Who should you date; who should you marry?

OlderAndWiser u

YOU must fill in the blanks!
YOU must fill in the blanks!

How many of you actually have a concrete set of criteria for a marriage prospect? I’m talking about criteria that are so specific that you could write them on paper like bullet points. And, then . . . how many of you actually think about those criteria when you are considering a dating prospect?

Of course, not everyone is dating to find a future spouse, but that is the ultimate goal of many – maybe most - people who are dating. Especially for guys, it is not cool to admit that you want to get married and have kids eventually, but that really is what you want . . . isn’t it?

Without having any set of defined criteria, people date whoever comes along and is available and willing. They invest significant amounts of time - sometimes years - in a relationship which has no real potential for resulting in a good marriage; it is doomed to failure and that is obvious to everyone except the two people who are actually in the relationship.

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, if you are ready to settle down, why should you spend any time with her once you learn that she could never be your wife?

Do women like this actually exist?  You bet!
Do women like this actually exist? You bet!

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. And then, some sort of magic will happen and she will be transformed into a great prospect for the future Mrs. Or the girl thinks that once they start having sex, he is going to become more responsible and stop getting high every day.

He won't stop for you.
He won't stop for you.

If that is how you are operating, 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 biological attraction to this prospect? I know that it is PC to say that you shouldn’t judge someone by their physical appearance. If you are hiring a secretary or a route driver, that may be true. But a marriage is more than a friendship. It is a sexual union and the idea of pretending to be attracted to someone is stupid.

Of course, physical attraction alone is not enough to make a marriage work, but it is an absolutely essential requirement in a successful marriage. After 20 years of a good marriage, your spouse should still have the ability to get you aroused and excited in anticipation of getting in bed for up close time.

Yes, older people still have sex!
Yes, older people still have sex!

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. 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 necessary to maintain a relationship. A relationship simply does not survive without love.

3. Do you trust the prospect? If they arrive late for a planned rendezvous and provide you with an excuse, do you automatically believe what they tell you or do you have doubts? When “courting,” people are on their best behavior. Really good people will remain on their best behavior for as long as they are with you but some will start backsliding as they become more comfortable 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!

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.

This guy fits my fantasy image for what the devil looks like!
This guy fits my fantasy image for what the devil looks like!

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.

It may sound harsh to consider something about a potential spouse that is totally out of their control. Some might say that you are punishing the person for something that is not their fault. No, deciding to not consider someone as a potential spouse it is not a punishment. And, I can assure you, having a baby born with a genetic defect or a very strong disposition to a life threatening disease IS very harsh.

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome

6. Does your potential spouse have enough earning potential to support a family? Will she be a good stay-at-home mom (if that is what you want.) 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.

Thinking about this does not make you a gold digger! 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.

Guys, have you seen her in action with infants and small children? Some women talk a good game but quickly get frustrated when a baby won't stop crying. Invite her to babysit your brother's kids one Friday night. You need to see what happens. Hopefully, what you see is wonderful and magical!

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 take care of an infant or toddler or would he ship them off to their grandparents?

Not all fathers make good single parents
Not all fathers make good single parents

Is that what you would want for your kids? Don't assume that something like this couldn't happen to you. These things do happen and very few people ever plan for it, but 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. Your sister may be impressed with the car that he drives. However, your parents and grandparents will be looking at his or her character and morals. Which do you think is more important? (Hint: those big boobs will sag as she gets older, but her character probably won’t. And that car won’t be around forever.)

9. Do you have significant differences in cultural or religious backgrounds? If you are French and he is Saudi, you may think you have passed all the tests but what about those cultural differences? After marriage, he might want to return to Saudi Arabia. Or he may have certain expectations about how a wife is “supposed to behave,” based upon his experiences in Saudi Arabia. Maybe he wants his children raised in a strictly religious household and you do not.

Is this for you and your children?
Is this for you and your children?

Those are very important factors to consider.

10. Have you two weathered some storms together?

I am not talking about storms literally!
I am not talking about storms literally!

Have you had some arguments and gone through the process of resolving some conflicts together? Some people come unhinged when the stress begins. Does he get violent or make threats? Does she throw things, call you names, tell you that she doesn’t love you anymore?

All marriages experience conflict! The test of a marriage is not whether you ever have conflicts but, instead, how you handle them when they do arise. Do you have enough experience to with your partner to have those questions answered?

11. 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 will change over the years, especially if you are under age 25, but if you begin with some 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 your children and to your interests and your relationship will be stronger if you are spending that time together.

12. 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.

It's not too late to turn back!
It's not too late to turn back!

All of these questions are not equally important and only you can decide which issues are most important for your long term happiness. Remember that, once you are married, you are expected to not run to court to get divorced at the first sign if conflict but you are expected to stay and work on the problems you encounter. Is this someone with whom you will stand for better or for worse?

