How do you find The ONE? To magically stumble upon The One like finding the gold at the end of a rainbow that is being carried by a unicorn with leprechaun jockey. How are you supposed to lasso that magical unicorn before it flies away? Do I want to become like this person?
Marriage is like rolling Play-Doh, the more two different colors are meshed together the harder it becomes to distinguish one from another. In marriage you begin to rub off on each other, subtly taking on traits and characteristics of the other.
Does this thought excite you or does it make you feel like you just digested a can of the before mentioned Play-Doh? Yes in marriage you still are your own person. And you need to have your own identity beyond your spouse. Am I attracted to this person? Tweet That If you can just get your hair, abs, complexion, and clothes just right, then The One will scamper to you like a squirrel to a nut factory. However, attraction runs much deeper than looks. It can prop up an intimacy that has no foundation to sustain it.
And unsuccessfully trying to catch up. Do our core values and beliefs repel or compel each other? One of the greatest causes for conflict in marriage are contradicting core values. We all have values that direct us and help us make decisions — problem is most of us have never articulated what those values are. Not all values are the same and sometimes you can have two very good people with very good values, but those values can feel at war with each other. Both values are good, but if not articulated and discussed it could be a point of high conflict if the responsible person likes consistency and persistence, while the risk-taker likes changing things up and going for the impossible.
Take me for example, one of my core values is authenticity. I struggle being in a job, friendship, situations, etc. Thus my career path has been anything but straight-forward, which could drive any sane person crazy.
Thankfully, my wife has been very supportive because she knew this was the way I was wired from the beginning and it aligns with her core beliefs, as she enjoys change and pursuing things off the beaten path.
Too many marriages start and end with vague and un-identified core values. Are you fitting and conforming to some abstract idea of what you think they want? Or are you blossoming and flourishing into who you really are? Which leads into Question 6…. Does this person challenge me to be a better, authentic version of myself? Is your partner trying to force you to become like some figment of their unrealistic dating imagination?
Or are they challenging you to become a better, authentic you? Not trying to change you, but trying to bring the best to the top.
Or are they trying to bury you under a pile of dirt? How does their family communicate? And am I comfortable if this person begins to communicate with me in the same way? However, for many of us our fallback communication plan will be the one our parents laid out for us. Holidays, especially, are giving you a glimpse into how your partner has been taught and trained.
And the test will come like a train on a dark and stormy night! Do they love from their insecurities or do they love from their strengths? Does their love demand? Or does there love give? Love can be the worst form of manipulation there is. Your partner can look and smell like a rose, and yet continue to prick you with their sharpened barbs. Does your partner seek out ways to understand how you receive love and meet that need?
Do you do the same? When someone loves from their strengths they know who they are and are drawing from a deep, full well to give to you without demanding a drink in return. How does my partner handle money?
Is your partner a saver or a spender? Are they willing to honestly talk about money at all or is the topic taboo? Honestly, going into marriage with my wife I really struggled talking about money. I let money and the honest conversations about it become a wedge in my relationship. Conversations about money can be the great time bomb in a relationship. When you think about your future together, can you list three things that you think would be excruciating to let go?
Maybe leaving your home state and your family feels like an impossibility. Maybe you never want to work a standard job in a cubicle. Identify what you feel are non-negotiables now so you can avoid any large, gaping ravines ahead.
Does religious faith play a role in your present and do you want faith to play a role in your future? What do you truly believe about how to live your life and what happens when you die? Weighty questions, I know, but important ones. I really believe that if there are large differences in your faith now, those will only become bigger and more cumbersome as your relationship progresses.
Especially when kids come into the equation. How will you raise them? What do you want them to believe? Have you both tackled your monsters? Like that yearbook from our awkward years, we all have things we hope our partner will never lay eyes on.
And marriage has the amazing ability to take all that you hoped remained hidden, and put it on stage for a nationally televised interview that your in-laws will be watching.
Tackle your monsters now. Begin to ditch those bags now. Do we enjoy doing the mundane together? Marriage is as every day as it gets. Marriage is budgets, laundry, broken toilets, work, weddings, funerals, births, and everything in between. Because marriage is built on a million more mundane moments than magical.
How do you envision marriage after 10 years? Are you traveling the world with your spouse? Do you have three kids encased in white picket glory? Are you both working corporate jobs? Are you doing missions work in a different country? Do you have six kids and are driving a bus across the nation to perform a family rhythmic gymnastics routine at county fairs? Your plans, goals, and ideas of the future change—but people who refuse to talk about it rarely do.
Bonus Points Can you write a vision statement for you and your relationship together? But with what you know now after going through these questions, can you sit down together and write a vision statement for your relationship?
What will be the goal of your relationship beyond just your relationship? Who and what will you impact together? And free chapters from my debut best-selling book Secrets For Your Twenties. Enter your email below and then check your email for instructions. Like advice from a wiser, funnier, older brother Paul's been there, done that, and wants to save you some pain and some trouble. Share the Love 0 Tweet.