Who should you marry?

Who should you marry?

Far too often, guys propose to the first girl who comes along who the guy thinks might actually agree to marry him. Certainly not every guy acts out of desperation but many get married without having much dating experience. Not every marriage that begins in that fashion is doomed; my brother married the third girl he ever dated and, after 41 years, they are still together and happy.

Conversely, girls date guys and they hear an internal clock ticking. They have a plan that they will be married by a certain age, start having babies at a certain age, etc. When they get near that self-imposed deadline, they become concerned and, I am convinced, start to lower their standards. Again, not every girl does this, but we all know girls who have gotten married under this or a very simiar scenario.

What does not happen very often is guys or girls having a concrete set of criteria for a marriage prospect. Of course, not everyone is dating to find a future spouse, but that is the ultimate goal of most people who are dating. Many will not admit it for fear of appearing to be desperate or uncool, but it is their goal.

Without any set of criteria, people date whoever comes onto the playing field and they invest significant amounts of time - sometimes years - in a relationship which has no real potential for resulting in a good marriage. If marriage is your goal, why shouldn't you have a set of criteria for evaluating every prospect? If a cute girl comes along and she appears to be fun, most guys will date her but why should you spend any time with her once you learn that she could never be your wife? Of course I know why that happens; the guy is hoping that he will have a sexual relationship with the girl that will satisfy his immediate needs. If that is what you want, there's nothing wrong wth that, but you are probably not ready for marriage. This set of rules is for guys and girls who are ready to find The One and settle down.

1. Do you have a strong physical attraction to this prospect? This alone would never be enough to make a marriage work, but it is an absolutely essential requirement in a successful mariage. After 20 years of a good marriage, your spouse should still have the ability to get you aroused and excited in anticipation of getting close between the sheets.

2. Do you love your partner? Being in love is not the same thing as being in heat or being in lust. Love is that feeling that makes you want to put your partner's needs and wants at the same priority level as your own. Marriage ceremonies frequenty talk about "the two become one." This concept means that, as a married person, you should not think of "my" needs and "his" or "her" needs; you should only think of "our" needs. If you have this - "real love" - it will give you the strength to do many things in a relationship. To keep your relationship strong, there are many things you will need to do that will require strength. A relationship does not survive without love.

3. Do you trust the prospect? If they arrive late for a planned activity and provide you with an excuse, do you automatically believe what they tell you or do you have doubts? When you are in the courting phase, people are on their best behavior. Really good people will remain on thir best behavior for as long as they are with you but some will start sliding into lower standrds of conduct as they become more familiar with you. The point is: when you are courting, this is as good as it gets; it may stay this good or it may get worse, but it will not get better! Girls marry guys for whom they need to make excuses, thinking to themselves that he will grow up after he is married. Simple answer and plain truth: no, he won't! If you don't trust him now, it will not get better. Do you want to be married to someone you don't trust for the rest of your life?

4. Do you respect your potential spouse? Respect is an essential ingredient in a successful relationship. Do you admire him or her? Would they be a good role model for your children? Respect means that, when you have an argument or disagreement with your spouse, you will not feel free to say derogatory things simply because you are angry at them.

5. Will this person be a good biological contributor to your children's heredity? Half of your children's DNA will come from your partner. You want your children to start life healthy and strong, right? Why give them a genetic predisposition to certain conditions that can compromise their health and life expectancy? The first four factors I discussed are absolute requirements. This factor is not an absolute and I am not suggesting that a spouse who has type II diabetes, for example, would not be a good parent. On the other hand, this is not a factor that you should simply ignore, either.

6. Does your potential spouse have enough earning potential to support a family? Money WILL NOT buy you happiness and I would never suggest that you sell yourself to the highest bidder, but . . . if you don't have enough money to pay the mortgage, utilities, etc., your life is going to be miserable. As long as they can support a family, you should not worry about their earning potential. If you are looking for someone who is going to give you a pampered lifestyle, you are not looking for a successful marriage but, instead, a business arrangement.

7. If you have children with this person and you then die, would you trust them to finish raising the children? Girls, would this guy assume the responsibility for an infant or toddler or would he ship them off to their grandparents? Is that what you would want for your kids? Don't assume that something like this couldn't happen to you. If you still cling to that childhood notion that you are invincible and you don't need to plan for worse case scenarios . . . you are not ready for parenthood.

8. Are you proud to introduce your potential mate to your family members, and especially the older family members? Your younger brother may be impressed because the new girl has really big boobs, but your parents and grandparents will be looking at her character and morals. Which do you think is more important?

