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As a guy who has faced his fair share of rejections and successes in terms of dating, there are several observations I’d like to share about finding the right person to marry. With every success or “failure” in this area, something new and interesting comes up. Please be aware though that I am currently in love, so my analysis may be somewhat biased. Additionally, I am male, so this will be from a male perspective (but it should be very applicable to women too since the underlying basis is about relationships in general).
Do You Want A Wife / Husband?
Whenever you have a problem, it is always a good idea to consider what you want first. After all, how can something be a problem if it isn’t relevant to something you want? Knowing the outcome you want also lets you know what exactly constitutes a solution to the problem.
In this case, the problem is “You’d like to find a husband or wife”, so the first thing to consider is whether you actually want to be married. After all, if you have no desire to actually commit to anyone, no amount of searching will do you any good. Do you want someone to spend the rest of your life with? Do you want an activity partner that you have sex with once in a while (this is not necessarily separate from the person you want to spend your life with)? Do you just want a sex partner?
Keep in mind that “being married” is just a label, like “dating”, or “girlfriend”. “Married” people can range from enemies trying to make each other’s lives miserable, to activity partners who happen to live together, to someone you are madly in love with and want to start a family with. So when you figure out if you really want to be married, also make it clear to yourself what being married means to you.
Fill in the blank:
This is what marriage means to me:
When you’re clear on what you want, we can take a look at what you can do to accomplish that! Take a hard look at your definition. Does your definition of marriage require an actual wedding? Maybe you wrote something like “Two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together”. Well, that doesn’t require an actual “legal” marriage! You can tell someone “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you”, and if he/she says “I love you too – that sounds great!” then you two are “married” according to that definition. The wedding wouldn’t actually be required! If you definitely need a wedding, then a wedding would be part of your definition of a marriage.
“What’s the point of being so nitpicky?” you may wonder. Well, it’s to make sure you know what you want well enough that you can express it to the other person. Imagine the following scenario:
You excitedly asked the other person, “Will you marry me?”
And he/she replies, “Yes!!!”
Then, “Great! When’s the wedding?”
“How about we don’t have a wedding?”
“I thought you want to get married.”
“Huh? How do we do that without a wedding?”
This is actually a “good” case where the difference in definition is apparent before legally binding stuff occurs. What if this conversation happens with one person wanting kids and the other not after they are married for a while? Can you imagine the emotional pain and legal headaches? You need to be clear on what you expect from a husband/wife, so that when he/she says “Yes!!”, it means what you think it means. The only way you can do that is if you know what you’re asking!!
Who Do You Want As A Wife / Husband?
Once you’ve figured out what a marriage entails (so that you know what to ask a potential husband / wife), the question is who to ask! Take a while and think about what qualities you need in someone for marriage.
Fill in the blank:
Here are the qualities I need in a husband / wife:
Like the definition of marriage above, this list will help you determine what you are looking for, so that you spend a minimum amount of time pursuing the wrong people. It lets you determine quickly who to ask and what to ask.
Without this list, one of the most common things that happen is that you meet someone who satisfies some of the qualities on your list. You devote a significant portion of your time into that relationship (say a year or two), only to realize later that this person simply does not have the qualities you need to become your husband or wife. Think about how many people you meet through the course of a year or two. By devoting most of your time to a relatively hopeless relationship, your deprive yourself of the chance of exploring other relationships that might give you what you want!
Consider someone who goes from suboptimal relationship to suboptimal relationship, each lasting 2 years with 2 months in between. Say normally, you have 80 hours a month to socialize with people, but in a relationship (since you need to spend alone time together), you only have 20 hours to socialize with other people. Outside of a relationship, you would have 1920 hours to socialize with people. Locked in a “bad” relationship, you would only have 480 hours to invest in your other potential relationships. You just lost 3/4 of your time by hanging on to a relationship that doesn’t work! Additionally, if you do happen to meet the right person in that 480 hours while you’re in a relationship, you may not be able to pursue him / her!! Since it took you only 2 months (about 160 hours) to find this suboptimal relationship, you have essentially lost the chance for about 12 other potential candidates! (It’s not as black and white as this as we’ll discuss in the where to find a husband / wife section)
Of course, this doesn’t mean you won’t enter into relationships that do satisfy your list and find out later that your list isn’t quite complete. It might take you a few relationships to get your list right. This once again points to the importance of having an accurate idea of what you want! Wouldn’t it be better to take a few months and think it over clearly instead of spending years in relationships that don’t work?
After careful consideration, my list is pretty simple:
Open And Honest
Flexible/Open Minded – Easily Adapts To Change
Has Great Listening And Conflict Resolution Skills
Knows What She Wants
Available – Able To Fit Me Into Her Life
Has Compatible Goals
Loves And Appreciates Me For Who I Am
After I made this list, it only took about a year for me to find what I feel is the perfect person for me.
Partly, it’s because the list allowed me to filter out people very fast. It only takes a few questions to figure out if someone has a decent idea of what they want in life, so that the amount of time invested in “rejecting” a potential candidate is highly minimized.
This does require a bit of faith and a lot of security, as you won’t be going on a lot of dates or doing a lot of “stuff” with people. You’ll need confidence in knowing that what you are doing is right. What this does is maximize your chance of finding the right person and minimize your time spent with the wrong people.
Another great part of this strategy is that it minimizes emotional damage from tangling with the people who don’t fit your criteria, since you get out really early before getting emotionally involved. It also minimizes your chances of rejection, since the one person you find will be highly compatible!
Where To Find A Husband / Wife
Now that we know what you want to ask and who you want to ask, you just have to find that person! In a way, this is both a lot easier and a lot harder than it sounds, as shown in the key to a healthy relationship. Let’s say the person on your list can usually be found in say, a dance class. So you go dancing and eventually find this person. However, since you weren’t really interested in dancing to begin with, this relationship will fade away once your interest in dancing fades. You need long term common interests in order to spend time together!
There is, of course, a chance that the person in dance class may have a long term common interest with you, but why not start at the place of your long term common interest? For example, if you’ve sung your whole life, why not start at the place where you sing? If the dance place person has a long term interest in singing, you’re bound to meet him/her at singing events at some point!
At your singing venues, simply talk to people – it is likely that they are life long singers too! Additionally, you don’t ever have to plan dates in order to get to know the person. Each time you naturally meet at your place of long term common interest, it is automatically a “date”!
For example, one of my long term common interests is coming up with theories about the world in order to expand my awareness and understanding of the universe. In order to do so, I started this website. It is precisely this common interest that attracted the girl that I am in love with.
Were things ever awkward? No, because we had a reason to be talking.
Did we ever run out of things to talk about? No, because we were interested in discussing things to expand our view of the world – a common interest.
Did we ever have to worry about planning a date? No, because events related to our common interest just popped up.
Common interests are the reason that two people should be together in the first place, offering each other value and making each other’s lives better. Long term common interests just mean that the two people would be doing this for a long time!
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go to dance class if you actually are interested in dancing though. If you are working on expanding your long term interests and discovering yourself, then that is perfectly reasonable! Just be aware that the relationships forged there will drop if it turns out that you really weren’t all that interested in it.
And that’s all there is to it!
1) Find out what marriage means to you.
2) Write down the list of qualities in the person you want to marry.
3) Start looking for this person at your normal places of long term interest.
4) Understand yourself and develop long term interests/a life purpose if you don’t have any.
5) Get to know this person and see if they fit your list of qualities, then ask them to marry you if they fit
6) Repeat steps 2-5 until you marry the right person!
Just have faith and soon, the right person will be standing in front of you saying “I do”!
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