10 Steps For Choosing a Good Mate
Step #1: Watch out for someone who only loves how you LOOK, what you DO or what you HAVE.
If you want this person to be faithful foreverrrr, make sure they are in love with Who You Are - not something you could lose. Looks fade, possessions may get damaged or stolen, and later on, you might not be able to do everything you can do now.
When you’re enjoying all his compliments about your hair, your eyes, your smile… think about this, what if you got sick and all your hair fell out? Then where’s your love?
If she wants to be with you because you make the basketball team, or you got promoted… think about this, would she feel the same if they cut you or you got downsized?
Step #2: Decide NOT TO LIVE TOGETHER before you get married.
Review Chapter 1: The Sixties When the Whole World Lost Its Mind! Living together increases your risk of divorce and decreases your chances of getting married in the first place!
Why take the risk that you (or your partner) might develop the attitude that says, “If this gets too hard, I want out”? Don’t kid yourself, relationships are hard.
Step #3 Develop “social superglue” by forming your OWN COMMITTEE.
Review Chapter 8: Form Your Own Committee. A Dating Advisory Committee made up of people who know and love you. People committed to making sure you don’t “settle” for something less than you deserve in a partner. Pay attention to your friends - they have high standards for you. Listen to your mom. She loves you. You don’t want to end up with your family trying to talk you into getting a divorce.
Step #4 Build “emotional superglue” by SHARING the same interests.
Review Chapter 10: Pleeeease Meet My Needs. Every time you do what you love with the person you love, you build up memories of feeling good with that person. Lots of positive memories will cause you to feel good just being around them. And those memories act like GLUE to help you hang on to each other when your relationship is under pressure.
Step #5 Be sure you have the SAME BELIEFS about God, children, marriage, faithfulness & money.
You can’t control the outside pressures. Jobs, politics, economies, friends, etc. Lots of “uncontrollables” put pressure on relationships. All you can do is glue yourselves together and hold on until it’s over. But you can eliminate the inside pressure that pushes people apart from each other.
These five areas (God, children, marriage, faithfulness and money) are where pressure is most likely to build up inside a relationship. Just by starting out with the same beliefs, you eliminate most of the internal pressure.
This does require that you KNOW what you believe before you make a commitment. If you think two kids are plenty, be sure you’re not dating Octomom. If you feel strongly that “Kissing is cheating,” be certain you’re not dating someone who thinks “It’s not cheating if I don’t get caught.” Don’t assume.
Step #6 Evaluate their training: how do they TREAT THEIR MOM/DAD?
Most people will unconsciously duplicate the relationship they had with the parent of the opposite sex. Good or bad. If that relationship isn’t one you want to duplicate, find another model before you get married. Take a good look at the family relationships your partner has, whenever possible. Know exactly what is going to be duplicated in your home before you decide on foreverrrr.
Otherwise, you might miss simple things. What if her dad is Mr. Handyman? She may have an expectation that you will be able to fix everything. What if his mom is famous for her ability to whip up a 4 course meal in 20 minutes on only $5.00? Girl, you’d better be able to channel Julia Child or else have Martha Stewart on speedial.
Step #7 Find out if they’re SAVERS or SPENDERS.
People in love think money won’t matter. But everyone fights about money - even when you have enough money, you fight about how to spend it! Ninety-percent of all divorces will have a financial problem in the middle. Do not get married until both of you have sustained practice at staying on a budget and have demonstrated the ability to save for things you want.
Step #8 Spend an entire YEAR of holidays with them.
Make it past their “company” behavior. Forbid yourself from thinking foreverrr until you’ve experienced a whole cycle of holidays. Taking a year to observe them in a variety of environments and interactions, will give you a better picture of who they really are. It’s easy to fake anything for 6 months. Don’t rush. If it’s going to last forever, it’ll last a year. You don’t want to be one of those women who marries some Romeo in a mad rush, and finds out later he wasn’t away on business – he had a second wife and children in some other city!
Step #9 Pay attention to what they do when they’re MAD or DISAPPOINTED.
Everybody fights, but most people don’t fight fair. A fair fight is when the two of you attack The Problem, but not each other. This is really important. If either one of you are “Right Fighters” - the fight doesn’t end until you prove you’re right and they’re wrong -- your relationship will be torn apart.
This is also true for people who withdraw, rather than confront, small difficulties. “Peace at any price” might work in the short term, but eventually you’re going to have BIG fights over small things you stuffed down and wouldn’t talk about.
Step #10 Become a master of SEXUAL SELF-CONTROL.
Duh. Because SEX MAKES PEOPLE STUPID.
When you control your passion, instead of letting it control you, you won’t get fooled by the magical tingly feelings. You focus your attention on all the OTHER components needed to make your relationships work.
Someone who’s in love with who you are.
Someone who gets along with your friends and family.
Building up positive shared experiences,
Making sure you have the same beliefs,
Evaluating your families of origin,
Stockpiling memories to draw on,
And assessing the ability to resolve conflicts.
Of course, the problem is that Sex IS great. Sex is so wonderful it will deceive you into thinking your whole relationship is wonderful. Under the influence of those magical tingly feelings, it’s easy to miss crucial clues which would show you whether or not you two are a good match.