Finally, many of you may not be ready for marriage, but 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!

Who should you date; who should you marry?
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Grobmate
    Another great mytake from you sir! I would add the following points:

    1. Her Mother
    What kind if relationship does she have with her Mother. Is she independent or does her mother interfere with her decisions? A lot of women become their mothers, yes the same is often true for Men becoming their fathers.

    2. Were ger parents abusive? If so she can bring abusive behaviour to an otherwise happy relationship. This personality may lay dorment for a long time until a ring hita the finger, so pay close attention.

    3. What are her friends like? Burds of a feather flock together. When you lie with dogs you get fleas. If her friends lack values and morals you desire pay close attention, to ensure that she isn't like them. This will usually become apparent on social media especially.

    4. Do her worda always match her action? If she says one thing but does the complete opposite, that's a red flag.
    Is this still revelant?
    • I often say, "If you want to know what a girl will be like as a wife, years from now, look at her mother." And, "Girls, if you want to know how he will treat you years from now, look at how he treats his mother."

    • Grobmate

      Mmhmm, I've seen it enough to almost declare it a fact.

    • That makes me feel bad, I love my mother so much but I don’t want to turn out like her😅😅

    • Show All
  • Very well written, you offer solid points to think on!
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Girls

  • Azlina
    That was top-notch. I love the last para which is what I was thinking throughout reading your take.
    Is this still revelant?
  • StingRayxoxo
    Well said, sir.
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

1016
  • SEntertainment
    Yep. The answer to almost all these back when I was dating my ex wife was no.

    The young lady I've had feelings for since childhood, most of them are yes.

    Way to go me.
  • Xoxocutekitty
    I have specific bullet points and a system that I build with each person that I date. In a way, it's contractual dating. Like everyone wants to be married, but lets take the time to break down compatibility and focus on the small problems so that by the time we walk down the aisle, I know your weak areas, and I won't be disillusioned. I will know that another person is weaker (as am i in areas) and I won't judge them as harshly while still encouraging them to grow and develop.
    I start of with general likeability, and if someone want to be my boyfriend, they have to demonstrate that they have romantic feelings, and ability to communicate (no being left on read), and a desire to grow into a more mature partner. There is an agreed amount of time to date without expectations to let feelings grow, but then the boyfriend/girlfriend label means "I am going to work on myself so that WE are sustainable."
    In order to live with me, I want them to work on lifestyle skills like cooking and cleaning and being a "compatible" roommate for me before finding out habits. They can do this while we are living separately as boyfriend/girlfriend. No one is perfect, but it's much easier to work with a "I don't like cleaning the bathroom" vs a "why should i have to clean the bathroom at all?" I want someone to start valuing cooking regularly and "coming home" to eat, rather than later "feeling a loss of independence" should I want them to come home for dinner say 4-5 nights a week. I don't want to cook 5 nights a week, as I would like them to also contribute some. I want a partner to already be in the habit of cooking weekly for themselves and I realize that is a lifetyle change that happens gradually. Hopefully by spending time with me, they will come to value cooking at home and then take it upon themselves to start doing it if they do not already. By the time we move in, they have something to "offer" and are not resentful that their life is "slowing down."
    In order to get engaged, there should be serious conversations about what expecations about marriage include. What sorts of expectations do they have for a wife? and for me a husband? I want to dispell these illusions BEFORE signing the paperwork and having to figure out that they treat a wife differently than a girlfriend. Again, it is much easier to work with a "I guess I assumed a wife always does the laundry" then a "stop asking your husband to do the laundry, that's not my job." I know I am equally guilty about assuming a husband will fix the leaky pipes or mow the lawn and I can work on it.
    I would like to think based on this, by the time we are actually married, we can celebrate the ways in which we have grown towards each other, and can then start our own life taking risks, buying a house, parenting together.
    • I like the analogy of auditioning a woman for the role of leading lady in my life, and then dating is like rehearsing for opening night.

    • that makes sense. If they can do the rehearsal well, then you can have more confidence about how the play will carry on.

  • rose004b
    Regarding point #6, some women who are or could be great mothers don't necessarily like to deal with other people's kids.
  • Grond21
    Excellent mytake! Very well said and very thoughtful.

    I actually do have a list that is already written out, and is something I take into consideration every time. It's why I'm not dating now in fact
    • It is probably better to not date at all than to date the wrong women. I assume that is what you have decided, yes?

    • Grond21

      Yes exactly. I've always known that I would date for the purpose of finding a wife. I decided not to date through freshman year in college because of that. And I have not found someone I'm interested in seriously since then, so I have not dated. Which is hard, but I still feel like is the right choice.

