I've dated 3 women in my lifetime. The next girl I date, I plan on marrying. I refuse to just start dating someone from the start. Prefer to be friends first, build that friendship, and should things become more than that, I'll wait until I know her enough to the point where I know I would want to marry her.
Ok let's start off where there is no such thing as "the one". This is a myth. I categorize people in these buckets:
waste of time hookups only fun to hang around and hookup enjoy spending time with, long term possibility a person that I really connect with and want a future with
I say this because I've had two or three I thought were "the one" and a few I thought were too but in hindsight it was just lust.
The first "the one" was my high school sweetheart. It didn't work out and I still think of her from time to time. But in retrospect there is no way I would want to get back with her, we have changed and moved on in different directions in our lives.
Number 2 I wanted to marry but she wasn't ready to settle down. After a few years I decided to move on. I still care for her but she is stuck in her world of fear of commitment.
Third was a girl I met before I permanently left the US. In hindsight it wouldn't have lasted and I am now sure my strong feelings are simply because we never got a chance to see just how good it could be.
We need to stop looking at every new date or person as, "Is this the one?" because that puts too much pressure on the relationship. It takes the focus away from the two of you getting to know each other and makes it about questioning every little detail about this person.
Go into every encounter with the expectation that you are going to get to know a new person, learn about yourself and enjoy the time as best you can. Doing so will open your eyes and open doors.