I am frequently asked about what to look for when deciding on a wife or husband. That is a very interesting topic because each person should have a good idea of what is important in order to have a happy, peaceful and successful life.
When you consider the person that you want to be with for a life time it is important to really take time and consider what is the most important list of things. You may not have or find all of them from the person but at least you will have an idea.
If you are deeply religious then you will want someone who at least believes in the same God. If you want children you will need to find someone who also wants children. If you love and respect your parents and work hard you will want someone who will love and respect your parents and work hard or at least work to support you. Looks may or may not be important. Those are just external characteristics and they can and probably will fade.
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The things that are most important to me are caring, compassion, kindness, loyalty, honesty, intelligence and a sense of humor. I like to travel so it would be terrible if I had the most important person in my life who never wanted to leave the house. I could work around it but wouldn't it be so much more interesting to have someone who shares my love of new experiences.
I love to read and I love to sing. Even if my life partner does not love those things, if he supports my love of them that is important.
I truly love my family and friends. A person who would be important to me is a person who could love my family and at least would want to try. They would not continually point out what they don't like about them. They would also be the type who would celebrate the fact that I have caring friends and not be the type who would always want to keep me isolated from the people I care for.
I would want someone who is mature enough to understand what is important to keep a relationship strong. That person would be willing to take the time to strengthen the relationship and that could mean making sure there is time for the two of us to be together to just enjoy each other. That could be two hours a week or 4 hours a day. It is just important that you both have the same values or at least similar values, wants and wishes.
If the person is not proud of me, if he is abusive either in word or action, if he is disrespectful of me, if he mistreats others and does not care about my needs and desires, that is not a person I could spend my life with.
Perhaps, most importantly, the person needs to be a good listener. He should pay attention to what I am saying but also be a person who is willing to say if he does not agree - but it is the way that is said.
You will never find someone who has every characteristic that you want but you can be intentional about thinking of what is important. Love and infatuation can be blinding and hypnotic but getting to know a person is essential before making a life long commitment.
By: Valda Ford, RN, expert in women's health and sexuality
Founder Sex Is Not for Sissies