9. Do you have a significant amount of common interests? It is okay to have some divergent interests but you should have quite a few interests in common. Your interests wll change over the years but, if you begin with common interests, you are more likely to change together. Married life is more than just opening wedding gifts and having sex. The rest of your life will be spent with time devoted to interests and your relationship will be stronger if you are spending that time together.

10. Do you know without a doubt, that you want to marry this person or do you find that you are convincing yourself that marriage is the right thing? If it's right, you won't need convincing. If you're not positive, ask yourself if others see warning signs that you may be overlooking.

Of course, all of these thoughts and feelings should be mutual so you should ask yourself whether your mate would view you favorably when considering these factors.

While many of you may not be read for marriage, that is probably your ultimate goal. Before you get to that point in life, now is the time to ask yourself, "Would my ideal mate see me as a good mate according to these guidelines and, if not, what do I need to do to become that person?"

Good luck!


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What Girls Said 11

  • 2mo

    This is very well written. I think too many people use "the system of marriage" as a scape goat for every reason why marriages don't work out and yet if you truly look at the marriages that do happen and fail, a lot of these issues were never addressed

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  • Nice take.

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  • this is nice :}

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  • i've thought about all of these

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  • This is pretty awesome. @KogaBug

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  • have everything except the first one? so confused

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  • I agree with a lot of what you say. My mom keeps telling me this: "you should marry the one who loves you, not the one who you love." And thinking about this I actually believe it's very true..

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    • You should marry the one with whom you find mutual love. To marry someone who loves you, because of all that they will give you in a relationship, when you don't love them. . I think that would be selfish. If your partner is a wonderful person, don't they deserve to be in a marriage where they are loved? This would violate the fundamental rule of relationships: the Golden Rule.

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    • @19magic A wife person learns from other people's mistakes. Learning what makes marriage go bad doesn't mean avoiding marriage; it only means don't make the same mistakes in choosing a partner. E. g., the couple who are 60 and 70 got married because one of them wanted financial security; that is a horrible reason to get married.

      I hate to see someone so young have such a jaded view of love and marriage. It's wonderful. . . as long as you are with the right person.

    • Thanks hopefully you may be able to change my mind a little 😊. But whenever I think of marriage I think of a piece of paper, an expensive celebration and a long-term commitment which always seems less happy (not saying they're unhappy but not like joyful) by the four years and married Mark if not before.

  • Very good Take! No one really considers these factors. Thank you for your expertise.

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  • I really love this take! Very wise indeed :)

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  • I will marry a man or woman who is spontaneous and funny and can talk to me when there's a problem. Someone who shares the same future goals as I do and is willing to travel and is ok with what I do for a living.

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  • Oh so wise the weiter of this take. Congrats 😀 thank u for a lovely read

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What Guys Said 14

  • I will marry a good women with good morals and values, who will be a good mother to my child/children and wife to me as I will be a good husband to her, christian as well good genetics.

    I agree with your points made all of those factors should be taken into account when looking at a women you could marry one day, everyone of them is important.

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  • LOL this stupid culture of free women and bowing down to them needs to GO. Women have no choice and it's been this way since the beginning of time. It is the decision of the father, who he gives her off to. And buyers of sexual property will contact fathers only.

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    • Does that attitude help you with the women in your life?

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    • "a" question? LOL. Goodbye gramps. Remember me on your death bed

    • That's okay. Your response answered the question, and it was what I expected. You are in for a lonely life.

  • Really good article. Interesting to read comments from the younger (less experienced).
    The modern western world seems to have shifted a little regards gender roles and how they see relationships.
    Never been married myself, I am still open to a more real relationship with the right 'Her'. But I also know Her has to be the glue more then He. And lets not forget that almost indefinable something... the spark, the chemistry, the friendship, and being personally ready and willing for that level of desired growth, commitment and choosing.

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  • Well I would only date to marry but I don't have any idea of some of this yet cause I'm single and only 18.

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  • Step one of solving thsi problem, dont get married and done : )

    you dont need marrige to have an awesome relationship in my eyes : )

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    • Not everyone is oriented for marriage. But. . . there are times in relationships where it requires considerable effort. Being married implies a deeper commitment and makes it more difficult to simply pack your bags and move out.

    • well @OlderAndWiser You are totally correct it is harder for some one to pack their stuff and move out when they enter a bound contract legaley binding them to some one for them to move out.

      As for the considerable effort of course relationships will require effort I won't argue that but i fully disareee with that being married implies deeper commitments to your partner if i was truly happy and commited to a person i should be able to have a sucessful and happy relationship with my partner even without being married to them.

    • "Being married implies a deeper commitment and makes it more difficult to simply pack your bags and move out." This comment was not directed at you in particular. It is an observation of the level of commitment in the general population for cohabiting couples and married couples. Yes, there are cohabiting couples who are deeply committed and married couples who get divorced less than 30 days after they got married. But, in general, married couples make more effort to resolve problems before they separate, and I don't believe it is because of the legally binding contract that is looming in the background.

