What are you looking for in a mate? I almost always ask this question of couples who are engaged and plan to be married. You probably would be surprised to know how few have really considered the subject. When I am attempting to help couples who have hit a rough spot in their marriage, I ask the same question. You would be even more surprised to know how few have asked that question. They have discussed feelings and grievances, even property settlement and child custody, but they have never discussed what their marriage is about.
I have a lot of teenage friends on Facebook and Twitter. I would love to have many more. I hope that you are reading these words. Would you share them with your friends? Would you moms and dads share my blog with your teens? It’s not that I am the only one with anything profound to say; it is that no one is saying what really matters in marriage.
What really fuels a good choice in a marriage partner is knowing what kind of person you want to marry. If you want a good, meaningful marriage, you have to have asked–and answered–this question: “what kind of person do you want to marry?’
The following link gives you the answer that one young wife wrote long before she married. It also contains how it made her husband feel after the fact. This is a beautiful process that produces strong marriages. http://donmilleris.com/2011/06/20/what-are-you-looking-for-in-a-spouse-why-not-create-a-list/. Notice that her list revolved around strength of character, compassion, faithfulness, and the ability to have a caring relationship.
Isn’t that what love is about? Isn’t intimacy–even sexual intimacy–driven by strong relationships built on character? Maybe many people would answer the question “what are you looking for in a mate?” with the C words–cool or cute. The word that really matters in marriage is the other C word–character.
Here’s a great date night exercise for married couples. Spend quality time talking about important, long-term matters. Ask each other what you want in a husband/wife. Listen, learn, and interact about the answers you hear. If you are not yet married, take the challenge of writing in a journal about the kind of person that you want to marry. Set the bar high, and give it your best shot. No one is perfect, but knowing what you are looking for helps you make good decisions.
What kind of person do you want to marry? Did you go through this process? How did it work for you?