“I want to marry only Mr. Right.” was my mantra when I was still single. As if to re-echo my thoughts, I heard my very close (single) male friends say, “I will only marry someone if I know she´s the one”, whenever asked about marriage.
But that´s exactly the question, how would you know that she´s the one?
One reader took time to email me requesting that this topic be addressed here at Offbeat Marriage.
Good Day! I enjoyed some of your write ups on the characters of a good wife but what I was actually looking for was tips on how to choose a good partner who eventually becomes your wife. How do I know this lady is the right woman for me? She may possess all the good characters & qualities of a good wife, but is she the one for me? Please, I would love for u to enlighten me. ~ Emmanuel
Everyone wants to marry the right person although finding the right one can sometimes be a challenging journey. But first things first, what are the things you need to look for in your future spouse?
This is the part I to our advice for Emmanuel. On our next post, we´ll tackle the step by step guide on How to Choose the Right Companion.
Taking from the advice of Dr. Julian Melgosa and Annette D. Melgosa in their book, To Couples (Enjoying a stable, lifelong relationship), there are five things to look for in him or her.
1. Character and Personality
While dating, “it´s useful to observe the characteristics and traits of a future spouse. His or her goodness, good temperament, emotional stability and maturity, integrity, or strength in facing diffilculties are some of the desirable traits to look for in a partner. Irritability, lack of control and pessimism are to be avoided.”
Personally, I have dated only good men. This is because we usually start first as friends. While being friends, I observe his behaviour and traits, and I´d know if I can date him. I´ve never had “love at first sight”. It´s always a take-your-time, get-to-know-first kind of process.
Also, it´s in this step, in identifying one´s personality, where I used the elimination method. Does he smoke, drink alcohol or gamble? Does he got tattoos or does he wear earrings? Is he a womanizer? Lazy? Disrespectful towards the elderly? If I say “yes” to at least one of these questions, then it´s unlikely I would date him (again).
“While it is generally true that age is no barrier to love, there should not be a large age gap between future spouses. Marriage consists in living in tandem and this is made more difficult, the greater the differences.”
In my German language course, I’ve made good friends with two black African women who are either in late twenties or early thirties. Both were married to a Deutsch man, both have two small kids, and both are separated. The common denominator in their marriage is, they were both married to an old man with about forty years or more, age gap.
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They have different reasons why they separated from their husbands but they also have one common complain about their husbands – the old husband could not fulfill the sexual needs of the young wife.
Just as Melgosa authors have pointed out, marriage is supposed to be a tandem, a team work. That means being able to do things together, share everyday life´s experiences and laugh together. And not while one partner is running around at the prime of life, the other partner is lying in bed due to old age.
3. Level of Education
“The level of academic achievement should be another aspect which should be taken into account when choosing a companion. Any relationship between two people includes an intellectual component involving conversations, objectives and activities, which becomes more difficult when there are large differences between partners in terms of educational levels.”
When I was younger, my number requirement in choosing a boyfriend is intellect. I was a achiever (so I thought) and I required that the man should surpass my academic achievements. In short, he should be smarter and brighter than me. I had some good young men who were interested of me whom i didn´t give a chance.
But they say that as you get older, your qualifications decrease. Well, for me, it was not the call of biological clock which prompted me to reconsider my #1 qualification, but it´s because I’ve dated a man who was very intelligent but who didn´t have a command.
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I knew that I never wanted a man who will be under my skirt. I realized that being highly intellectual does not mean having a command.
I also met some men who are not very academic but are smart in handling life and good in making choices and decisions.
I remembered my university Maths professor. She was very bright and she completed her masterals and doctorate degree in the most prestigious university in the Philippines with flying colors. But she´s married to a man who´s got an undergrad degree but was nowhere her academic achievements. However, their marriage was a complementary because while she was very good in theories, her husband is smarter in application and in real life situations.
But if you´re someone with a doctorate degree and you´re married to someone who has not completed high school, you will find your education gap a disadvantage when it comes to discussions and reasoning especially if you´re to arrive at a mutual decision.
“Those who believe and live according to religious teachings need to find someone who shares their convictions and practices. This aspect is of vital importance for the success of marriage as religious beliefs imply a philosophy which determines our lifestyle.”
I´m in an interfaith marriage and while I knew the consequences of signing up to such an offbeat marriage and still made a concious decision, I would never recommend interfaith to anyone especially to those who live by their religious beliefs.
The clash of beliefs in marriage, unless both of you agree to become passive and lukewarm believers, fuel inevitable arguments. And many more arguments will come once the children arrive and you decide how to raise them and which faith to teach them.
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5. Social Class
“Although we may always find examples of happy couples who come from different social classes, it should be recognized that wide social differences may cause upsets in a relationship between two people.”
“It is therefore convenient set one´s sights on someone from a similar class. In fact, this usually happens naturally through normal work and leisure environments.”
While a commoner Kate Middleton successfully wed the future king of England, Prince William, it was not an easy feat for her. She had to wait eight years and endure public ridicules such as being dubbed as “Waity Katie”, “Lazy Katie” and “Social Climber”. I´m sure it required determination.
So these are the 5 things that you need to look for in her, the initial steps in identifying if she can be the right future spouse for you.
If you´d like to quickly know the answer in just a few dates, I highly recommend you read the book – Date or Soul Mate?: How to Know If Someone Is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less.
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