The Difference Between My Idea Of The One Now And My Idea Of The One As A Teenager

As a teenager, I was pretty sure Id end up married to Justin Timberlake one day.

I alwaysknew we were meant to be. He wasThe One for me, as I was in hot pursuit of some romance, fun, and popularity (at the time).

Aside from thedesire to end up on JTs arm at the MTV Video Music Awards, Id thought I had a pretty solid grasp on what I wanted my future relationship to look like. The guy I ended up withwas going to be the adorable, charming, and adventurous type.

When I was young, I thought the surface-level characteristics mattered the most, like whether my boyfriend was cute, or if he shopped at the cool stores.

When were teenagers, its hard to have a realistic idea of relationships because so much of our actions areconstrained by being young and living with family. We have almost no real experience with love, and were not sure how to focus on anything but the present.

Now that Im married to a man I is the one for me,Ive come to realize that the thoughts I had as a teenager may not have been wrong they just werent fully developed.

Growing as a person meant my ideas about love grew, too.

Below, youll find some of the qualities I looked for inThe One as a teenager versus the qualities Ive now realized are important as an adult.

As a teenager, I wanted other peoples approval. Now, I want emotional maturity.

As a teenager, I thought that my friends and family liking The One was critical. It was important to have them approve of him, because I thought if they didnt, he couldnt possibly be the guy for me.

As an adult, I realize that while its still important for people close to me to getalong with my partner, its far less important than I once thought. Now, other peoples approval falls far down on the list of important qualities for my guyto have. Instead, emotional maturity takes its place.

If I like him, thats all that matters.

Being an adult means being more than just liked by everyone. Now, it means having the ability to be there as part of a true partnership. He must be emotionally capable of being present at all times, while being a great spouse who values structure and stability.

A partnership with The One means that you feel theyre ready for a real relationship, just like you are.

As a teenager, I wanted to have fun. Now, I want friendship and laughter.

As a teenager, I thought fun was the key to a real relationship.

After long days at school and dealing with my parents, I wanted to see amovie, go to parties, be outside with my boyfriend.It wasimportant to me that The One and I were constantly going out and finding something new and exciting to do. It nevermeant staying in and livingthe quiet life. I wanted big, all the time.

As an adult, I realize that a deep, understanding offriendship is more important than anything else.

My husband and I are super close, and because of that bond, we have a great time with anything we do. Our friendship means well be laughing together whether were at a concert, at the grocery store, or at the gym. This type of relationshipgrants us the opportunity to constantly enjoy each others company, and therefore, enjoy whatever were doing, no matter what it is.

You should have fun with The One, but when you meet them, youll realize you dont need to seek out excitement.

Fun can be had anywhere, doingjust about anything.

As a teenager, I only wanted to hear good things. Now, I want honesty.

As a teenager, I wanted The One to shower me with compliments.

I wanted to know that I wassmart, pretty, and good atthings that were important to me.

While I still like to hear positivethings about myself, its not nearly as important to me as purehonesty. At first,I thought your partner should only see the best side of you. Now, Ive come to realizethat they should see all of you in order to love all of you.

My husband does thinkIm smart and pretty, but he also thinks Im cranky, and can handle certain situations better.

When he is 100 percent honest with me, he helps me behonest with myself about my own personality.

Flattering remarks are great to receive, but yourrelationship with The One should help you be a better person, not inflate your ego.

As a teenager, I wanted perfection. Now, I want commitment.

As a teenager, I was obsessed with the idea of being perfect.

Every new event, every big moment, and every important experience was supposed to be flawless.Prom night, my college experience, and of course, my marriage, would all be completely error-free.

While I couldnt have asked for a better husband, my idea of perfection has changed dramatically.

As a teenager, I thought perfect meant that nothing ever went wrong. As an adult, I realize that perfect is actually more about your day-to-day commitment.

I know, without a doubt, that my husband is committed to our marriage. No matter what goes wrong, hes there to fix it. Whether its things I do (like breaking almost everything I touch), or things that happen in life (like unexpected family emergencies), my husband shows his commitment to me by being there through it all.

I couldnt imagine this as a teenager since I never thought past my immediate future. As an adult, I know the concept of forever is a time, and theres no point in trying to make it totally flawless.

Instead, its about trying to make it last.

As a teenager, I wanted romance likein the movies. Now, I want real love.

I thought my relationship with The One would be filled with the trappings of stereotypical romance.

Wed basically live in a rom-comall day, complete with the adorable courtship, and the happily ever after wedding bless.

Now that Im a grown-up, I see that my ideas of romance were all pretty superficial.That kind of passion doesnt equal love.

The One will show you love. Thats the kind that comes with dragging yourself out of bed in the middle of the night when your partner is sick, not the kind that represents itself through expensive flowers.

Real love, Ive learned as an adult, doesnt follow a script. It can be expressed anywhere at anytime, doing anything.

Aging naturally means that our views on the world evolve. For me, my ideas on The One grew deeper and more significant as I got older, so that I was able to recognize real love when it came along.

Im glad my superficial ideas about love have changed.

Ive learned a lot, and more importantly, can appreciate my wonderful partner every day for the love he brings to my life.

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