Choosing bedlinens and steelware for your kitchen is serious business – Isn’t it? We wouldn’t think twice about the kind of time we invest in even choosing a holiday destination in Europe. How about choosing a flavour of ice-cream? Each flavour seems to have something so special about it. How should we choose? When we invest so much time and energy in these small life decisions, something as crucial as choosing the right partner for marriage cannot be taken lightly.
The result of those choices may at times catch us off guard but we cannot escape making those choices. Despite your best efforts, so much can go wrong so quickly while choosing your life partner. But there are certain qualities to look for in a life partner because choosing your life partner is also choosing your future.
It’s not uncommon for such a loaded decision to be steeped in a messy and haphazard process earmarked by familial pressure, rushed intentions and the desire to make everything look and feel ‘pleasant’. That’s why it becomes even more critical to exercise due diligence when making this decision.
Related Reading: Things To Discuss Before Marriage With Your Prospective Life Partner
How To Choose The Right Partner For Marriage?
Nowadays, in the dating market, everyone’s a swipe from the first stages of acceptance or rejection. However, it’s important to realize that your potential life partner is so much more than ‘the winning horse’ in a race you’ve decided to bet on. If you have to choose the right man to marry or choose the right woman to marry it has to be a well thought out decision, it cannot happen with a swipe over Tinder.
I see so many clients who like to play and test out the love-game with multiple folks – till a certain fairytale plays out in their minds. A person may feel like they are betting on one choice against the other. The process can be frightening and even humiliating. The resulting experience is used to inform bolder decisions when finding a life partner.
The choices return.
In today’s ‘eternal hunt’ for ‘eternal love’, it’s not uncommon to choose quickly and adjust selectively. We want our final decisions to be permanent ones.
The smart way to choose your partner wisely is to have a handy reference guide in your mind – of topics, you must unflinchingly talk about before you reach any form of finality in your decision-making process. What questions to ask when choosing a life partner and also factors to consider while choosing a life partner. This process will address the ‘How do I choose a life partner?’ in full earnest and help fine-tune your selection criteria.
When looking for a partner for marriage, the key is to remember that ‘happily-ever-after’ isn’t arrived upon in one day.
Focus on the qualities of a life partner
As humans, we to need each other as much as we continue to feed each other. Armed with a zeal of finding a life partner, you’ll probably trip and jump around a little bit. This is normal. In gauging the limits of your dreams, hopes and aspirations, clarity becomes your best friend through the rumble and tumble of life.
After all, if you’re reading this, you’re probably clear about not wanting to ‘go at it’ alone.
A life partner can fulfil so many roles. The role of a co-traveller on a journey that’s long as well as confusing. A confidante with whom you can be honest and spontaneous. A co-pilot you can navigate the hoops of life. A partner you’ll share pickle memories from different eras with.
Whether it’s parenthood, financial planning, social life or old age, you and your partner will work together as a team on an endless project called ‘how do we get this to work?’
So when you think about the qualities of a life partner, take the longevity of this journey into account. It’s hard to successfully preempt the tricky questions and unpleasant truths of life’s many dissecting paths.
It all boils down to how to choose the right person to marry. In making that choice, there is only one thing that really counts – sharing your life journey with a partner who brings you joy, growth, hope and clarity rather than someone who brings you derision, pain, sorrow, loneliness and anxiety.
Related Reading: 25 Questions You Should Ask Before Getting Married
8 Things To Discuss When Choosing The Right Life Partner For Marriage
What factors should you consider when choosing the right life partner for marriage? Society commonly expects your choice of a life partner to be the socio-intellectual culmination of all the supposedly great decision making you’ve learnt from your upbringing. Couplehood is, thus, seen as the ultimate hoisting of your adult life’s many well-meaning and functional pursuits.
Since a lot of what we decide reflects our conditioning, it’s important to be rationally informed before big decisions are made. For instance if you met someone online then do your research really well before you even agree to meet them in person. Then keep a watch out for the relationship red flags because these small things could end up to be a deal-breaker.
A flexible attitude is important in choosing your life partner since good decisions are a largely collaborative and iterative process. But keep asking those important questions before you make your final choice.
Wondering how do I choose a life partner? Here are 8 things to talk about with someone before you decide whether or not they have the qualities of a life partner that you’re seeking:
Related Reading: 12 Things You Should Never Compromise On In A Relationship
1. Money talk is essential when finding a life partner
Wealth generation, growth and preservation is an important part of a couple’s resolve to plan a life together. Two people could have very different ideas of what it takes to keep a bank book and investment portfolio looking healthy.
To agree on shared financial goals and how the money would be used is an essential, albeit possibly controversial topic since people may approach money with learned attitudes that they are inflexible about.
A family’s financial cushion buffers it from the many vagaries of life. That is why discussing the outlook on money is important when finding a life partner. Also it is very important to know if you are carrying any debts into the marriage like student loans and how you plan to deal with it after you tie the knot.
Choosing the right partner for marriage is also about finding out if you are on the same page about spending and saving habits and how you can safeguard yourself against financial infidelity.
