One of the most common questions I get asked by my friends, family and readers is, “How do you know . . .” Men and women, single and married ask things like:

• How do you know if you’re in love?
• How do you know if he’s the one?
• How do you know if he’s lying to you?
• How do you know if you’re ready for marriage?
• How do you know if he’s a good man?
• How do you know if you should go on a second date?
• How do you know if he’s cheating on you?

It just so happens that a new movie with Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson will be attempting to address this same, age-old question: “How Do You Know?” Before you see the movie this Friday, December 17th, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned in my journey that led me to meeting and marrying my husband in 11 short months!

A few days ago, I asked my Facebook and Twitter friends to answer a few “how do you know” questions. Some of the answers were hilarious.

I asked, “how do you know he’s a good man?”

One new mommy said: He tells you you're beautiful when you've just given birth to your first child and you have a nasty jelly belly.

Another woman who’s been married for 24 years said: He decides what to have for dinner Saturday nite, cooks it BEFORE church, reheats it after church, does ALL the dishes & cleans the kitchen!!! HALLELUJAH!!! I LOVE MY HUSBAND of 24 yrs even when he doesn't do any of the above, but he was OUTSTANDING this weekend!!!

Later I asked, how do you know if you’re on a bad date?

One single woman said, “A man you just met suggests the two of you dress alike on your second date to symbolize your "future union."

One man , “When the woman you meet brings her wedding magazines with her...”

Our Facebook community spent quite a bit of time laughing about that one!

All jokes aside, I believe people were so ready to respond because “how do you know” is a question we all have in our hearts. I totally understand. When I was single and searching for love, I spent a lot of time talking with married couples and my engaged friends (all 7 of them!) and my main question was: How did you know he was the one? I got a lot of answers ranging from “God told me,” to “It was fate or destiny,” to “I just followed my heart,” or my all time favorite (not really): “You just know!” (ARGH!)

But is a feeling, or even a voice from heaven, enough to go on when you’re making one of the most important decisions of your life? And even if you’re just trying to decide if you want to go out on a date, who wants to waste their time? Can a sister rely on her heart to tell her if the man she’s dating is “the one” she should spend the rest of her life with?

I say NO! At least it’s not enough. You see when I only relied on my heart (and I even thought I heard God confirm it), I ended up in a string of unhealthy relationships, a broken engagement, a broken heart, and DRAMA the likes of which would make Jerry Springer proud.

I say that a sister needs more than just goosebumps, butterflies in her stomach, or a sign from heaven to help her “know.”

Here are two secrets I discovered when I was single that changed everything for me:

1) Before you can “know” if he’s the one, you need to know who you are. What does this mean? Do you know what you want your life to look like? Do you know your true worth and will your view of your worth remain the same even if he doesn’t call you back? If your friends had to describe you in one sentence, what would they say? And would you agree with them?

2) Before you can “know” if he’s the one, you need to know who you are looking for. Once you’ve decided what kind of life you want to live, you can decide what kind of person you want to live it with. For example, what kind of qualities will he have? How will he treat you? How will he respond to your dreams and goals?

It all boils down to one piece of advice that someone gave to me when I was going through DRAMA in a relationship. She said, “Decide what you can live with and what you can’t live without because you will have to live with your decisions.”

When you’ve decided who you are and who you want in your life, then you can freely let the goosebumps come, the butterflies flutter, your heart skip a beat. Why? Because you will know that you know that you’ve made the best choice possible.

Author's Bio: 

Aesha Adams-Roberts, PhD, is a bestselling author, speaker, and communications expert. In her book, "Can I Help a Sister Out: How to Meet and Marry of Your Dreams" Dr. Adams-Roberts reveals the step-by-step secrets and strategies she used to meet and marry her husband in 11 short months. Her expertise is highly sought after by men and women, single and married couples alike.