February 2, 2018

Signs He Is the Right One To Marry- 10 Relationship Experts Reveal How To Find Out If He is Mr. Right

Signs He Is the Right One To Marry

“Better to put your heart on the line, risk everything, and walk away with nothing than play it safe. Love is a lot of things, but “safe” isn’t one of them.”

~ Mandy Hale

# Know that falling in love and loving someone are 2 different things
Michal Andries

In a new relationship, a person almost always feels like the right one, someone to stay with for the rest of your life.

First of all, falling in love and loving someone are 2 different things.

There are 5 Stages of Relationship and the first one is the Romantic Stage.

Nature’s bias is towards survival of the species. Adaptation and growth are nature’s way of ensuring survival. To ensure our adaptation and growth nature makes sure we fall in love with the most incompatible person in the entire universe.

​When we fall in love, we don’t see our partner’s flaws.

If we would see them we would run in the opposite direction. So nature tricks us and makes our brain produce a cocktail of chemicals (including Oxytocin, Phenylethylamine and Dopamine) to see the world, and your partner, through beautiful rose colored glasses – only seeing what makes you feel good and ignoring what makes you feel bad.

Loving someone on the other hand, goes beyond the physical presence.

You desire to see them grow, you see past their flaws, you see opportunities of building into each other and together; you motivate, encourage and inspire one another.

You can’t love someone before you have overcome the Power Struggle Stage and entered the Stability Stage. You give up on changing your partner and start to accept them as they are, with mutual respect. That’s when you go over to the Commitment Stage.

In my opinion all these stages are necessary to learn how to have clear boundaries, learn to respect each other, learn to deal with conflict and find solutions.

The best couples are not the ones that that are most attracted to each other or the ones that have never conflicts.

Healthy long-lasting relations occur in couples who have healthy conflict resolution skills; have a readiness to forgive and forget, and the ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing.

Another reason why you shouldn’t make decisions to marry in the first stage is because people who are in love want to do things together, focus on the similarities, feel the connection. But are they really close enough intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually?

- Do you like to do similar social things together? Would women go with their boyfriend to football games just to be around them, or because it’s something he likes to do. Will they still be ok with it after a few years when he still wants to go each week, with or without her? A man might go shopping, go to the movies, go out with his girlfriend and her friends but once the romantic stage is over never do it again.

- Are you on the same intellectual level? Can you have a conversation and understand each other? Can you share your ideas with him without feeling judged? The best marriages are the ones where partners are equally intelligent (or the wives ‘slightly’ more intelligent). Too much difference will be risky for losing interest in the long run.

- Are you emotionally compatible? Does your partner handle his anger well? Is he easily depressed? Is he able to deal with stress, support you, and comfort you when you need it? How is his relation with his family, with friends? Those are all great ways to see how he will treat you in the future.

And last but not least make sure that you share the same values. Honesty, fidelity, loyalty, peacemaking, kindness are some of them. But also having children, friendships, self-control and sacrifice.

When all these basics are met you will have a strong fundament for a marriage. Don’t make the mistake thinking that the work is done though: your work in the world as a married couple is just beginning.

Michal Andries, MS, LMHC – www.facebook.com/lighthousecounselingofverobeach

# Ask yourself the below questions
Tiffany L. Craig

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.” (John A. Shedd)

With so many marriages ending in divorce, and still more ending in pain, the prospect of getting married can be intimidating. How do I know if he’s the right one? How do I know we won’t grow apart? How do I know he won’t cheat on me? How do I know I won’t cheat on him? What if the relationship isn’t what we think it is? What if we grow apart?

The frightening truth is, you can’t know.

Fortunately, knowing those things would not bring you peace. Peace does not come from controlling the future; peace comes from knowing that whatever happens in the future, you can still be ok.

That said, there are certain elements that can be strong predictors of a positive marital future. Both in my clinical practice and my personal life, I have seen certain elements that can make a dramatic difference in the quality and viability of a marriage.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Do we have constructive conflicts?
  • Do we “own up” when we mess up?
  • Do we respect each other?
  • Are we “interdependent?”
  • Do we both have the emotional courage to grow and change?

Do we have constructive conflicts?

Constructive conflicts are essential to a healthy-enough relationship.

Over the years I have had a number of people proudly tell me that their relationships are great because they never have conflicts. The distressed look on my face baffles them. A lack of conflict in a relationship is most often a sign of a lack of candor in a relationship. Someone is not bringing their whole self to the relationship, usually out of fear that they won’t be accepted. Parts of them remain unmet and unmarried.