2. Focus on values when choosing your life partner
While this may not seem like the most obvious choice of a topic to venture into, it’s important to discuss your shared core, personal and family values. Values could include freedom, equality, loyalty, hard work, integrity, honesty, community, creativity, harmony and even flexibility.
It’s vital to ascertain how many of these values are shared when choosing your life partner to understand whether or not you’re the right fit for each other.
If your value system is at loggerheads – for instance if he thinks that meeting parents once a year on Christmas is fine and you believe that you should be the constant support system to ageing parents – then this could spell disaster in future.
3. Take parenting goals into account when looking for a partner for marriage
Bringing a child into this world is the culmination of couplehood. Therefore, it is important to talk about ‘if one wants children’, ‘how many children’ and ‘when is the right time to have children’ when looking for a partner for marriage.
This helps put both the parties take on the subject in perspective.
Parenting can be austere and secretive or open and liberal, depending on the tone set by parents. What entails discipline? How does a child feel loved and nurtured? You must discuss these aspects with a potential partner before making your decision.
It is inevitable that you would make some parenting mistakes as you take on the long journey as parents but then also you have to know if you can correct yourself and move on or you would end up fighting over the small things.
4. How to choose the right person to marry? Talk about your families
A life partner shares not just your life but also your enmeshment with the people you grew up with. As such, you must gauge each other’s comfort or unease around the people who matter. This can help in finding healthy middle grounds where affection, neutrality and goodwill thrive organically.
If you feel lost about how to choose the right person to marry, focusing on their take on families can definitely give you some clarity. Some people have had toxic parents and they carry that toxicity into their relationships but some people want to correct the terrible mistakes their parents made and they want to change what was wrong in their childhood.
Sometimes being an only child comes with a sense of entitlement. They might not be bad human beings but you have to know how you can deal with each other.
Their attachment style to their parents and families will tell you how your future with them would look like.
Related Reading: Tips for Getting Through The First Year Of Marriage
5. Talk about winning and losing to assess the qualities of a life partner
A couple needs to find cohesion and clarity through life’s many difficult patches such as old age, career debacles, psychological issues and health problems. Therefore, you need to ask a potential partner what winning or losing means to them.
For some, winning is equated with infallibility and for others, it could be equated with freedom and joy. Some may view losing as a loss of leverage. To others, it can mean a loss of faith.
Being fixated with infallibility and an attitude to win at all costs are definitely qualities to avoid in a partner. The ambition and drive in such people can eclipse their relationships and partners. A couple’s goals and dreams may swell and crash like a tide but what stays is a clear sight of where the shore lies.
6. Discuss upgrade and growth to choose your partner wisely
Assess if you and the other person are committed to a lifetime of injecting freshness of perspectives in each other’s journeys. Things can get old pretty quick. A fidelity of purpose to the act of staying on one’s toes, being nimble and growth-oriented is what keeps a couple invested in each other.
Why is this important? Is the person you’re considering as a potential life partner even ready for this? Talk about it. A couple that stops discovering new ideas, pursuits and perspectives begins to take each other for granted.
Such rehearsed attitudes can wreak havoc in a relationship. It’s important to see change as an essential part of staying in love with each other after the initial spark dies out. Also check out attitudes to things like a lady earning more in the relationship or getting a promotion with a better raise, are they open to the idea?
Related Reading: 12 Signs You Have Found Your Soulmate
7. How do I choose a life partner? Explore shared passion
A couple without passion soon becomes a couple without purpose. Human beings are at their best when they’re innovating and driven by passion. Why is this necessary? We’re a progressive and adaptive species.
Shared passions and projects become the binding force that connects a couple intellectually. It also gives them the feeling of building something together that extends far beyond the reaches of child-rearing or the live-in logistics of bills, laundry and grocery expenses. Looking into shared passions is very important for choosing the right life partner for marriage.
What really defines you as a couple? Maybe there’s something you’ll learn to do together like cooking, dancing or even playing a board game.
A shared passion is a way of reminding each other that ‘there is a WE & there is also a ME’ – something many relationships tend to forget.
8. Most importantly, talk about what love means
Does this sound philosophical? Different couples express their warmth and compassion in different ways. What does a potential life partner expect from you to feel loved by you? Is it a word of affirmation, physical touch, a gift, an act of service or quality time?
The five love languages are common knowledge but what is uncommon is a dialogue between couples where the question ‘what do you need from me to feel loved’ is clearly addressed. Most people can’t read a partner’s minds nor gauge intent without some of their personal biases and agendas coloring the interpretation.
This is why ambiguity can be a problem. Expressing love should ideally be the culmination of knowing what form and force it should take.
Love has to be accompanied by respect otherwise love will never blossom. When you are choosing the right life partner for marriage you have to ensure that respect comes as easily to them as love.
You must not fear these ‘intense conversations’ once you feel like your relationship is gaining momentum. A conversation about ‘what defines your couplehood’ and journey together adds both intensity and insight into a life that you’ll possibly be sharing.
If you still find yourself lost for direction in choosing your life partner, consider pre-marital counseling for clarity. Our experts can help.