10 Ways I Knew Emily Was “The One”

Filed Under Dating Coaching, Life, Men Attracting Women, Pillar Articles, Relationship Management, Women Attracting Men

Scot and EmilyGetting into a committed relationship is scary. As much as we hope the person we’re with is our “one and only”, everybody knows the reality of divorce rates.

Even so, I remain appalled by how many people willingly jump like lemmings off a cliff into an exclusive relationship—or even marriage—with Mr. or Ms. Wrong.

The crazy part is most people who settle are fully aware they’re doing so. Such bad relationship decisions may be driven by a biological clock that’s ticking, ulterior motives (e.g. money, citizenship), low self-esteem or even gnawing loneliness.

But how ironic is it that we have so much trouble positively identifying the right relationship when it comes along? Indeed, I get asked all the time how to be sure one’s significant other is really significant enough.

That’s because, good grief…I’m the right guy to ask. After a turbulent first marriage and a devastating divorce, why in the world would I ever get married again…especially when I had successfully crafted a lifestyle of dating many high-quality women at once?

I had to be sure.

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So perhaps this piece is overdue. After all, Emily and I have been blissfully, monogamously exclusive for nearly eleven years. Our tenth wedding anniversary is coming up in December.

But then again, maybe writing this wasn’t appropriate until we’d indisputably passed the test of time. In the early days, I’d get schadenfreude-laden messages from marriage naysayers warning that Emily was sure to cuckold me, take all my money, cry “rape” or whatever before long, and they’d get the last laugh.

Those e-mails stopped coming several years ago.

What you see is what you get. It’s obvious to anyone who checks in with us on Facebook, listens to us do audio together or even hangs out with us in person that we absolutely adore each other.

Were there relationship problems, even as Z-list public figures it would be nearly impossible to camouflage them. We’ve never been shy about branding ourselves as a team, and we’re practically omnipresent in each other’s social media.

I don’t care what anyone says, show me a couple with a public presence who doesn’t mention each other much, and I can guarantee you something’s up with that. Argue with me if you must, but my radar has become fine-tuned over the years.

That’s why we confidently go out of our way to be transparent: because we can. That bit about “walking the talk” as dating and relationship coaches is important to us because we know it’s important to you.

So then, how did we know we had discovered the “holy grail” of true love? Having both (barely) survived a rough patch before meeting each other, how could we have been so sure of ourselves?

I’ve given due diligence to this post, knowing full well that it would be serious business for many. Therefore, what follows can be considered a rock-solid compass to navigate by. If you can be honest with yourself, you’re all but sure to get in the right relationship with the right person.

Enough, already. Here are the ten ways I personally knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Emily was “The One”. Note that I alternate between first-person singular and plural as appropriate, but were you to ask Emily about any of this I’m sure she would agree because…


1) …we “get” each other

Once in a while I’ll receive an e-mail from someone asking me to decode their boyfriend or girlfriend’s thoughts, words or actions. Usually, my standard answer is, “Have you asked him or her? He or she would know better than I would.”

If a relationship is built to last, the true love of your life won’t be completely enigmatic to you. On the contrary, you’ll be able to read his or her thoughts as if they were your very own. And for sure, there won’t be any awkward roadblocks to simple communication.

This phenomenon will happen sooner than later, too. If you’ve been dating someone for a couple months now and you still have no idea what’s going on in their head, that’s not likely to change.

I have always felt from the beginning that Emily was “one of me”. We’re not only on the same team, we’re on the same wavelength.

Practically speaking, this goes way beyond merely finishing each other’s sentences during interviews. We each also instinctively understand what’s going on when the other is tired, hungry, cranky, etc. We get it, because we get each other.

It’s astonishing to realize that assumed cornerstones of a solid relationship, like communication and even trust, are greatly simplified when a couple “gets” each other. You could even say they’re subsets of the overarching principle defined here.


2) I’ve never had to rationalize being in a relationship with her or talk myself into anything

Neither one of us has ever second-guessed being together. Even now, after more than a decade, I’ve never even once pondered the thought of having made a mistake by marrying Emily. I’m more psyched–and optimistic–than ever.

