Finding Ms. Right

Finding Ms. Right is no easy task.  None of us was born with a manual that taught him the art of selecting a partner with whom he could create a lasting relationship. We all stumble forward in the quest, hoping to find the one that will meet our needs for life-long companionship and the promises that come with it.
There are many obstacles on our path, like our sex-saturated culture which makes us believe that passion is the touchstone that confirms we’ve found her.  It’s important to feel desire and to follow your heart in the process of selecting a life-long partner, but don’t ignore your head.  You do so at your peril.  When you stop looking for a date and start looking for a mate, consider these suggestions.  They may spare you a lot of grief.
Beware the honey trap!  Think with the head between your shoulders – not with the other one.  You’ll know you’ve stopped using the correct one when you find yourself equating sex with intimacy.  Great sex with someone you’re not committed to may only hinder your search.  That’s because your hormones can deceive you into believing you’ve found the perfect match.  That first rush of love can create the illusion you have a relationship that’s deeper than it really is.
Avoid being a sucker for a pretty face!  A face you find attractive is important, but it’s not everything.  Consider the total package.  This includes her mind, heart and spirit.  Determine whether there’s enough overlap of values, interests and sensibilities to build a harmonious relationship.  These factors will influence every part of your life from the way in which you pay taxes and make love, to the way you raise children.
Listen to your mother!  She told you to look for a life-partner in a library or a church, not a bar. She wants you to find a woman who is stable, decent and faithful.  Consult the people who know you well and whose opinion you trust.  Their impressions and feedback will be indispensable.
Avoid an Espresso Relationship!  Allow a new relationship to percolate.  Forced growth produces a flower quickly but it will have no scent.  Be a casual friend at first.  And when you think she’s ready, invite her to come closer by sharing something more personal about yourself.  Some of us men may find this way of flowing into friendship unfamiliar and uncomfortable.  But think of this approach as a long-term investment. You’ll have to wait for the dividends to accrue, but they’ll be abundant.
Be observant!  Most communication occurs non-verbally with tone of voice, body language and facial gestures.  Listen with your eyes as well as your ears.  Take stock of how her personal habits affect you.  In the first flush of love her quirky little behaviours may seem endearing, but viewed in the context of forever they may be intolerable. Move beyond feeling in love by creating a realistic profile of the woman with whom you plan to spend the rest of your life.
Be honest with who you are!  Promoting an intimate relationship means being open, honest and vulnerable. This may seem unsafe because you risk getting hurt, so you may be tempted to conceal your heart.  Doing so may provide safety in the short term, but it will cripple your relationship down the road.  If you feel uncertain about being emotionally exposed, test your friend.  Give her morsels of yourself and see what she does with them.  If she can be trusted with little, it may be safe to trust her with more.
Get to know her family!  It is the soil that nourished her expectations, sensibilities and longings.  Her mother modeled what it meant to be a woman, wife and mother.  Her father modeled what she may want from a man, a husband and a father.  The atmosphere in which she grew up, the traditions she celebrated, and the value system she absorbed shaped the expectations she may have of the family she creates with you.
Be clear about your vision for marriage and family life!  Clarify the roles you intend to follow as husband, father and separate individual.  Is her vision compatible with yours?  Is the way in which the two of you like to “do” a family in harmony?  To say that you both want children, have careers and retire at sixty is not enough.  Practice preventive divorce by identifying whether you have enough common elements for a good partnership.
Avoid the “potential” trap!  You may initially find a woman who has many of the qualities you’ve always wanted in a partner only to discover she has a major flaw that overshadows the characteristics that originally attracted you.  When this occurs you may endure the profound emotional expense of maintaining the relationship because you think she’s got great potential.  Continuing to invest yourself in such a woman, without expecting her to actively seek help and show improvement, is equivalent to throwing good money after bad at a floundering business.  Marriage and children will not decrease her defect – they will only magnify it.
Find yourself first!  With a clear sense of who you are you’ll have a better idea of the kind of person with whom you want to unite.  With a fuzzy identity you run the risk of finding onions when you really wanted peaches. Someone once said that there are two questions a man must ask himself: 1/ Where am I going?  2/ Who will accompany me?  If you reverse the order of these questions, you’ll lose your way.  And you’ll place demands on your partner that she’ll be unable or unwilling to meet.  Get a life!  Then get a wife.
For better or worse is a promise that has embodied the hope of couples down the ages.  Practical wisdom has recognized that relationships are a mixture of honey and vinegar, and that sometime they don’t work.  Carefully selecting a partner won’t guarantee that you’ll avoid the fate of others, but following some basic principles may ensure that life will be sweeter with the one you’ve found.  


5 thoughts on “Finding Ms. Right

  1. This is excellent advice!! I hope you have published this somewhere. And I hope young people are reading this and taking it to heart. (It works for girls too, by the way)

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