Other couples find that they argue in circles and get heated about seemingly unimportant things. They are having the wrong conversation. The trivial stuff isn’t the real issue: The real issues are the assumptions, beliefs and wounds that are underneath the surface argument.

The have a constructive conflict with someone who truly matters to us, we need to do several things:

  • Only have a conflict when you are both calm enough to really listen to each other. (It’s ok to step away and come back, as long as you do come back.)
  • Stay on topic
  • Listen for the thoughts, feelings and assumptions that are underneath the argument, and address them.
  • Avoid defensively countering the other person’s complaint with “but you…!” (That’s not staying on topic. Bring your side after you have heard and responded to the other person’s side.)
  • Talk about how you feel, rather than accusing the other person
  • Leave room for the other person to see the situation differently
  • Stay humble and be willing to see ways you might be wrong
  • Keep a “Me and you against the problem” mindset rather than a “Me against you” perspective.

This could easily be its own lengthy article, so for now I will simply leave you this: Marry someone with whom you can have constructive conflicts.

Do we “own up” when we mess up?

Humility is required in marriage. When our egos get tangled up in decisions over money, time, worklife, faith expressions, parenting and the like, we are making our decisions based on fear. Fear chokes out love.

It must be ok to make mistakes - even big ones. We are human. Do not expect yourself or your partner to be perfect. When you mess up, own up, and do what you can to make it right. Marry and be someone who doesn’t put pride above love, who is willing or able to see their flaws and grow to something finer. This can give your marriage the kind of emotional safety required to to take the risks to grow together instead of apart.

Do we respect each other?

The right spouse for you will be one whom you genuinely respect. You respect this person’s choices, beliefs, way of treating people, (most of all including you,) and way of living life. You do not necessarily need to agree with your beloved’s choices, but if you don’t respect what your spouse believes and why, you are not genuinely loving your mate. Marry someone you can accept “as is,” who accepts you the same way.

Are we interdependent?

A healthy-enough marriage is neither independent, (“We don’t really have much to do with each other,”) nor dependent, (“I can’t live if living is without you,”) but rather, interdependent. In an interdependent marriage, each spouse takes responsibility for his or her own happiness and satisfaction. They invite the other to participate, but each spouse can say yes or no to any request.

When a spouse gives an authentic “no,” we know we can trust his or her “yes” as authentic. In addition, if your spouse says no, you have confidence that you can either live without that thing, or that you can get what you need elsewhere in a way that doesn’t threaten your primarily relationship. When spouses believe they are responsible for their mates’ satisfaction, there is a pressure and demand that make the marriage destructive. 

Do we both have the emotional courage to grow and change?

If you and your mate are both curious about life, about yourselves and about one another, you have the potential to walk together through whatever challenges life throws at you, together. When we get scared and fight change, we stop being authentic. When a spouse digs his or her heels in and fights change, we lose each other.

When we marry people who can look at whatever is true, especially when that truth feels threatening, and when we can be that spouse as well, marriage is a fantastic adventure! It’s ok to be scared together and to figure it out together. In fact, when we do, it is delicious!

Tiffany L. Craig, MS, LCPC - www.mypeace.co

# Explore the below 10 topics

Contemplating the next step in your relationship?

It can be exciting and overwhelming.  Oftentimes, we fall in love with the idea of being in love and getting married.  Sometimes, the ceremony becomes more important than the actual relationship.  When you are so gung ho to join the matrimony club, you may tend to overlook the warning signs that your relationship may not have staying power.  How do you know if he is the one?  

It is important to open up dialogues and have conversations about these important topics that will allow you to get to know your partner on a deeper level before you take that final leap.  

Below are 10 topics to explore together:

1.  Recognize communication is everything!  Do you feel understood? Are you able to have authentic conversations about things that are important to you both? 

2.  Do you fight fair?  Good couples will tackle controversial topics and work through issues together.  It is not ‘will’ you have conflicts…it is ‘when’ we have conflicts, how will we handle them together.

3.  How much freedom and control will you have over your choices? Is their personal style laid-back or rigid?

4.  Do you play well together?  Do you share hobbies, interests or activities?

5.  How do you feel about each other’s families?  Blending families is often challenging.  How will you manage difficult relationships?  How will you support each other through these issues good or bad?

6.  Do your dreams and ideas about family mesh?  If not, are you willing to compromise in a way that works for you both?

7.  How do you feel about the future?  Do you want children? How many? What are your parenting and discipline styles?  Are they in synch? 

