People who are more complex than a checklist, or the sky rockets in flight.
By Teresa Maples-Zuvela
Last updated on Sep 17, 2023
Photo: Winnie Bruce, Kübra Arslaner | Canva
If you are single and looking for the right match for life-long love, the question of the qualities to look for in a spouse has probably crossed your mind more than a few times.
If you are a romantic type, you might think the sparks and fireworks you feel will be your guide when the two of you are together. If you’re more pragmatic, you likely have a list of attributes you want, and you dismiss anyone who doesn’t live up to those expectations.
Both of these approaches might require some modifications to accommodate any real human beings who have strengths and weaknesses, people who are more complex than a checklist, or the sky rockets in flight. With this in mind, doesn’t it make more sense to look inside yourself to find what you need first?
Four questions to ask yourself before you even think about trying to find a husband
1. How deeply do you know yourself?
The more you know about yourself, the more you can share with your date. Though, sharing your whole life history on the first date is probably too much information. Ideally, give your date little spoonfuls of information about yourself and see what they do with the information. Do they change the subject back to themselves, or do they seem interested in your feelings? Do you feel comfortable exposing your feelings to them, or would you rather keep your feelings to yourself? The key to successful relationships is to find a balance between not sharing anything and sharing everything.
2. Are you willing to accept them as they truly are?
If you want a quality person for a lifelong husband, then accept them for who they are today, not who they might be in the future. Everyone chooses to continue to grow, or you get stuck where you are at until you have sufficient motivation to change. What you want to see in your future spouse is the openness to change and grow over time. Take your time getting to know them. When you disagree with them, see what happens.
Pay attention and be aware of their habits. If they “forget” to brush their teeth, remember, you don’t have to kiss them. Everyone, including you, has annoying habits. When you choose each other for a lifelong relationship there will be qualities you adore in each other and qualities that are a bit annoying.
3. Do you know what your dealbreakers are?
Dealbreakers are behaviors and attitudes that would cause you to break off the relationship. They might include poor hygiene, poor employment history, and/or cheating. If you don’t want to be cheated on or lied to, tell them. Look for clues from their behavior to tell if they are being open and honest with you. Identify for yourself how you want to be treated by a lifelong partner. Consider whether they are willing to accommodate your dealbreakers. If not, be ready to leave the relationship. They won’t magically change in the future.
4. Do you want a provider, a partner or both?
In the past, a man was considered “good” if he provided money for his household. Now, they are expected to be emotionally available partners. A good lifelong love partner will grow emotionally with their you and the family. Gender roles are changing to be more inclusive and realistic. Today, there is room for anyone to be a provider and a partner. People are considered strong when they are emotionally attuned to their families.
The way to find your best match is to know who you are, know who they are, and to recognize each person is a unique individual with strengths and weaknesses. No one is going to be a perfect mate in a lifelong relationship. As a team, you can construct a mutually beneficial relationship that lasts a lifetime.
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Teresa Maples-Zuvela, CMAT, CSAT, LMHC, MS, is a licensed mental health counselor who specializes in working with women who have experienced betrayal in intimate relationships.