As a relationship expert who gives relationship advice on a daily basis, I have determined there are ten basic key factors that determine whether or not a person is right for you. Relationships are a tricky business and getting involved with the wrong person can be destroy your life. How do you know when a person is right for you? I have broken down the top ten ways to determine if you may be with Mr. or Mrs. Right so you may live happily every after.
1. You both have common interests and goals. After the newness of a relationship wears off, what remains is that you are friends and friends have fun together and do things together. If you both work towards a shared goal like purchasing a home, raising a family or saving for a dream vacation, you are working together as a team. For example, a client of mine named Jody wanted to have children but her partner Matt did not. Since Jody was not upfront with Matt in the beginning of their relationship about her goal of having a family, it created stress and arguments in their relationship and eventually they broke up. Share your goals and interests with your partner and if they don’t match up, move on.
2. Make sure that your partner gets along with your family and friends. Even if there are issues or tenseness with your partner’s family, it is extremely important to make a positive effort and be polite. The same goes for your partner’s friends. Since your mate has chosen to have these friends, there must be a reason so don’t try to get in the middle of family and friends. If the relationships weren’t meant to continue, they will eventually end. Also, don’t try to compete with your partner’s friends. It is important to have male and female friends to joke with, share with and do things with. Don’t take this away from your partner.
3. Don’t choose someone just because of his or her external appearance. We all know that beauty fades and what is left when people grow old is their personality and their beauty inside. People, who only marry for superficial reasons such as looks, usually are not able to succeed long-term in a relationship. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if you love someone, they will always be beautiful to you.
4. Don’t marry for money. Time and time again people who marry for money end up in an ugly, costly divorce. Money comes and goes in life but even if you have a billion dollars and are in the fanciest hotel on earth, it won’t make up for the fact that you are with someone who you don’t want to be with and you will end up miserable and unhappy. It’s much more satisfying to look at the stars with someone you love than living in a mansion with someone you can’t stand.
5. Cleanliness. If you meet someone who is a complete slob they won’t change and guess who will end up being resentful and bitter because you have to clean up after them? You. I knew a couple where the man was a neat freak and the woman was a complete slob. Of course the man tried to change his wife and when it didn’t work, he began cleaning up after her. After a period of time, he became angry at her lack of concern for order and they eventually divorced. What may seem petty in the beginning can turn into a huge issue in a marriage.
6. You are both ready for a lifetime commitment. Many people rush into marriage without taking the time to really get to know the other person. Simply dating a person for three to six months does not mean that you really know them. Everyone is on their best behavior when they first meet someone but until you see a person when they are down, in trouble or stressed, you don’t really know them.
7. Similar Spirituality. You don’t necessarily have to be the same religion as your partner but if one person is a devout Christian who attends church every Sunday and another is an atheist out partying all weekend, serious issues can arise. Make sure your beliefs are similar and you discuss these in-depth before deciding to commit long-term. Spiritual beliefs can bring people closer together or tear them apart so make sure you are both on a similar page.
8. Similar diet. Now this may seem silly but it’s more important than you think. If you are a vegan and your partner is a meat eater, choosing restaurants and daily meals together can become a struggle. It is of course possible to order a salad at most restaurants. However, if your partner is not flexible enough to occasionally eat at a vegan restaurant with you or try some new home-cooked veggie dish you made, it can create serious long term relationship issues.
9. Spending time together. You must both make time for each other. For example, a friend of mine names James is, and always will be, a complete workaholic. His wife Jillian is not. She is always forced to compete with his cell phone, meetings and clients and they never go on vacations because he is always working. Soon Jillian began feeling like a mere shadow in James’ life and was only squeezed in between client meetings. They are still together because Jillian is scared to be alone but she is already alone in this relationship and is frequently depressed. Sometimes being in a relationship can be even lonelier than being single so make sure that both people value the relationship enough to make time for each other.
10. Consideration and manners. You are able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and are respectful of their feelings. Compromise is one of the most important elements of a successful relationship. If you become involved with an egomaniac narcissist who only cares about their own needs, you are headed for disaster. These types of people do not have the ability to put someone else’s needs first and only consider their own. Make sure the person you commit to cares as much about you as they do about themselves.
The goal of a long-term relationship and marriage is to be loved and love someone who will be your lover, teammate, friend, confidante and partner you can grow old with. As with everything in life, relationships take work—a lot of work. If you aren’t ready to compromise or willing to put some hard work into it, you’re not ready for a long-term commitment or marriage. I recommend a character check for anyone considering a long-term relationship. Have you done a background check on this person? Are you sure you’re not involved with a convicted felon, a married person or a con artist? Do your homework and screen, screen, screen. For the ladies out there, I recommend searching through the WomanSavers.com database to see if their partner has a trail of unsuccessful relationships. If they do, it is best advised that you proceed with caution.
By Relationship Expert Stephany Alexander
Photo Courtesy of WomanSavers