If you can just get your hair, abs, complexion, and clothes just right, then The One will scamper to you like a squirrel to a nut factory. Sure appearance might catch someone’s eye, but it’s personality, values, faith, heart, past, present, and future that’s going to make them stay.
Your petals might be beautiful, but if you don’t have any nectar then the bees are just going to fly away. It can prop up an intimacy that has no foundation to sustain it.
The best communication occurs with an even and equal exchange between two people. Getting to know someone new is like peeling an onion one thin layer at the time. But some people, overeager to get into deep and meaningful conversation, go too far too fast.
Think of conversation as a tennis match in which the players lob the ball back and forth. They ask personal or sensitive questions that put the other person on the defensive. If feeling inhibited is a problem for some people, others go to the opposite extreme: they use a date as an opportunity to purge and vent.
When I was dating I remember constantly being smothered with that giant question like a bloated bear was sitting on my head, refusing to move. To magically stumble upon like finding the gold at the end of a rainbow that is being carried by a unicorn with leprechaun jockey.
But how are you supposed to know which one is the right one?
While it’s impossible to gauge in advance whether any couple will actually make it ‘til death do they part, there are some compatibility factors that offer insight as to whether they’ve got a fighting chance. Often the opposites attract rule comes into play between these two archetypes.
While you probably can’t straight out ask your partner whether or not he or she is physically or verbally abusive, a cheater, or an addict—all of which rank among the most popular reasons for splitsville—you can and should sit down and ask each other the following questions. There is no reason to get married or seriously invest in one another if you don’t see eye-to-eye on this matter — unless you’re willing to be swayed. Surely you’ll come up with a more personalized, delicate way to broach this subject, but whatever the case, you must learn the financial standing of the person you’re getting serious with. Because as a married couple, their debt will quickly become your debt. But if you’re idea of a wise investment is tucking away your extra cash for retirement while your mate’s features trips to Vegas and sports cars, you’re destined to clash. While you probably know basics, you might like to know how much your partner is expecting the church, synagogue, mosque, or other to play a part in your lives, as well as your children’s lives should you have them. Would you be willing to go to therapy or counseling if we needed it?
From socializing to vacations to sex to household and financial roles and responsibilities, getting a clearer picture of expectations tells you whether or not you and your partner’s desires match up. For example, some people want to live near their family. Where you live has a direct impact on your lifestyle and consequently can make for a happier or more stressed existence.
If your perspectives match up, you have a better chance of making it for the long haul. But don’t even think about entering marriage with the hope that you can change your partner’s mind. If you find you both want kids, you might follow up with a question about how much participation your partner would want to have in diaper changing and beyond! Plus, you can get a lot of insight into a person’s level of responsibility and overall financial outlook if you know what they’ve saved, lost, or borrowed and still owe up until this point. This is not something to take lightly since finances are one of the top causes for divorce. One of the top reasons for breakups is a breakdown in communication or a general lack thereof.
That’s why it’s really important to know whether your partner would be open to learning more about him or herself and getting help through a couples therapist, if it ever becomes necessary. While there’s no one right definition of a great sex life, there is definitely a wrong one—and that’s two people who have opposing views and desires. Some people want lots of independence, others crave constant companionship.
You can’t have a relationship, after all, without sharing the same goals or dreams.
Dating can get monotonous, so be sure to have a few interesting questions up your sleeve.