Finding love is one of the most challenging exercises, even this day and age where everything we need in life is at our fingertips, instantly. What makes it rightfully challenging is the fact that deciding to be with one particular person for the rest of your life is by far the most important decision you will ever make in this lifetime, second only to determining your spiritual destiny if you’re a believer.
Most of us seek a partner, for life or at least for a while. But how do we choose? After all, we meet many people in the course of our daily lives. What makes two people pick one another from among the myriad of available candidates?
There are five considerations we wish to propose for you to think about in your journey, and ones that you could use to evaluate whether you have the right basis to build a future with someone. These are drawn from the universally used FACES principle.
It is said that the fruit does not fall far from the tree. Here we’re concerned with how connected he is to his family members and the quality of these relationships.
Try to determine how much he is able to accept, forgive, and have his family members’ backs. Look for how much he blames or make trouble for his family members and relatives. If there are family feuds where he is directly implicated, how long do these last? Be interested in how he’s able to engage in reconciliatory language.
If he’s coming from a broken family, it’s important to notice how that has shaped his worldview on marriage, family and life. How inclusive or communal is he, or is he isolationist in his approach such that your relationship is walled in? What is his attitude towards women? What is his philosophical view of himself as a man and potential husband? Be interested in who modelled family and marriage for him.
And lastly, never reject a person just because they are coming from a broken family. You’ll be amazed at how great such people are for a marriage partner. But his foundation for who modelled marriage, and what his foundational views are on marriage is what you should be after.
Attitude refers to what’s left in him after his handsomeness. It’s the substance that reflects how he thinks and ultimately how he reacts or behaves, beyond the external appearance.
You need to assess his behaviour when you confront an issue, during conflict, because his substance will be on display. Does he run away or does he stay until the matter is settled amicably. Is he a screamer that bangs his fist against the wall, or is he matured enough to accommodate a dissenting voice? Does he ignore you in moments of anger? Does he insist that his way is the highway? These are sub-traits that are clear indicators from the onset whether he may be Mr Right or Mr Right Now.
We feel society has highly overrated this part on one level, and we’ll tell you why it’s important on the other hand.
True love is impossible where differences don’t exist. When you look for someone to marry, never settle for one you have the most in common with. Compatibility is an achievement of love, but not its precondition. You’ll only know you’ve met “the one” years after marriage, not before.
Furthermore, marital or long-term relationship harmony is unnatural. Harmony between two people is naturalised by sacrifices made in love. It is unnatural due to the fact that human floors and our sinful nature makes us naturally incompatible. Therefore to prioritise and pursue compatibility at any level other than in the moral character of the one you wish to marry is to delay love.
The only time compatibility really matters when looking for a marriage partner is when it comes to their moral character. What are his commitment levels, and how matured is he? Do you have a compatible value system, and attitude towards finances? Do you have a shared understanding of what it means to be in an exclusive long-term relationship like marriage?
That your personalities are different is neither here nor there. You’re supposed to be different, otherwise you’re in a very boring relationship. Differences in personality are great opportunities for true love to flourish. Furthermore, when you marry someone, you don’t marry their personality, but you marry their moral character – integrity, virtue, ethics etc.
When you hook up with someone for life, you commit to their whole past. You commit to their experiences and the decisions they’ve made, whether good or bad. It therefore becomes very important to assess how they’ve made decisions, but importantly how they came out of challenging situations. Judge him by his reaction to circumstances that arise in your relationship. If his reaction is surprisingly bigger than a particular circumstance, then know that you’ve touched a nerve from the past. Openness in this regard is absolutely critical.
This refers to what he brings on the table. How does he handle challenges you face? What are the pluses he has that complement your weaknesses, and vice versa? You want to be in a relationship where you can learn from each other, where you challenge one another towards growth. Assess how resourceful is he, and does he have the creativity and life skills necessary to maintain a long-term commitment?