There was no frustration over her being “almost perfect, if only…”. There was no “civil war” within over whether or not I could somehow overlook what drove me nuts, because there was nothing to be conflicted over to begin with.

Never were there any contingencies on pursuing the relationship. Nobody leveled any change ultimatums. Neither of us viewed the other as a “fixer upper”. There were no hard pills to swallow.



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3) It isn’t about whether or not I can live with her, it’s a matter of not living without her.

Emily isn’t merely “enough” for me. I enjoy my entire life more when she’s in it, every hour of every day.

Some find this fact amusing, but there have only been five or six times in our entire marriage that Emily and I have been separated from each other for more than, say, a day.

No kidding, it’s like Bob and Doug McKenzie in Strange Brew. We’re like, lost without each other, and stuff.

Am I some sort of pussy-whipped weakling? Hardly. It’s just that I absolutely adore that little chick and I want her around. The feeling is mutual, of course.

There’s never any talk about needing a “break” from each other. We were once asked in an interview how we tolerate working together in close quarters all day long, and my honest reply was that I didn’t understand the question.


4) I almost immediately stopped wanting to spend time with other women

Don’t get me wrong. Dating multiple women was one hell of a run. I loved every minute of it.

But when I met Emily on a Saturday, all I could think about was seeing her again on Sunday.

On Monday, there was no consideration about which woman to spend time with. It was Emily.

Which woman did I want to see on Tuesday? Emily, of course.

Soon it was obvious that I had no room in my calendar for any other woman, and I still don’t. That last part is the clincher.


5) We’re compatible in all areas of major importance

I can’t believe how many people get into a serious relationship with someone whose faith, philosophies or even personality are in diametric opposition to their own.

If you’re in it for the long-haul, you’ve got to agree on matters of religion, having and raising children, finances, overall lifestyle and future planning.

All of that’s at the very baseline. If one of you is uber-organized and the other is a slob, that could present problems, too. And if you’re a vegan, do you really want to marry a meat-a-tarian?

It’s safe to say that the morning Emily and I met both of us felt a powerful sense that we may have met “The One”. But the reason we dated for nine months is because it takes time for true compatibility to be established.

While she doesn’t have to like the same music I do, watch the same movies or even care about sports at all, it would have really put a damper on our world travel dreams if one of us was deathly afraid of flying.


6) She is a composite of all my favorite girlfriends and even celebrity crushes

Some may say it’s crass to compare one’s wife to other women. But I believe that’s only so if you’re wishing the woman you’re with was more like someone else.

The spirit of this point is that Emily is actually the culmination of everything I’ve ever liked about certain women in particular, all in one complete package.

It’s rather stunning, really. For example, my celebrity crushes have always been Mary Lou Retton and Valerie Bertinelli.

My favorite girlfriend in college had the world’s cutest hiccup and an even cuter giggle. It’s 100% true that Emily is the only other woman I’ve ever met who hiccups and giggles like that.


7) She’s my best friend

Yes, sex is important in a relationship. One could easily argue that our sustained hots for each other could easily be the 11th bullet point on this list.

But the problem is too many relationships are built on that single dimension of sexual chemistry.

Extreme, off-the-charts sexual attraction was a given. But if you look up the definition of “best friend”, which could be a separate blog post in its own right, it would describe our relationship brilliantly.

We’re there for each other. We don’t let each other down. Heck, we not only love each other, we actually like each other. There’s nobody I’d rather hang around with than Emily.

Perhaps the greatest testament to our deep friendship is that we never insult or belittle each other, in public or private. Not even behind each other’s backs.


8) The relationship never, ever feels like “work”

One of the most infamous bits of oft-repeated but ridiculous relationship advice is that “relationships are hard work”.

Ours isn’t. Being with each other is nearly always big fun.

Moreover, the sum total of 1 + 1 invariably equals 5, 10 or 20.

Whenever life’s inevitable puzzles come along, they’re never on account of the relationship, per se. Rather, we support each other and solve issues together, and that’s invariably more fulfilling than getting hung out to dry.

If your relationship is “hard work”, that may be clear sign you’re in the wrong relationship. Just sayin’.


9) We add value to each other

Some people joke about their spouse being their “ball and chain”. It’s almost as if they’re either proud of it or it’ll somehow build rapport with their same-sex friends.

