If you are divorced or you are looking to find a mate for the first time it’s important to understand what to look for. Recently Dennis Prager outlined several things that you every spouse consider when finding a mate. Here are the top things he believes that you should find before saying, “I do.”
1. Marry your best friend
It’s interesting so few people consider whether are not who they are marrying is their best friend. In fact, Denis Prager argues this may be the most overlooked quality. Yes, it’s important to have sexual tension and the desire to be physically intimate, but the better question is: Do you like them? After fifteen years of marriage my spouse and I always comment about how so many couples really don’t seem to like each other. I tell him he’s the person that annoyed me the least when we were dating. He doesn’t find that comment amusing, but it’s true. If you don’t like spending time with your potential mate or you don’t feel comfortable talking to them- guess what- they are not your best friend.
2. Do you have chemistry with your potential mate?
While marrying your best friend is critical, as mentioned above, if you have no physical or sexual desire for them then they are not your mate- they are a platonic best friend. Will you grow to be physically attracted to them? Maybe, but if you don’t feel attraction for them, you have spent considerable time with them, and you understand all their good qualities, it may be time to admit they are not marriage material.
3. Does the person have close friends of the same sex?
Although Dennis Prager does not expound on this issue too much, I think the gist of what he is saying is that if a person cannot maintain an extended relationship with a person of the same sex than he or she probably has some character issues or personality traits that would make them a difficult spouse. Maybe they have not learned to be selfless. Maybe they are self-absorbed, egotistical or shallow. All of these qualities would drive away close friends and could destroy a marriage.
4. Do you share common values?
Although we have all heard opposites attract, I think this is talking about temperaments (dominating vs. passive) rather than a core value system. Every difference is a compromise. What happens if you and your potential mate disagree about politics, religion, and interests? Expect to compromise A LOT, and compromise means disappoint, hurt feelings and anger.
My spouse and I both come from a middle class, protestant, suburban, conservative back ground. Our expectations about money, where we would live, where we would attend church and who we would vote for were the same. Some would say that’s boring. What did we say? Voila– no compromising and no fighting.
5. What do your parents or other people think about your potential mate?
It’s not hard to lose perspective in the middle of a passionate and exciting romance. But if your parents or other persons you respect have valid concerns about who you are planning to marry, it may be time to pull back and evaluate their objections.
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