People should get married for love, right?! This is a fact to many and most do, but some don’t. Those that don’t won’t admit they’re marrying for other reasons. They don’t admit it, because people are appalled to think of someone getting married for financial stability, social status, companionship, to have children, or to feel like they’ve met a life milestone. It’s seems wrong to us…somehow false and using.
Instead, we look for love and when we find it we assume it means that we should be with that person for the rest of our life. Love is curious that way. Even if the person we love is a bad match, we still think they’re “the one.” The problem is, ultimately our marriage will crumble and the effort it takes to carry on is unimaginable when we marry a bad match. Most people stay in love with their spouse and stay married, but live in misery.
I’ve talked with countless married men and women who wait to leave their marriage. They say, “nothing really bad has happened” as if to indicate that they must have a solid reason to leave. Like you shouldn’t quit a marriage unless infidelity, abuse, or addiction are present? There are countless reasons to leave a marriage other than these major ones.
However, this blog entry isn’t about when people should stay married or get divorced. The focus of this one is on determining who you should marry.
Love isn’t enough. Marriage takes more than love. Similarly, choosing a mate based on the factors I mentioned in the first paragraph aren’t enough either. The best way to fireproof your marriage and make it AMAZING…is to start with the selection process. Very people are lucky enough to find the below in one person if they don’t know it’s important. You don’t need to “look” for this, but rather just be mindful of it and make sure it’s there before you commit legally.
- Soulful Connection: This is not a soul mate (aka “the one” you’re destined to marry). What this refers to is the deep bond that is emotional, physical, and intellectual. You just fit together. You don’t need to establish a physical rhythm, because it’s already there. Your hand feels right in theirs. This kind of connection is felt immediately and is so intrusive that you’re overwhelmed. There is an immediate ease and flow of conversation and doing nothing with them feels like everything. Soulful connection goes way beyond love. When you feel it for someone and part…you’re devastated.
- Deep Friendship: We all have a best friend. This best friend is someone with whom we are honest and authentic. We are real in our opinion and advice. We are silly and playful. We are open and vulnerable, because we not they won’t try to hurt us. We won’t try to injure them either. We don’t hit them below the belt or use something against them. We allow them to make mistakes and also to recover and grow from those experiences. If they do something wrong we don’t attack their character. We don’t blame or shame them. We don’t abandon them. You can have this type of deep friendship with your romantic partner.
- Compatibility: You should have some shared interests and do things together other than just the mundane tasks of living. However, compatibility doesn’t just mean that you share these things. It’s bigger than that. It means your likes, dislikes, idiosyncrasies, dreams, goals, and pet peeves whether different or similar seem to mesh. They are compatible. Each person is different and imperfect, but even so they can “work” with another.
- Passion: You champion your partner’s interests and desires. You’re their biggest cheerleader and supporter. You want them to be happy and succeed. You help them make their dreams come true. Your passion for them and your passion for their passion is your priority.
- Sexual Appetite: Physical excitement is hugely important for sustained connection. There’s a period of time where you will need to learn each other’s body, but doing so only makes it better. This sexual appetite for your partner is insatiable. You want to have sex with them even when you don’t have time for it. You crave that type and level of intimacy with them. Pleasuring them makes it even better. And… the sex should be at best amazing and at worst just good. Never unfulfilling. Having sex any less than a minimum of several times a week is unthinkable.
When these five variables are present in a union… having a great relationship is possible. Not just a good one, a great one. They have to exist fully on both sides of the relationship. If just one is missing… then greatness will also be absent.
Life gets in the way of every relationship. This will have less of an impact if you start strong.
So, be mindful. Choose wisely. If, and when, you find them make sure to “attend” to your relationship every day. Deal with conflicts, because you will disagree at times. Continue to date and travel as a couple even when you have children. Your life can’t be only about the kids and family. See the hardships as potential bonding moments.
Select wisely and start strong!!!!
By Delicia Mclean, Ph.D., MHA