By Njideka Eze
Choosing a life partner is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. No wonder people approach prayer houses with pictures of whom they want to get married to with the intention of getting a clearer choice afterwards. Sometimes, they even get more confused than they were originally. Well, just like the name says, life partner, which means, he or she is someone you will live with for the rest of your life. Whether you like him or her or not you will spend the rest of your lives together, you really need to choose carefully. So, you need to really ask yourself lots of questions and evaluate what you want. Know your own role and responsibilities in creating a happy relationship and recognize that it’s up to you to create the relationship you want. Let’s talk to our girls here
- What do you want. Think about the qualities you want in a man. Ask yourself what you admire in a man and how you want to enjoy the time you spend together. You might want to write a list of the things you desire and the things you aren’t willing to budge on, like children or religion.
- Feel comfortable in who you are. Before you get married, make sure you are at a place where you are comfortable in whom you are. Know your best qualities and the things you can improve upon. When choosing a man, find someone who makes you feel your real self. So does this man bring out the best in you, such as your kindness and humor? You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to change to be good enough for them. You should feel comfortable expressing your thoughts and feelings openly to this person without fearing their judgment or ridicule. If you feel pressure to be someone else or act a certain way to get their attention, this could be a bad sign.
- Make sure that you are ready for a committed relationship. Evaluate where you are at this stage of life. Do you know what you want well enough.Put yourself first. Think about your goals and what you want to do with your life. Then, ask yourself if he is going to support you and be a part of it. The man you marry should be the person that will help you to grow and be a better person in all fields. For example, if you want to live in another country, find a man who would support you and/or join you in that move.
- Examine your compatibility. When it comes to compatibility, the most important thing is that you feel united in some way. It might be that you spend your free time in similar ways, share a hobby, or just enjoy being together. When you think about your partner, consider what items you want to connect on.
- Discuss religious differences. If religion matters greatly to you, find a partner who shares your beliefs. Marrying someone with different beliefs from you can affect your relationship and cause problems in the future, so think about how this might affect your potential marriage and family. If it’s imperative to you and your family that your husband shares your same religion, you must either ask him to convert or break up. Talk openly about how religious differences will affect your relationship and potential children. Find common ground in your beliefs or values
- Talk about finances. Consider how you approach money and find a man with a similar approach. If you tend to meticulously budget and save your money, find a man with similar values. Money can be a big problem and major source of conflict in a marriage, so pick up on a potential partner’s habits early on. Consider your values around keeping separate bank accounts or using a joint bank account.
- Build family relationships. Decide the role of family in your future marriage. If you want to be heavily involved in family life with your own family, choose a man with similar family values. Some people want little to do with their in-laws, while others spend lots of time together. Ideally, you want to at least feel welcome and accepted into his family and have him feel the same about yours. If you don’t have a great relationship with your own family and want to feel connected to your future husband’s family, look for a man who lives near his family and has a great relationship with his parents and siblings.
- Is he emotionally available. Make sure you connect with your partner emotionally. You shouldn’t have to beg for your future husband’s attention, nor should you feel low on the list of people he wants to spend time with. You should feel like you get the attention you need and connect on an emotional level. Look for a man you can openly talk to and who makes you feel understood.For example, people in a healthy emotional relationship will turn toward one another during times of hardship and in times of celebration.
- Look at his friendships and family relationships. Talk about his friends and his relationship with his family. Look for a man who is capable of holding long-term relationships and has life-long friends. Notice how he navigates his relationships: See how he handles conflicts, shows support, and gets involved with the people he loves. If he has lots of conflicts in his relationships or has cut off friends or family members, ask about what led to these actions and why they have happened repeatedly.
- Be ready to change together. The person you marry may not be the same person in 5, 10, or 50 years. Both of you will change, so, be ready yourself. Both of you will likely make changes in your lives physically, mentally and emotionally. If you become parents or go through other major life changes, make it a goal to change together, not apart.