  • almondcake
    Are you really 64 ? You know the answer to this and it is dont marry anyone ever , why it just is a waste of money and a stress un needed on a happy relationship. You must know this to be true
    • That may be true for you but everyone does not join in your opinion of the institution. If you were burned in a bad marriage, you have my condolences.

    • Its got nothing to do with my marriage lol its to do with marriage , I only got married for legal reasons but these laws have changed in the UK now so there is no need at all legally for a guy to get married here and my wedding day cost me £50 including the ring , it was just a legal thing to do with the children and my rights

    • @Almondcake stop being such a killjoy.

    • Show All
  • Twalli
    I discuss long term plans if it appears we have a connection. Like if you want to eventually get married, we are compatible. If you want to give birth it's a hard sell to keep me. If you want poly love or a friends with benefits we are not compatible. I only do this if the relationship shows promise of being long term. We're usually already exclusive, but haven't had sex.
  • ShadowofRegret
    Excellent take sir.

    Unfortunately, I feel that many young people often overlook these things.
    • I appreciate your kind words!

    • Azlina

      Is 19 considered to be young people? TT

    • @Azlina Age 19 is relatively inexperienced.

    • Show All
  • CandacePerry
    It ok. Learning disabilities are not object. There more then one disabilities. Eg austim, 18p and down syomdrome. It not life frightening at. Is just a defet. Any parent could have a child with learning disabilities. No matter what she.
  • CarpetDenim
    I wouldn’t date anyone I couldn’t seriously see myself marrying one day.
  • Iron_Man
    An old fashion style good Christian woman with great moral values someone as beautiful inside as she is on the outside.
    That's my keeper
  • Mollynotgemma
    I haven’t read all of the above as I think I get the gist of what you’re saying! I think people settle for someone they think they should as opposed to who they genuinely have a connection with! Often people marry someone they met previously and never looked at that on that way because it was too easy. We all go for the person we can’t get as it’s about winning someone and then when you have them they are not what you want and the game is over! Life is about dating the most attractive and showing that relationship off. It’s about dating the person people bully that you date in secret for fear of judgement which shows you up! Dating is about going through all scenarios and realising that whatever happens you will always end up with the right person
  • Sensmind
    I think some people will feel this is a bit arbitrary but it is wise as well (no pun intended) because I think everybody has a subconscious list going on with varying levels of priority attached to them. I have been with women and was somewhat content in the now but as we moved towards the Uber Serious area of our relationship, I had to reflect "Am I/They/We changing enough or capable of enough change to sustain a commitment" - Age probably has a lot to do with it but at least twice I had to walk away from a seemingly functioning relationship because it was standing still or more probably going backwards. While not having a checklist, I am sure there are boxes being ticked somewhere deep down - Before anyone says what a judgmental part I have emphasised the flaw could lie with either partner and there have been times where I have not being enough for girlfriends.
  • Liam_Hayden
    Marriage under the current legal system in most states is a financial disaster waiting to happen.
  • Samhanks
    I would date a few selected gals, but stick to one after a period of time whom I feel will be a better choice for marriage. I too will try my best to meet her expectations to be her husband !
    • Linda625

      That’s sound amazing to me

  • Amnooreen
    Incredible piece sir! Your username fits you well.
    Thank you for this. It is amazing
  • tartaarsaus
    Not relatable at all to me (can't be bothered to date), but still clearly a great MyTake
  • looking0123
    Wait until your soul mate comes around... don't jump into the first relationship you find
  • Chanel1981
    Well said
  • GD360
    Super helpful indeed
  • UnlimitedGainz
    I will not state being in a relationship or seeking for it not matter how is a way to a significant accomplishment in life, because you are just looking for a person with a certain criteria that you want and losing focus on yourself, you are not going to get any outcome from that, if people strive for being the best they could rather than looking for the best person to be with in a relationship, then any one can be in perfect shape to be in a relationship with anyone else. This perspective is absolute trash.
    • You are saying that if I am a good enough person, I can be happy with anyone?

  • Waffles731
    I should marry a lady pirate obviously
  • Pulimuli
    Unless she's hella rich im not marrying
  • ariadneR
    Spot on sir
  • FalconSlayer
    That was very beautiful and helpful, thank you!
  • DiegoO
    Excellent.
  • Anonymous
    Marry a friend. Love fades. It can break with a single moment, but friendship is built. And if done right, can last forever. With that being said, date to have fun. Love can be good and all, but recognize that it’s temporary
    • You have a very jaded view of love, particularly for someone your age. When you find the right partner, love lasts. The fact that you have experienced heartbreak does not diminish the value of love; it only means that you have yet to discover love.

    • bimmy5000

      That sounds incredibly sad if that's how you view love. You are much too young to think that's how love suppose to work. Give it time, you will see love comes in many forms and some can last a lifetime.

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