In the last post, I never got the man I wanted; we talked about the ridiculous things we sometimes have on our list for a future spouse. It would be wrong for me to criticize something without offering a solution. Today’s piece is that solution – so, what should you have in your list? What should you consider in a future partner?
Before we proceed I want us to get a few things straight:
- Put your feelings aside – this has nothing to do with how you feel about that person, this is about facts. If people behaved well just because we love them, the world would be a beautiful place but sadly that’s not the case. Be sober. If you feel your emotions are getting in the way, ask trusted friends to give you their honest opinion.
- You cannot change any person – change is slow and deliberate and can only come from within. You need to ask yourself, “I’m I able to live with him even if he never changes?”
- Issues you see now while in a relationship only get worse in marriage – if he treats you the way he does when you two are so in love, how do you think he will treat you when you’re married and the feelings are no longer there?
- The person you are dating is going to be the father or mother of your children – as you judge this man or woman, don’t just think about yourself, consider what kind of parent they will be.
- See things for what they really are – don’t sugar coat, don’t make excuses for them. If it’s bad, then it’s bad.
- Differentiate between skills that can be learned and character problems. For instance, I have a friend whose ex-boyfriend could never come for dates on time. He even missed seeing her off at the airport yet she was leaving for a year! I asked her, “Does he get late for work or for appointments with clients?” No. Here’s my point: If this guy was late for everything – work, dates etc, then it’s a punctuality thing and that is something he can learn. If he’s only late for your events, then it stops being a punctuality issue, and it now tells you where he ranks your relationship.
Religion – this ranks way up there. She’s Muslim and you are Christian. Really? What are you going to teach your kids? You must be on the same page here because it will constantly show up in marriage. Christians, that verse in 2 Corinthians 6:14 that says do not be unequally yoked with non-believers is not for God, it is for your own good. I once dated a non-believer – many years before I met my hubby 🙂 We disagreed on everything major; he wanted sex before marriage *ahem*, he disliked the way I served in church… need I say more?
Money – how does he/she handle money? Where we spend our money says so much about who we are! Like they say in the movies when they’re trying to solve a crime, follow the money. *Peter and *Mary have been married for 2 years. Peter has a job but Mary never sees the money. Peter has debts all over the place – he even owes money to some of Mary’s friends! This guy doesn’t drink or even club. Where does the money go?
Deceit: not keeping their word – we always laugh when we hear someone in the bus lie on the phone about where they are, “I’m in town”. We think telling lies is such a small thing. I disagree. Deceit is a huge thing – because it is tightly tied to trust. If he lies about where he is now, will you believe him when you’re home alone at 11pm and he says he’s working late? How do you expect a man who can’t keep a small promise to keep his vows to you? And if he can lie to you through his teeth, imagine how many times he will disappoint your children!
These are a few things we should consider when writing our list. There are many more, some of which we will discuss in our next post. If you’re in a relationship and you’re feeling unsure about some character issues your partner has, I say trust your instinct. If you have been seeing some of these red flags we’re talking about, then do something about it.