I received this by email. I think it’s spot on in many ways and truly helpful. What do you think?
Golden rules for finding your life partner by Dov Heller, M.A.
When it comes to making the decision about choosing a life partner, no oneÂ wants to make a mistake. Yet, with a divorce rate of close to 50%, itÂ appears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to findingÂ Mr./Miss. Right!
If you ask most couples who are engaged why they’re getting married,Â they’ll say: “We’re in love”; I believe this is the 1 mistake people makeÂ when they date. Choosing a life partner should never be based on love.
Though this may sound “not politically correct”, there’s a profound truthÂ here.
Love is not the basis for getting married. Rather, love is the result of aÂ good marriage. When the other ingredients are right, then the love willÂ come. Let me say it again: “You can’t build a lifetime relationship on loveÂ alone”; You need a lot more!!!
Here are five questions you must ask yourself if you’re serious aboutÂ finding and keeping a life partner.
QUESTION ..1: Do we share a common life purpose?
Why is this so important? Let me put it this way: If you’re married for 20Â or 30 years, that’s a long time to live with someone. What do you plan toÂ do with each other all that time? Travel, eat and jog together? You needÂ to share something deeper and more meaningful. You need a common lifeÂ purpose.
Two things can happen in a marriage: (1) You can grow together, or (2)youÂ can grow apart. 50% of the people out there are growing apart.
To make a marriage work, you need to know what you want out of life!
Bottom line; marry someone who wants the same thing.
QUESTION ..2: Do I feel safe expressing my feelings and thoughts with this person?
This question goes to the core of the quality of your relationship. FeelingÂ safe means you can communicate openly with this person. The basis of havingÂ good communication is trust – i.e. trust that I won’t get “punished”; orÂ hurt for expressing my honest thoughts and feelings. A colleague of mineÂ defines an abusive person as someone with whom you feel afraid to expressÂ your thoughts and feelings. Be honest with yourself on this one. Make sureÂ you feel emotionally safe with the person you plan to marry.
QUESTION ..3: Is he/she a mensch?
A mensch is someone who is a refined and sensitive person. How can youÂ test? Here are some suggestions. Do they work on personal growth on aÂ regular basis? Are they serious about improving themselves? A teacher ofÂ mine defines a good person as “someone who is always striving to be goodÂ and do the right “;. So ask about your significant other: What do they doÂ with their time? Is this person materialistic? Usually a materialisticÂ person is not someone whose top priority is character refinement.
There are essentially two types of people in the world: (1) People who areÂ dedicated to personal growth and (2) people who are dedicated to seekingÂ comfort. Someone whose goal in life is to be comfortable will put personalÂ comfort ahead of doing the right thing. You need to know that beforeÂ walking down the aisle.
QUESTION ..4: How does he/she treat other people?
The one most important thing that makes any relationship work is theÂ ability to give. By giving, we mean the ability to give another personÂ pleasure.
Ask: Is this someone who enjoys giving pleasure to others or are theyÂ wrapped up in themselves and self-absorbed?
To measure this, think about the following: How do they treat people whomÂ they do not have to be nice to, such as waiters, bus boys, taxi drivers,Â etc.. How do they treat their parents and siblings? Do they have gratitudeÂ and appreciation?
If they don’t have gratitude for the people who have given them everything;Â can you do nearly as much for them? You can be sure that someone, whoÂ treats others poorly, will eventually treat you poorly as well.
QUESTION ..5: Is there anything I’m hoping to change about this personÂ after we’re married?
Too many people make the mistake of marrying someone with the intention ofÂ trying to “improve”; them after they’re married. As a colleague of mineÂ puts it: “You can probably expect someone to change after marriage for theÂ worse” If you cannot fully accept this person the way they are now, thenÂ you are not ready to marry them.
In conclusion, dating doesn’t have to be difficult and treacherous. The keyÂ is to try leading a little more with your head and less with your heart. ItÂ pays to be as objective as possible when you are dating; to be sure to askÂ questions that will help you get to the key issues. Falling in love is aÂ great feeling, but when you wake up with a ring on your finger, you don’tÂ want to find yourself trouble because you didn’t do your homework.
There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance..
It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of or at leastÂ minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-goingÂ anywhere relationships. Observe the relationships around you.
Pay attention…Which ones lift and which ones lean?
Which ones encourage and which ones discourage?
Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are goingÂ downhill?
When you leave certain people do you feel better or feel worse?
Which ones always have drama or don’t really understand, know, orÂ appreciate you?
The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truthÂ around you…the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit inÂ the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.
An African proverb states, “Before you get married, keep both eyes open,Â and after you marry, close one eye”; Before you get involved and make aÂ commitment to someone, don’t let lust, desperation, immaturity, ignorance,Â pressure from others or a low self-esteem make you blind to warning signs.Â Keep your eyes open, and don’t fool yourself that you can change someone orÂ that what you see as faults aren’t really that important.
Do you bring out the best in each other?
Do you compliment and compromise with each other, or do you compete,Â compare and control?
What do you bring to the relationship?
Do you bring past relationships, past hurt, past mistrust, past pain?
You can’t take someone to the altar to alter them.
You can’t make someone love you or make someone stay.
If you develop self-esteem, spiritual discernment, and “a life”; you won’tÂ find yourself making someone else responsible for your happiness orÂ responsible for your pain. Seeking status, sex, and security are the wrongÂ reasons to be in a relationship.
WHAT KEEPS A RELATIONSHIP STRONG IS:
4. A sense of humor
5. Sharing tasks
6. Some getaway time without business or children
7. Daily exchanges (meal, shared activity, hug, call, touch, notes, etc.)
8. Sharing common goals and interests
9. Giving each other space to grow without feeling insecure
10. Giving each other a sense of belonging and assurances of commitment
If these qualities are missing, the relationship will erode as resentmentÂ withdrawal, abuse, neglect, and dishonesty; and pain will replace.