhaps not until you know the loneliness of that of relationship that you understand that perfection might not be perfect.
It is all an exploration isn’t it?
This knowing is such a mystery.
I don’t know how to know but I know that I can’t start to know until we can see each other without the glitz and the glamour (in my world, it includes being sweaty, smelly and occasionally teary and snotty as well). We can’t know until we can laugh with (and at) each other, fall over, make really bad jokes, go through conflict and recover, be in silence together, know how to tease each other, have conversations and walk, just walk without having to do.
We can’t know until we can just be together – you and me. No candles or flowers, no sweeping off feet (definitely no sweeping off the feet), no social spotlight, just us being apart of each others’ unglamourous and sometimes even mundane and uninteresting lives.
Will I ever ‘just know’?
Perhaps I did.
But perhaps really knowing is over rated.
Perhaps it is just knowing enough, letting go of perfection and expectation, and then taking a leap of faith with the rest. Perhaps it is a degree of surrender and a lot of trust. What is life after all without taking some leaps and what value is love if there is no risk involved? And what can we know until we know?