Could your ex be The One?

Sep 1, 2011 at 10:11 a.m. ET

Your ex is unlike anyone you've ever known. Even though the two of you have broken up, you may be starting -- or continuing -- to think about him all the time. Could he be The One? Stop and think before you begin plotting to get back together, and consider these factors to determine if he's your one-and-only Mr. Right.

was he the one?


Shared values and experiences are important; they give you a kind of emotional shorthand. Seeing things from each other's perspective and understanding each other's feelings is easier when you have the same frame of reference.

How did you two resolve your conflicts? You can tell a lot about a person by the way he fights. If your ex managed to stick to the point, ratcheted down the hostility and still listened to what you said in the heat of conflict, that's a very good sign.


If he's trustworthy, he tells you the truth, won't hurt or deceive you, and always has your best interests at heart.

Do you know how he'd answer if you asked him, "Is it OK to have secrets from each other?" or "What does commitment mean to you?" If he's The One, his answers will resonate with you.

The One for you should be a man with whom you'd share a friendship even if you weren't romantically involved. He should have the qualities you look for and enjoy in your dearest friends.

The friend test

The right guy earns your friends' approval. They'll like him because he treats you so well and makes you happy. He should mesh well with your family, too.

The One listens to you. After all, you can't build a good life with a person who doesn't think what you have to say is important. He should always make you feel safe, secure and special.


A man's true character is often revealed by how he treats service people -- the waiters, busboys, doormen, janitors, parking attendants, delivery people and store clerks. If he is dismissive or even slightly condescending, he's not right for you. An honorable man treats everyone with respect, and he'll give you the respect you deserve.

Is he a good loser? Being gracious and humble in victory is easy, but how a person reacts when he loses is a true test of character.

If he is The One...

If you really think your ex could be The One, it's time to talk openly and honestly with him. The two of you may be able to take that leap of faith and start rebuilding your relationship. If the bond seems a little fragile, you'll both have to take better care of it the second time around. If he's The One, it's worth the effort.

More relationship tips

Relationship improvement tips
How to get your ex-boyfriend back
Re-energize your search for Mr. Right