There are two types of daters: Those who want to get married and those who “say” they want to get married.
People who want to get married keep track of the issues that need to be clarified in order to make a decision to marry or not to marry this person. They date only one person at a time and stay focused.
People who say they want to get married, wait until they fall in love and then think about the possibilities of marriage.
1. YOU FOCUS MORE ON CHEMISTRY THAN ON CHARACTER
Principle: Never marry someone because you’re in love. Falling in love is a state of temporary psychosis. It is the “delusion of fusion.”
Identify the specific character traits you must have in your spouse and know clearly how to @#!*% for each one.
Background checks are essential, Be especially careful to check out the family.
People from warm and loving homes will most likely be emotionally healthy people.
Tool: Look in their face. Look into their eyes and ask yourself: What do I see inside this person? Joy? Pain? Confusion? Sadness? Anger? Etc.
Chemistry means there is physical and sexual attraction. Judaism says you cannot marry someone whom you find disgusting. This means even one physical blemish that you find disgusting is important and should not be dismissed. Can you live with it?
Compatibility: Looking for sameness: same backgrounds, culture, language, interests, politics etc.
Temperament types are important to know. The Meyers-Briggs test as discussed in the book, Please Understand Me is a very useful tool.
2. YOU EXPECT HIM OR HER TO CHANGE AFTER YOU’RE MARRIED
The question you must ask is, “Can I live with this person the way he is now and be happy with him?”
Principle: Never marry potential. This implies bad potential. He’s fifty pound over weight and says he’ll lose weight for you. This is bad potential. If he doesn’t change you’ll resent him.
Discuss your expectations, re: use of time, recreation time, children, money, religious practice, life style, family involvement, etc. You don’t want any surprises!
3. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEEDS OF MEN AND WOMEN
This is all about making sure the male-female energies are in sync.
Men and women each have one core emotional need.
Men want to be respected.
Women want to be cherished, which means they want to be protected, provided for, and guided.
The ultimate prerequisite for a man to get married is that he is ready to take responsibility. He has to be ready to be a “man.”
4. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND WHERE YOU’RE GOING
This means knowing what you stand for in life: Your values, priorities, and goals.
Ideally you should not be considering marriage until you’ve answered life’s most important question: What am I living for?
Two people who have the same life goal have a much greater chance of growing together and staying together in a deeply bonded way.
A soul mate is a goal mate.
Principle: The more clearly and narrowly we define ourselves, the better our chance of finding the right person.
Tools: What are we going to build together?
What are this person’s life commitments?
What does this person stand for? What is he passionate about?
5. YOU GET INVOLVED SEXUALLY TOO QUICKLY
Becoming intimate too soon can be self-defeating because it creates confusion.
- It may create a false sense of commitment and depth.
- It may block you from processing your feelings.
- It may lead to overlooking problems that should not be overlooked.
6. YOU CHOOSE SOMEONE WHO IS ABUSIVE
The definition of an abusive relationship is one in which you are afraid to express your feelings and opinions.
- You don’t feel emotionally safe.
- You have to monitor what you say.
- You walk on egg shells around this person.
- You don’t feel relaxed and don’t feel you can be yourself.
- The person is demanding, controlling, or communicates with anger and criticism.
7. YOU DO NOT HAVE A CONSISTENTLY POSITIVE EMOTIONAL CONNECTION WITH EACH OTHER
A positive emotional connection does not mean you are in love.
Five questions to evaluate if you have a positive emotional connection:
- Do I respect and admire this person?
- Do I trust this person in every way and feel I can rely on his or her judgment?
- Do I feel totally safe with this person (like I feel with my best friend)?
- Do I truly care about this person and have a desire to give to him or her?
- Are we open and honest with each other about our feelings and opinions?
Your greatest tool for measuring the quality of the relationship is your feelings.
Principle: Never dismiss anything that bothers you! Process everything that bothers you.
Principle: The reason why someone doesn’t marry someone is always because of some specific reason. So track it down.
8. YOU DON’T COMMUNICATE WELL
This is very important: You must be sure before you get married that the two of you communicate well.
Good communication means:
- We can talk openly and honestly about our feelings
- We listen to each other and make it safe for each other to express ourselves.
- There is no defensiveness
- We trust that together we can resolve problems
- We have confidence in ourselves that we can repair our breakdowns
- We work well together; we’re a good team
Principle: You must be able to repair breakdowns 100%, which means there is no resentment or bad feelings left over.
Principle: It’s good to have problems when you date to see if you can communicate and work together as a team.
Tool: Look for opportunities to give this person some critical feedback. The important thing is to note how he or she responds: Aggressively and defensively or with humility and openness?
9. YOU HAVE EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE THAT HAS NOT BEEN RESOLVED
When a child experiences any kind of “developmental trauma,” there is a great possibility that this will result in emotional limitations which will negatively impact his or her ability to create emotionally fulfilling relationships.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to believe that marriage will heal or fix their deep inner pain. In many cases, marriage will only make the pain greater and more unbearable!