I am happily married to a woman I love. We have a beautiful daughter. I cannot imagine not having her in my life, and she thinks the same way (I asked).
She was not “The One” when we met, and (I suspect) neither was I. She was funny, a good talker, in touch with her feelings, and fun to be with. She liked a lot of the same things I did, the outdoors, music, and she was clever and enjoyed my silly jokes. She was attractive, but not in the skinny model kind of way. She was opinionated, but not in a domineering way. We seemed like a good match.
Over the time spent dating and getting to know one another, we invested in one another. We spent time doing things for each other. I still spend time doing things to please her, and I enjoy doing them - but I especially enjoy the reaction when she discovers what I have done. Sometimes it is something I have built, like a shed or a new stall. Sometimes it is just a nice dinner.
The thing is, we are now “The One” for each other, and we built that. We built it one loving conversation at a time. One favour at a time. One respectful disagreement at a time. One shared exasperation at a time (usually over our daughter). We complete one another’s sentences because we know each other. I defend her parents and she defends (and gets along with) mine. I am the one her parents call when they need someone to talk to.
I am supremely lucky that I have Stephanie in my life. We have our ups and downs, there are things she does (or doesn’t do) that drive me crazy, and I am sure she feels the same way about me. But I wouldn’t exchange her for anyone on the planet.