Deciding who to marry is one of the most important decisions a woman will ever make in her life. Taking the time to think about what is desired in a marriage, and knowing the qualities in a mate that would enhance your life is well worth the effort. First, it makes you more focused in the selection process so you can identify what you want. Second, it keeps you from pursuing relationships with individuals who do not meet your qualifications. Knowing what you want (and do not want) beforehand helps to avoid making poor, emotionally driven decisions. Let’s be honest. Irrational emotional decisions lead to most of the relationship disasters we experience. Too many women blindly run into relationships with men only to find out too late that they are completely incompatible. Women can set themselves up for success and stop wasting precious time by working smarter, not harder.
So women, what should we be looking for? What criteria should we use when evaluating a potential suitor who just may become a mate? There are core essentials that every woman should look for because they are the foundation of any successful relationship. The criteria listed below is not for the casual dater or faint at heart. This list is for women who are seriously ready for marriage and want to ensure they are making the wisest decisions possible.
Can You Trust Him?
Trust is the bedrock of a relationship. Women should take this one very seriously. If a person is not trustworthy, then everything else is on extremely shaky ground. Trust is required to feel safe and secure in a relationship. The number of women who justify and rationalize relationships with men they do not trust surprises me. No reason is good enough to justify a relationship with someone who cannot be trusted. This is trusting his fidelity, his commitment to your relationship, his ability to love you, his word every time he speaks, and the list can go on. If anything gives you that uneasy feeling, please trust it. Do not make excuses and try to reason away the things that are showing you he is not trustworthy. You will save yourself a lot of heartache and time. If he does show you he is trustworthy, then you have got a strong foundation to build something good.
Can He Lead?
Leadership ability is a quality that lends great strength to a relationship. Can he handle pressure, make important decisions, manage finances, and pray for his family? These are valid questions. A man should be confident in his ability to lead his family. However, you should be equally confident in your ability to be lead. This is an often misunderstood area because women think following means subservience. This is just not true. Marriage is teamwork and both the husband and wife play vital, yet different, roles. It takes both to make wise decisions. However, the husband is ultimately responsible for the direction his family takes. If you are not confident in his leadership ability or see signs of weakness, it is worth thinking about.
Does He Have Drive?
A man with drive and ambition is focused on a vision for his life. This means that he has a sense of purpose and is willing to work to achieve his goals. This is a priceless asset. It gives us something to support and nurture, which is in our nature. It also satisfies the need for women to feel secure and safe. Knowing you are with someone who had drive gives you the peace of knowing he is going to make it happen somehow and you will not be left holding the bag at the end of the day. You can work together as a team and build the life you want. Choosing wisely at the start will make you much happier with the end results.
Is He Selfless?
This speaks to his actions and the motives behind the actions. Does this person give freely or does there seem to be strings attached to the things he does for you and others? Be sensitive in this area and listen. If it seems something is ‘off’, trust your instincts and walk away. This is important. Don’t push past this warning sign and reason away all of the red flags you see. A selfish person cannot ever be satisfied and will drain your energy, spirit and life. On the other hand, a selfless person will inspire you, encourage you and always put your best interests first. If you are both doing that for each other, then you have an unstoppable team. You will be very glad you made this a priority.
Are You Core-Issue Compatible?
This is a huge area of contention after marriage and honestly should be easily identified and addressed before it gets that far. So, what are core issues? Those are the non-negotiables of life. Do we want children? If so, how many and how will we raise them? Where does career importance fall on our priority list? Does your potential mate have an entrepreneurial spirit and you crave security of a 9-5? These are the areas that are looking us in the eyes after the dust of courtship, weddings and honeymoons settle. Then we may wonder who we married and why. If you are solid on the core issues, then everything else can be worked out. If not, walk away before the ‘I dos’.
Does He Believe?
If you are a Christian, then your potential suitor should be a Christian as well. Having solidarity in spiritual beliefs that guide your life has immeasurable rewards. This will affect how you live every area of your life, and it is too important to compromise. The next step is to determine if you are on the same page spiritually. Yes, you may both be believers but one may tithe and the other does not. That’s going to be a hotly contested money issue down the road. There are a number of things that you could disagree on and still be Christians. So, I recommend that you talk about those things that are most important and dear to your heart. Do not be afraid of losing the person because of your convictions. If they walk away or you have to walk away, they were not meant for you. There is someone that you can agree with and live the life you dream about.
If you are married, how did you know that he was ‘the one’? If you are dating, what are your relationship ‘must-haves’?