I never even so much as joke like that.

Emily does not “weigh heavy” on me. I’m not restricted by her. Life does not feel limited in any way.

Because we are generous toward each other, we both gain more from being together than even the harshest narcissist could ever expect to leech from whomever they’re victimizing in a one-sided relationship.

Think about that last point for a second.

About a year ago I was on a panel of dating experts who each dutifully advised singles to have all of their fun and go on all of their adventures before “settling down” in a marriage, let alone having kids.

I went last, and proudly represented the only dissenting opinion.

Indeed, Emily and I have been to more countries, crossed off more “bucket list” items and flat-out had more fun together than we ever did before meeting each other. Our two youngest kids have long since come along, and the adventures have only continued.


10) We can be our authentic selves around each other

Remember when I mentioned the idea of “transparency” above? That applies to the Internal Affairs Department in a relationship also. We never feel the need to hide from each other, sugar-coat the truth or even live up to some arbitrary standard. We simply are…and that’s always enough.


By now you may be standing up and cheering, throwing rocks at your computer screen, or something else in between.

But regardless, I bet I’ve made you think. That was my primary intention.

If you’re in a relationship now, what I’ve written may seem like a strict yardstick to measure by. So be it. Every bit of what I’ve presented genuinely plays a role in making our relationship last.

That doesn’t mean you have to agree with me. You may vehemently oppose one or more of my points, perhaps thinking I’ve confused personal taste and/or circumstance with universal truth.

Or you may be shocked that I left something out that seems obvious and/or foundational to you.

Like, for example, love. Why isn’t that #1?

My simple answer is that all ten points above when gathered together add up to true love. We’re talking about blissful, mad-about-you, hot and horny, unconditional, consistent positive concern and passionate feelings backed by the comfort and security of logic and trust.

And why not more than just a passing reference to sexual attraction? That’s a prerequisite, of course. But I was reticent to dedicate a spot on my list to it because it’s the #1 way people get fooled into thinking someone is “The One” when he or she is actually dead wrong for them.

Then there’s the “elephant in the room”. Conspicuous by its absence from this post is the word “soulmate”. What’s up with that? Let’s just say I’m uninterested in validating a trite, subjective buzzword that might imply fairy-tale searches for one needle in a haystack of seven billion. The ten items above are far more objective.

Regardless, I’m sure you have thoughts on all of this, and they’re probably passionate, firmly-held ones. So let me have it in the comments section below.

Likewise, if you’re not yet in a relationship, you’re probably either encouraged or discouraged by what I’ve written. I could understand your viewpoint either way, but suffice it to say that once you’ve met the right person, your whole mindset is altered and the big picture often becomes crystal-clear.

The established “rules” of dating might very well go out the window. And for sure, it’s a hell of a lot easier to agree with my ten points above when they start appearing before your very eyes.

So if you’re single, let me know what you think also. You’ll likely have a perfectly valid, reasonable contribution to this conversation.


Be Good,

Scot McKay


P.S. If you crave more detail on how to have a blissful relationship with the right woman, get your hands on this.



22 Responses to “10 Ways I Knew Emily Was “The One””

  1. Bob

    In my life I have experienced what you explain. It is hard tell other people and have them believe it. I just smile and tuck away our beautiful memories together. She passed 10 years ago but what a ride. Sometimes I relate the beauty of that relationship with someone new. I want them to feel the light and possibilities we may have together…big mistake! Usually makes them feel like I am setting the bar so high they will never measure up. I feel as if I am playing with house money now that I have had her in my life. Should I find another new relationship that would develop into that…great! If not I am already way ahead of the curve…enjoy your beautiful life together and the gift of each day….


    • Bob, thank you for such a powerful comment. I’m deeply touched (and even honored) that you would share that with us.


      • Like Bob, except my our was 22 years, and it ended in breast cancer almost 10 years ago. The time with Virginia was wonderful, yetI can’t help but ask “What Now”, I’m still young enough. And it’s not like I haven’t been dating quite a bit while also being selective… and I’m not looking for the same thing either… only similar attributes like what you’ve written about here, in a unique new creation made from two unique halves. I love “knowing for a fact” that I am proven capable of my half of it! So yes, I tell the dates eventually, and if they are intimidated by it, then that’s an easy filter right there.


