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5 Golden Rules for Finding Your Life Partner(by relationship coach Dov Heller, M.A.)
Here are 5 golden rules for evaluating the prospects of long-term success.When it comes to making the decision about choosing a life partner, no onewants to make a mistake. Yet, with a divorce rate of close to 50 percent, itappears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to findingMr./Ms. Right! If you ask most couples who are engaged why they're gettingmarried, they'll say: "We're in love." I believe is the #1 mistake peoplemake when they date. Choosing a life partner should never be based on love(alone). Though this may sound not politically correct, there's a profoundtruth here. Love (alone) is not the basis for getting married. Rather, loveis the result of a good marriage. When the other ingredients are right, thenthe love will come. Let me say it again: You can't build a lifetimerelationship on love alone. You need a lot more. Here are five questions youmust ask yourself if you're serious about finding and keeping a lifepartner.
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 20 or 30 years, that's a long time to live with someone. What do you plan to dowith each other all that time? Travel, eat and jog together? You need toshare something deeper and more meaningful. You need a common life purpose.Two things can happen in a marriage. You can grow together, or you can growapart. 50 percent of the people out there are growing apart. To makemarriage work, you need to know whatyou want out of life - bottom line- and marry someone who wants the samething.
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. Feelingsafe means you can communicate openly with this person. The basis of havinggood communication is trust - i.e. trust that I won't get "punished" or hurtfor expressing my honest thoughts and feelings. A colleague of mine definesan abusive person as someone with whom you feel afraid to express yourthoughts and feelings. Be honest with yourself on this one. Make sure youfeel 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 you test?Here are some suggestions. Do they work on personal growth on a regularbasis? Are they serious about improving themselves? A teacher of minedefines a good person as "someone who is always striving to be goodand do the right thing." So ask about your significant other: What do theydo with their time? Is this person materialistic? Usually a materialisticperson is not someone whose top priority is character refinement. There areessentially two types of people in the world: People who are dedicated topersonal growth and people who are dedicated to seeking comfort. Someonewhose goal in life is to be comfortable will put personal comfort ahead ofdoing the right thing. You need to know that before walking down the aisle.
QUESTION #4:How does he/she treat other people?
The one most important thing that makes any relationship work is the abilityto give. By giving, we mean the ability to give another person pleasure.Ask: Is this someone who enjoys giving pleasure to others or are theywrapped up in themselves and self-absorbed? To measure this, think about thefollowing: How do they treat people whom they do not have to be nice to,such as a waiter, bus boy, taxi driver, etc. How do they treat parents andsiblings? Do they have gratitude and appreciation? Do they show respect? Ifthey don't have gratitude for the people who have given them everything, youcannot expect that they'll have gratitude for you-who can't do nearly asmuch for them! Do they gossip and speak badly about others? Someone whogossips cannot be someone who loves others. You can be sure that someone whotreats others poorly, will eventually treat you poorly as well.
QUESTION #5:Is there anything I'm hoping to change about this person after we'remarried?
Too many people make the mistake of marrying someone with the intention oftrying to "improve" them after they're married. As a colleague of mine putsit, "You can probably expect someoneto change after marriage... for the worse!" If you cannot fully accept thisperson the way they are now, then you are not ready to marry them. Inconclusion, dating doesn't have to be difficult and treacherous. The key isto try leading a little more with your head and less with your heart. Itpays to be as objective as possible when you are dating, to be sure to askquestions that will help you get to the key issues. Falling in love is agreat feeling, but when you wake up with a ring on your finger, you don'twant to find yourself in trouble because you didn't do your homework.
What do you think? Can you relate?