Whenever I hear this from a happily dating friend, I smile. They are expressing more about themselves than they are about me.
Friends, of course, never say this to you when they are in the throes of a relationship that takes everything and gives back nothing. They never say this when they are in an unhealthy relationship in which both parties somehow emphasize each other's weaknesses and prey on each other's worst fears.
No, it's when they are in good relationships in which there is real communication, real friendship, and real affection. It's when they are in relationships that allow them to be productive and successful in other aspects of their lives. It's when they feel peace about their lives and where they are going. They see themselves progressing in their current relationship and finding the prospect of such a journey a pleasant and exciting one.
It's almost as though a light has switched on in their hearts and souls. "This is it! This is the relationship I've been seeking for and working for." It feels like a revelation and they want to rejoice with others in this Eureka! moment.
My friends then look over at me and see me still laboring away, single, and wish that I could be where they were. Hence, the statement accompanied by a very sincere smile.
I confess, there are times when I wish that I was in their shoes. There are times when those comments get me thinking, "Yeah, where is my Prince Charming?" And honestly, some friends are so happy in their happiness that you want to grab the nearest man in your life and see if something could work. (reference to Dear Enemy by Jean Webster).
The two most recent uses of this line were from some friends who, for the first times in their lives, have been in good relationships. It's a breath of fresh air to watch them. Also noteworthy, these are two friends who are recently out of some of the worst relationships they have been in while I have been their friend. I watched them struggle and hurt and fought to keep them from going down spirals of self-doubt and self-criticism. Don't misunderstand; the guys they dated were both great guys, both nice and kind, intelligent and pure in their intentions. However, the relationships themselves were not great - a case just to show that it's not enough just to find some "nice guy". After working and trying and feeling like they were coming up against brick walls, they were emotionally spent and exhausted. After the relationships, I watched them learn to pick up the pieces, keep their heads up and move on. None of it was easy.
As a result, when my friend looked at me with that smile and I knew what was coming next, I simply smiled back. It's not just a matter of finding someone - it's a matter of finding the right someone.
Right now (i.e. today), in my life, in the flurry of research, English teaching, acapella, VISAS, CBFP, and church activities, it's nice to say, "This is enough."