  2. FrankB

    On point, Scot. This list makes perfect sense to this currently single man, especially #8, which rationalizing one’s way around is the surest route to a psycho ex or divorce court.

    But I consider #6 quite a stroke of luck in your case, and can’t say I’ve even met, let alone been involved with, anyone who I can honestly say that about. My favorites have been a very diverse lot. That said, I also consider such a perfect match non-essential. This from my previous experience of having been truly too picky, and not having recognized relationships as being as good as they were until having more experience under my belt.

    As and amusing aside of definitions, what you evidently refer to as a “soulmate”, I regard as the notion of “The One”, the latter term having such numerical connotations. Not that I care for the term, but I think there must be many people who could be a great enough partner, such as some would regard A “soulmate”.


    • I see your point regarding “The One” being similar in connototion to “soulmate”. My mindset in usage of “The One” was more in terms of the anointed “One” who actually gets chosen to be one’s spouse, not necessarily the only one possible. To me “soulmate” carries that extra unreasonable expectation that there’s only one human being on Earth who’s perfectly suited to another.


  3. Mike

    Congratulations Scot! You found the “one” the only …Emily! 🙂 The naysayers warning comes from peeps who don’t believe in marriage, who hate women, who don’t have much of a social life! Number 4, I was a bit taken back, because that is merely a sign of wanting to be exclusive with a gal which to me is not necessarily a sign that she is the one. However, not wanting to live without after you been dating her for awhile while getting to know her along with all the rest, those are definitely indicators she is the one!


    • Interestingly, I’d consider #4 a rather strong sign, particularly if happily dating multiple women. Perhaps the true significance lies in the fact that it’s still that way eleven years later!


  4. Dennis

    Scot thanks a lot or should I write in Swahili asante sana. You have been a great help not only in my love life but all of it. Through your emails and blogs I’ve learned how to be a better man.
    Congratulations for your anniversary guys.


  5. Charlotte

    Thanks Scot for sharing your list with Emily’s group. I just am out of a 25 year marriage. Thought he was the one. My biological clock was ticking, we had great sex and had fun together. Back then that was all that was necessary to get married. The aspect that stopped being fulfilling was once we had children, life became very challenging and #5 and #7 fell apart; our 2nd child was autistic. Then we went to counseling which meant now #8 fell apart. We basically stayed together until the kids graduated high school. My heart longs for a beautiful connection as you and Emily have. I know it is possible and I am making myself ready. 🙂 I so appreciate Emily’s tips. Her suggestions resonate true for me.


  6. Mary

    What you describe is what I have witnessed in the long, happy marriages I’ve observed in my siblings and my parents. I, however, have never experienced such a wonderfully perfect partnership, and recent attempts to find such a relationship have failed miserably, I think, in part, because, as is typical, we jump too soon into the deep end of a full-on relationship rather than taking things slow and determining if there really is true compatibility. I’ve since decided to take a break from frenzied dating and instant relationships, to focus on healing and growth and contentment with myself, and have vowed that from now on I will take much more time and care when choosing a relationship partner. I want what you’ve got. I know it’s possible. I hope it’s possible for ME.


    • That’s exactly what we mean by “deserving what you want”. Be the best version of yourself, and you’ll love the partner who loves you back. Remember, though, it’s a journey not a destination. There’s no such thing as perfection, and I’ve noticed that simply dedicating oneself to going in the right direction causes positive results to begin happening.


  7. Anonymous

    As the saying goes….. If it sounds to good to be true….. IT IS……
    Am I saying you are not happily married…. No…. But this sound like a mythical story found in Disneyland…
    Nobody is a perfect 10 all the time…..
    But hey….. It sells…..



    • Well, fair enough…but do remember that this is a post on how I knew Emily was the right woman for me, hence the tone. Someday maybe I’ll write about all the roadblocks and challenges we’ve faced along the way that really sucked.

      Then again, maybe I won’t because it would just sound like whining.

      In all seriousness, though, read back through the post and you’ll see I readily admit that life isn’t always unicorns and fairy dust. It’s just that we’re on the same team in handling it rather than sitting around trying to figure out whether we can trust, communicate with, trick, manipulate or even still love each other or not.