  • 11. Does she suck dick?
    im just being honest. thats a deal breaker

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  • Who should you marry? God, you make this ridiculously complicated while simultaneously missing the one, the only, the most important factor in any successful marriage: Are you emotionally, mentally, and physically capable of holding a successful marriage? If you keep with all this "Are you in love with xxxx" bullcrap then you'll just end up with kid in a candy store fever and marry with buyer's remorse. No, aside from a few commonalities, the only thing you need is the ability to hold faithful marriage. The only thing your partner needs is the same. If you two can stand one another, then you have a shot at it. All of this other garbage just leads to second guessing, which leads to regret, which leads to divorce, which is many a time unnecessary. There is no "the one". There is no perfect mate. There is you and what you are personally capable of. Don't ever forget that. Your marriage depends on YOU. Not your partner.

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    • Right, there is not one The One. Thee is no perfect mate.

      Wrong, "Your marriage depends on YOU. Not your partner." If your partner is not equally committed to your marriage, it doesn't matter what you do, it will not survive. Been there, done that!

      I have not tried to complicate the matter and I have not encouraged second guessing and divorce. That is a ludicrous statement. You say it is simple: "Are you emotionally, mentally, and physically capable of holding a successful marriage?" Well, what does that mean? Do you really think that physical attraction is not important? Do you think love is irrelevant when deciding whether to ask a girl to marry me? It doesn't matter whether I trust her? Etc?

      Are you married? Have you ever been married? Is/was it a happy marriage at any point in time? I ask because anyone who has been married would agree that every factor I mentioned is important.

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    • Then obviously you chose a partner who is incapable of holding a successful marriage. But other than being a good judge of character, you simply can't know that ahead of time. It's still all up to you. You still have no control over your partner. Either you focus all of your energies on making it work and give yourself the best possible chance you have, or you don't and you fail. What your partner chooses is up to your partner alone. You make the best choice out there in terms of partner selection, then you try with all your will and might to make it work. That will yield your greatest odds of success.

    • Yes, I agree with that! And that has been my approach. My fault has been in the selection process, but I have also learned from making some mistakes (though infidelity was never a mistake that I made.)

  • "After 20 years of a good marriage, your spouse should still have the ability to get you aroused and excited"

    You got to be joking? Mating with only one partner for 20 years is unheard of in entirety of mammalian kingdom. Human beings only get forced into it because marriage is a human made institution that forces such unnatural behavior. No one should be criticized or scorned for being commiting 'adultery'. It is ridiculous to even think that people marry for sex.

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    • I never suggested that people marry for sex. In fact, I said, "This alone would never be enough to make a marriage work, but it is an absolutely essential requirement in a successful marriage." Mating with one partner for 20 years is not unheard of in the animal kingdom. Most humans get married and are faithful to their spouse for 20, 30. or 40+ years of marriage.

      However, not every man or woman is a suitable candidate for marriage, and if you can't contemplate being faithful to a wife, then you should never get married (I assume that you are not married and I hope that assumption is correct.) People who enter marriage with no intention of being monogamous create a ton of problems for themselves and their spouse and all of those problem can easily be avoided.

      You may change your opinion when you get older, or if you eventually fall in love, or if you fall in love and discover that your mate has been unfaithful to you. Good luck with single life.

    • Look at all the virgins who downvoted you.

  • At a time when marriage is irrelevant and a joke in modern society, its a great take.

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  • This take should be promoted

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  • My option, no one.

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  • I'm going to marry a very wise woman who is a Christian, loves Jesus more than anyone, and loves kids.

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    • VonHoffer, you mentioned an extremely important factor. Agreement about religious beliefs and practices makes a marriage easier. It is certainly possible for a Christian and a Jew to have a happy marriage, although it takes some compromises, but it would probably be impossible for a Christian to marry an atheist and be happy, especially when children reach the age where religious training should begin.

  • Very good advice! On number 10 though, there will always be some doubts lingering butbthey shoukd not be strong, more like premarital jitters.

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  • Great insight and a great take.

    I remember messing around with this girl for years on and off until one day it hit me, she will never be my wife. I ended it when i realised i was stopping her from meeting someone else who she would be more suited too. I dont even know where the thought came from, maybe God, i realised i was messing around with someone elses wife.

    I think its imperative that a future marriage starts off on a good solid friendship. Thats effectively what being with someone is. The sex is all part of the bonus but if you have nothing in common and the sex is whats keeping you together then good luck with keeping that up.. it won't last long.

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