- The decision to get married is made too quickly
- The decision is made at too young an age
- One or both persons are too eager to be married
- Choosing a mate to please someone else
- The experience base is too narrow
- The couple has unrealistic expectations
- Unaddressed personality or behavior problems
Selecting the right mate can be a daunting task in the high-speed culture that we find ourselves living in. Did you know that we can predict whether a marriage will be successful or not with 81% accuracy? In fact, recent tools have been developed which have improved the percentage up to 87%!
In his book, Finding the Love of Your Life, Dr. Neil Warren provides an outline to follow to ensure you find the correct mate. Today we’ll look at 7 factors that play a role in selecting the right future mate.
The Decision to Get Married Is Made Too Quickly
The union of a couple was intended to be a life-long commitment between two people who love each other. But in a world of instant everything, is it even conceivable to expect a life long commitment? According to the APA, approximately 40-50% of American marriages end in divorce and the likelihood of divorce for subsequent marriages are even higher. So why don’t people take more time to seriously consider a life altering decision?
How long have you dated and how long have you known each other?
Should you know everything about someone before marrying him or her?
How well do you know your partner?
Do your peers have the same opinion of your assessment?
The Decision is Made at Too Young an Age
Back in high school, I was sitting in my calculus 1 class after school with a few classmates and we were all discussing our future plans. I distinctly remember telling everyone that my goal was to get married by the ripe old age of 24. If only future me could go back in time and slap some sense into past me. When I glance back at my life experiences I see that there was no way that I would have been ready to get married at 24. Thank goodness that conversation back in high school calculus was not foreshadowing.
How long has it been since you’ve been out of high school?
How old were you when you decided you’d like to marry your partner?
How well do you think you know yourself?
Does your current yearly income provide a sufficient economic base for marriage?
One or Both Persons Are Too Eager to Be Married
If you’re a fan of ‘How I Met Your Mother’, then you know that in every relationship there are Reachers and Settlers. Whether a joke or not, there may be some truth to these words. Don’t be too eager to reach for someone who seems too good to be true and don’t give up too easily to settle for someone who isn’t in tune with your belief system. Your goal should be choosing the right partner for you, not just getting married.
How soon after you began dating your partner did you begin to think of marriage?
How would you react if you couldn’t get married for another year? Two years?
What are the 5 most important reasons you want to get married?
How open are you to discussing a delay of several months or years to be married?
What would be the long-term ramifications if you got married right away, rather than waiting a while?
Choosing a Mate to Please Someone Else
When deciding to get married, both partners should be equally excited about the prospects of a new life together. When both of your passions are at the same level, the success rate of your marriage greatly increases. Deciding to get married to please your dad, mom, or partner is an easy recipe for disaster. If you find that you’re compromising your judgment just to please someone else, then it may be time to take a step back and not rush into this life-altering decision.
How important are others opinions in my decision on who to marry?
Do my parents hold any influence on my dating choices?
Do my friends hold any influence?
How would I react if my inner circle disagreed with my mate choice?
How involved should others be in my mate choice?
The Experience Base Is Too Narrow
Summer love is great and also unrealistic. Summer life is carefree and wonderful, there are no tests to take, the sun makes everything okay, and the need to be outdoors vacationing can leave you in a state of euphoria. But once summer is over and ‘real-life’ starts again, the world seems to have all these new stressors that didn’t exist just a few short months ago. It’s important to experience multiple situations and environments with your partner before marriage. Learning how your partner and yourself react to different stressors, different environments, and different situations can set you up on the path to a successful happy married life.
How many people have you dated?
What kind of personality types have you dated?
Have you experienced a great deal in life?
Can you name 10 unique things you and your partner have experienced together?
The Couple Has Unrealistic Expectations
20% of all first marriages end in five years because of unrealistic expectations. Developing an open, honest line of communication with your partner can guard you against this marriage pitfall. Don’t forget that all marriages are unique and will present with their own unique set of problems; communicating openly and honestly can defuse these scenarios and give your relationship the boost it needs to overcome inevitable adversity.
What are your top 3 expectations for a good marriage?
Your partner’s top 3 expectations?
Would it be difficult to make your marriage work?
How will you both work out any differences?
Unaddressed Personality or Behavior Problems
Your marriage is not a supercharged elixir to fix major personality or character flaws in your partner or yourself. You need to sit down and decide whether you really are ready to accept your partner for the rest of their life with all the quirks that they come with. You may not even see all their flaws on a consistent basis but you can be sure that they will pop up throughout the rest of your relationship. There may even be a few character traits in them that are appealing to you but always remember that it is the totality of the parts that make up an individual.
Don’t be a Settler just because your mate seems to be the only person available at the moment. If you know you are incompatible, then do yourself a favor and don’t prolong your misery. End it right now. You can bet your bottom dollar that the sun will always come out tomorrow and a more compatible individual will be just around the river bend.
Do your partner’s personality traits or habits bother you?
Have you discussed this with your partner?
Is there any drug or drinking habits that concern you?
Do you know your partner’s sexual history?
How does that make you feel?
Is your partner dependable?