      As for what “sells”, you’d be surprised. Lots of dating/relationship coaches out there are in train wreck relationships, and therefore rarely mention their significant other…if ever. Yet, a huge percent of people couldn’t care less about that. What actually sells the best is “easy button” advice that feeds selfishness. Since that is the opposite of what really works, we stick to our truth. Ultimately, we have much cooler, more affable and dare I say intelligent audience that way. Getting people real results in the real world (in the form of a terrific relationship) reaps its own rewards.


      • Anonymous

        Yes, You are right on your points… over all, I think every point you made is valid…. And can put you way ahead in the ball game….which is the point of the post.
        But in life, every relationship goes through ups and downs …. In your position, the ups and downs are “easier” to go through…….:-)


      • FrankB

        Yeppers. What sells best is stuff like: “Send these 3 texts and ANY woman will go wild over you!” But yet, in a sense what really works CAN be more simple, though not necessarily easy.


  8. […] Well you can see me sitting up there on the stage, 2nd from the right on the top (kinda looking like I’m giving someone a death-stare. Damn it). Next to Scot McKay of Deserve What You Want, a popular dating coach (over 29k likes on Facebook) who’s been helping men attract women and build great relationships for over 10 years now. Scot has traveled the world and built his lifestyle business alongside his amazing wife Emily whom he recently shared a great article about here. […]


  9. JW

    What is “high-quality” women? Are there also “mid-quality” and “low-quality” ones? What unique qualities do women regarded as “high-quality” possess? How do you rate that? Can the same wording be applied to men in this case or it is only women subject to such a gradation?
    It’s a bit weird to read terminology like this in a pretty sensible article like this one. Don’t you find that disrespectful and rude?


    • It’s not gender specific, Jane. My body or work–and Emily’s, for that matter–bear that out.

      But for what it’s worth, I’ll give you a hint. High quality individuals of either gender aren’t bitter, hateful or unconditionally suspect of the other gender. Nor are they actively trolling for opportunities to blame someone of the other gender for being sexist or politically incorrect, and they’re not trying to put words or thoughts in their mouths that they didn’t say or think. They’re not easily offended, either.


      • Nah, I’m just being difficult with you because I love starting spirited debates on my own blog.

        The truth is that “high-quality” means whatever you suppose it to mean relative to the kind of person you find desirable, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation.

        That means there are many potential variables there with regard to such areas as lifestyle, personality type, cultural trappings and physical appearance.

        But there are also a number of nearly-universal constants. Traits such as the following are generally agreed upon:

        1) Kind rather than mean-spirited
        2) Fun rather than boring
        3) Positive rather than negative
        4) Generous as opposed to selfish
        5) Mentally stable vs. bat-shit crazy
        6) Honest/faithful vs. dishonest/cheater
        7) Easy going rather than uptight
        8) Responsible rather than reckless
        9) Addiction free
        10) Respectful

        I’ve written on this stuff elsewhere dozens of times, so more detail is likely very Googleable.


  10. Anonymous

    Great article. I do have one question about #9 though. I agree with it completely and have always thought that was a major telling point for me in a relationship, if I wanted to give everything to this person. Unfortunately, I’ve found myself in one sided relationships where I just got taken advantage of and where instead of appreciating what I was giving, it became expected and even complained about when I wasn’t able to give as much due to busyness, kids, tiredness, etc. I know you might say ‘That’s a clear indicator that you’re not with the right person’ but I want to know how much of it is sustainably realistic given that humans are naturally selfish creatures. Sure, you might go out of your way for each other in the first couple years when everything is still new. But eventually, one person always ends up giving more and the other ends up taking. Or at least that’s what I’ve found.


  11. Kim

    I really enjoyed this. Sounds just like my boyfriend and I — and we are in different countries. When we finally were able to meet after over a year as friends and seven months in a relationship, it was like no surprises, we had always known each other, and were the dearest of friends. Now we are working on a second visit in a third country soon and finally working out the Visa. It is hard to be in other countries, but this is temporary and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather just hang out with…. and I have a number of close friends I love to be with.


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