Written by Ronnie Ann Ryan, YourTango.com
This guest post comes from YourTango dating coach Ronnie Ann Ryan, who reveals how she knew she had found the one — after years of searching.
The day I turned 40, I was in shock because I was still single. How had I reached this milestone birthday and remained unattached? Honestly, I felt devastated and wondered how this could have happened to me.
But then I got serious about looking for love. After some soul-searching, I decided to start doing whatever it took to meet a lot of men. I wanted to meet a wonderful guy who had a good heart and was kind, fun to be with, attractive, employed and someone who could accept my spiritual viewpoints about life. Connecting with a man who would be my partner and soulmate was my goal.
In 15 months, I dated 30 men. I ended up finding Paul, the man I married. I smile as I write this, because we just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary! And I have to tell you, my husband is still totally adorable and continues to make me laugh.
It wasn’t obvious at first that Paul was the right man for me because we were so different. Our backgrounds, family upbringings, religions, and careers were polar opposites. But here is how I looked past all of that and came to realize I had found my soulmate:
1. At the end of our first date, Paul walked me to my car. He stopped to ask if he could see me again, to which I responded, “Yes!” Then he kissed me on the cheek and started to walk back to his car. Before he got there, he turned around and asked, “When are you available again?” Soulmate check! That melted my heart because he wanted more of me!
2. There were cosmic signs. On our third date, we walked along the beach and sat down on a bench with a gorgeous view of the water. Paul kissed me under the moonlight and I saw a shooting star brighten the night sky. Soulmate check! Something cosmic and romantic was unfolding.
3. For our fourth date, Paul was an hour late (for good reason). When I answered the door feeling angry and frantic, wondering what had happened to him, he handed me flowers and apologized. When I invited him in, he explained how on his way over to see me, he had stopped to help a woman with three small grandchildren whose car had broken down in the middle of the street. Soulmate check! I knew he had a good heart.
4. Of all the men I had dated, my time with Paul seemed very different. Things felt light and peaceful, which was in contrast to my normal high-energy, fast-paced life. This was a welcome change for me. Other men may have brought out more excitement or intellectual conversation, but with Paul, I felt an ease in a way that was uncommon and enjoyable. Soulmate check! We were compatible and it felt really good to spend time with him.
5. I wanted a man who would accept my spiritual viewpoints. He didn’t have to agree with them, but I wanted to be respected. I realized we had different but compatible spiritual viewpoints when Paul and I spent time in nature. He pointed out animals and plants that I wouldn’t have noticed without him. Soulmate check! We both revered the earth.
6. I can be silly and vulnerable in front of him. I once mentioned to Paul that I had had a dream about Paul Newman. I never dreamt about movie stars, so I was puzzled about it. He figured it out right away, asking me, “You had a dream about ‘Paul the New Man?'” We laughed about that together for a long time. Soulmate check! Paul was quick to see the “pun” of my dream and made me laugh.
7. My subconscious mind felt safe with Paul. The first night we spent together, I dreamt about us. In my dream, I was some sort of Celtic spiritual woman and he was a warrior. (He’s of Irish and English decent, but I’m not.) We were considering marriage and I asked him if he would protect me. He stood firm, then bowed and answered solemnly, “Yes, I will.”
Knowing whether the person you’re dating is your soulmate is an individual process. Having been through this myself and as a dating coach for women, one thing I know is that compatibility and respect are the keys to a lasting partnership. The seven soulmate checkpoints above helped me identify Paul as the right man for me. Take the time to figure out what matters most to you and use that as your own soulmate guide.
Originally posted at YourTango.com: 6 steps I took to find love at age 40