When You Know, You Know

When You Know, You Know

By Rachel Leininger


My husband David and I were married way back in August of 2015, so naturally, we’re now considered experts at being married… (that’s a joke, feel free to laugh). While we were engaged, early in our marriage, and even sometimes now, a lot of people have asked me, “So, how did you know?”

Well… to be totally honest, I’d have to say that we both knew within the first two weeks after we met that we were going to end up walking down an aisle together one day. No, we didn’t discuss it then – that would have been insane (if anyone proposes marriage to you within the first fourteen days… run, don’t walk, to your home or closest safe space and lock the door). But it didn’t take very long. We were both in our late twenties, well-established in our careers, living independently, and knew what we wanted in a partner (and what we didn’t).

We also first met at a conference in another state. Our first date, on-site, lasted about 45 minutes before I had to head to the airport. Once we’d both returned home to our separate states, our relationship really began over hours and hours of talking on the phone. When you’re thinking about committing to someone who lives eight hours away, you don’t waste time on small talk – you get to know who a person really is, really fast.

When it comes to making major life commitments, like a person to marry, I’m sure you’ve heard people say: “When you know, you know.” Throughout high school, college, and most of my twenties, I thought that was so annoying. Here I was, trying to find someone to marry, and my response to that ‘advice’ was always, “What do you mean, ‘when you know, you know’? What kind of weird, cryptic advice is that? How is that supposed to help me know?!” But then, I thought perhaps the only reason it didn’t make sense to me was because I’d never known before – and maybe, hopefully, one day I would know.

Turns out, it’s true. When you know, you know. But it isn’t as simple as intuition, although that’s part of it. It isn’t as simple as prayer, although that’s a big part of it, too (Acts 15:28 – “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us;” we can and should discern together, with the Lord). It isn’t as simple as the blessing of your family and closest friends, although that helps, too.

Honestly, the real reason I knew that David was ‘the one’? I never got tired of him.

You know how there are people you can spend all kinds of time with, maybe even days on end – your family, your very best friends? But then the moment comes when you sort of get… maxed out. You know – it was fun to hang, we had some good laughs, but now I’m tired and ready for you to leave and have my own space, buh-bye! But in all the time I’ve known David – while we were dating, and engaged, and the few years we’ve been married – I’ve never felt that way about him. And neither has he, about me. We would always rather be together than not.

He’s my favorite person to hang out with, whether that’s going on a date (which is awesome), or running errands, or cleaning our house (which is the worst), or just sitting on the couch. We have our own jobs, our own friends, our own interests, for sure… and I always look forward to talking about those things with him, after. Now that we have little kids, a lot more of our time revolves around them – and it’s a lot easier to take care of them (and enjoy them) when we’re parenting them together.

90% of marriage is made of the mundane everyday stuff of life – and that mundane, everyday stuff is 100% better when I do it alongside him. And that makes the really fun stuff more fun, and the challenging, tough, truly difficult stuff less painful. I would always rather face anything with him by my side.

So, how do you know when you’ve found ‘the one’? Ideally, you’re signing up for a long, long marriage – so I’d recommend spending it with someone you never get sick of. And when you know who that is, you’ll know.

Rachel Leininger is the full-time Chastity Educator for the REAP Team of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Her favorite things are eating, sleeping, Cardinals baseball, coffee, her husband, David, and their two little girls. She wants to be Joanna Gaines when she grows up (Just kidding! Kind of…).