8 Ways To Figure Out If Your Partner Is 'The One' Based On Marie Kondo's 'KonMari' Method

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Is He The One? Determining If You Should Break Up Using Marie Kondo Konmari Method
Love

If you're a Marie Kondo fan, then you know her KonMari method for decluttering your life is amazing and starts with a simple question: "Does this spark joy?"

But the Marie Kondo method for how to declutter is amazing when applied to other areas of your life too, like love and relationships. Yes, there is a way to use KonMari to declutter your mind and reorganize your thoughts when it comes down to finding out if your partner is really "the one."

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"Does it spark joy?" might also be the perfect relationship question. Can you look at your partner — the person you fell in love with — and answer yes when asking yourself, “Does he spark joy?”

If you haven’t been paying attention to the decluttering queen, Kondo has developed a method of systematically going through your home to create space for only things that spark joy.

Briefly, the method proposes holding each item, deciding which items to keep and which to discard — you keep those that bring you joy and discard those that do not.

When only those items that spark joy remain, the spaciousness created will bring you joy in your surroundings and in your life.

If you think it’s more complicated when it comes to relationships, you’re right. You must consider, among other things, whether you share important values, if you’re hoped-for futures align, and whether there are red flags, like a few too many sloppy-drunken evenings.

Kondo’s approach is a little more complicated as well. There are several factors the KonMari method asks you to consider. With a little tweaking, however, they’re all pertinent to relationships as well as objects.

Here are 8 questions you should ask about your relationship using the "KonMari" method to determine if your partner is right for you:

1. Is this something you can decide quickly?

As Marie points out, you decide on joy quickly. It’s intuitive. You pick up that blouse, and it speaks to you, or it doesn’t.

Sure, there may be a few items that are maybes, but you wouldn’t want to commit to one for life. It’s not that people can’t grow on you.

It’s not that it doesn’t take time to know you want to spend your life with someone. It’s that, if he’s been around a while and you’re still agonizing about whether he’s right for you, he probably isn’t.

2. Have you gone through tough times together?

Sometimes you hang onto something, like that tacky fruit bowl you had in your first apartment, because it arrived at a particularly rough point in your life and you feel like it saw you through some difficult times. People can be like that, too.

Take the guy who was with you when your best friend died, or when you flunked out of grad school … you got attached to the supportive way he cooked you comfort food and loved you despite your terrible behavior.

You don’t want to stay with someone if you feel they’re not right for you now, even if they did get you through some dark moments.

3. Does everyone in your life love him?

You know that necklace your friends think is beautiful, but when you wear it you feel like your elderly Aunt Mimi? It’s the same with guys.

Your mom finally approves of this one and your bestie’s husband loves to hang with him. You may respect the opinions of your loved ones and hate to disappoint, but this is a life decision that’s all about you, not them.

Gift the necklace if you don’t feel great wearing it — release the guy if you aren’t feeling great with him, despite how attached others feel.

4. Does he speak to your heart?

Think about that couch you’ve had for too long. It’s comfy. It’s practical. It would be such a pain to find another.

Often relationships are good for a variety of reasons including comfy, practical and easier than the alternatives. These reasons all speak to your head, the logical, intellectual side of you.

While they’re very important considerations, we’ve all had that that relationship that seems right in nearly every way — every way but one.

Your heart says he’s not, “the one.” Like the couch that you really need to let go, you don’t want to be overcome with inertia when your heart tells you it’s time to move on, be it furniture or boyfriend.

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5. When was the last time you needed him?

About the crocheted shawl and floppy hat that have been stuffed in the back of a dresser drawer for the last ten years, you might need them for a Halloween party, so you can go as a hippie, right?

Nope. These items no longer serve a purpose in your life and, as KonMari says, leaving them forlorn in your dresser is disrespectful.

Where does your man fit into this scenario? Do you realize that you’re no longer looking forward to seeing him and would rather do things with friends or alone? Is he no longer serving a purpose in your life?

Is your negligence toward him almost disrespectful? Think about your boyfriend’s dignity and your lack of respect for him as you wonder daily if he’s “the one.”

You will feel better if you’re not tied down to someone you no longer adore and he will have an opportunity to find someone who does adore him.

6. Does he fit into the ideal life you imagine for yourself?

When you went through your stoner phase, your student phase, your corporate phase, your zen phase, you had the clothing to help you feel the part.

Generally, the clothing gets donated to a good cause once you move onto the next phase. It doesn't take up space in the new life you've created. Likewise, you had your stoner guy who clearly didn’t fit with your corporate job, so he had to go.

Your zen guy wasn’t down with law school crunch times, so that was it for him. You grow, you change, and sometimes your partner no longer seems to get where you’re going, or doesn’t support the things you need to do to get there.

Like that hoodie that saw you through studying for and nailing your GMAT, it could be time to lovingly kiss that baby goodbye.

7. Does he spark joy?

Decluttering your home brings a sense of spaciousness that translates to feeling less stressed and happier. Objects that do not serve you in this way are considered undeserving of the space they take up.

If you’re experiencing many of the doubts about your guy already outlined, it’s likely he's not sparking joy.

If he isn’t, he does not deserve the space you're giving him in your life. He might have to go in the discard pile. Someone else will benefit from his service.

8. Is it time to thank him for his service?

Kondo is not judgy and she is generous in giving her guidance, with tremendous grace, even when faced with pushback from her clients. The household and its contents are treated with affection and respect.

It’s the way you ought to treat the guy you’re about to let go. If you’re struggling with the decision, it’s likely he has played an important role in your life and you can be grateful for that.

Expressing that gratitude kindly and generously is a caring way to step out of a relationship. It’s a way to let go that may be difficult but can still feel OK.

This may sound like a way to objectify men, and you might be horrified if someone thought of you in these terms. Rather, consider it a way to declutter your thinking about the relationship.

You might decide the relationship is worth saving and head down that path, but you can do so with a clearer head. You could decide it’s over.

Either way, taking a caring, respectful, systematic look by using the KonMari checklist may bring you the promised joy.

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Judith Tutin, PhD, ACC, is a licensed psychologist and certified life coach. Connect with her at her website where you can request a free coaching call to bring more passion, fun, and wellness to your life.

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