8.  Where will you live, what should that look like?  

9.  How do you feel about finances and money?  What is important to you?

10.  Are you a team? Who is your ‘go to’ person? Do you turn into each other?

Stacey Shumway Johnson, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, BCC - www.2xlcoach.com

# Dig deep into your psyche and be honest with yourself

Marriage is a commitment for life.

When a man proposes to a woman, she takes that as a promise for a life long commitment. It is of great importance that you feel and know that the man you are with is truly the right one for marriage. Meanwhile, review the following questions, really think about your answers and do some in-depth soul searching.

Dig deep into your psyche. Be honest with yourself as you respond to these questions and always go with your intuition. Your intuition, or inner guidance system will not lead you astray. 

When you honestly and openly take the necessary time and energy by reviewing the following questions,  you will get a clearer picture of where you are in your commitment now.

1. If you knew you could be in a relationship with any other person who would love you so deeply, would you still choose this partner?

2. Are you a person who tends to keep a commitment?

3. If you knew that you were going to live a long healthy life, is this still the person you would commit to?

4. If you won the lottery or inherited ten million dollars, would you stay in the relationship?

5. Do you speak favorably about your relationship to your closest friends?

6. Do you and your partner treat your relationship as a priority?

7. If you had a chance to start over, would you start with this partner?

8. Do the two of you make joint decisions on major issues?

9. Do you take responsibility for repairing damage done to your relationship?

10. Do you take your partner seriously?

11. Does your behavior show that your relationship is a priority?

12. Do you give and help your partner including sharing your finances?

How difficult would it be for you to lose this relationship?

Are you completely honest and open with your partner?

What does your intuition reveal when you pay close attention?

The reason for pondering these questions is to help you become aware of any hesitation and resistance you might have about your present commitment and deepening your commitment into marriage.

Every relationship is different, however commitment is a bottom-line issue. Please be honest with yourself about your level of dedication and if you harbor any doubts, I would strongly urge you to seek professional help and potential couples counseling.

Connie Clancy Fisher, ED.D. – www.drconstance.com

# Ask yourself the below questions
Stephanie Weinblatt

I used to ask people —friends and family who have been happily married for years—how did you know he/she was “the one”?

That elusive, nondescript “the one.” And the response I got, every single time, from everyone I would ask was “you just know.” And I hated that response! I wanted concrete data, like “he always opens the door for you; takes care of you when you are sick; tells you he loves you every night before sleep.” But no. The answer was always “you just know.” So frustrating!

You want some sort of a sign. A specific signal that the person you are dating is “the one.”

Sometimes it’s a feeling, a “can’t get enough of him” feeling.

But it is helpful to hone in on that feeling, and figure out the reasons behind that feeling.

There are some questions to ask yourself when trying to figure out if your partner is the one.

Does this person make you happy?

Can you rely on this person?

Does this person treat you well?

Do you feel like you can be yourself around this person?

Do you enjoy spending time with this person? Even mundane tasks like grocery shopping or laundry? Do they make these chores more fun and exciting?

Does this person make you laugh?

Then ask yourself more specific questions, such as:

When you wake up in the morning and that person is not there, do you wish they were?

Does this person go out of his/her way to show you they care about you and that you are a priority for them? (For example, when I was dating my now husband, he would commute by train and bus for sometimes over two hours, in brutal sub-zero temperatures, walking a mile on solid ice because the bus stopped running, just to comfort me when I had a bad day. No one else in the universe has or would do something like that for me. It was then that I knew he was MY one.)

Do you feel taken care of by your partner? Do you enjoy taking care of your partner?

Does this person challenge you to be a better version of yourself?

Do you challenge them to be a better version of themselves? (Not to be confused with trying to change your partner. This is an appreciation for the person and encouragement to do their best.)

Can you see yourself growing old with this person?

Do you feel excited introducing your partner to your family and friends?

I have been in other relationships before I dated my husband. Long-term relationships where I thought the person was my one. But there was always something standing in the way of that ultimate “the one” feeling.

I dated one guy who was really bad at responding to my texts. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine to not get a response from someone. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it’s frustrating and annoying. In other relationships, I let the annoyance grow, because other aspects of the relationship weren’t that great. But with my husband, I had a conversation with him about it. I told him honestly how frustrating it was to send a message and hear nothing back for hours (or days). He heard what I said, and changed his behaviors, because he knew how much it meant to me, and how much I meant to him.

Do you feel comfortable talking with your partner about things he/she does that bother you? Are they able to hear what you’re saying, and respond appropriately?

It’s understandable to want black and white answers to that life-changing question if he is the one, and it’s hard to not have a reference catalog to refer to! But, like so many people in my life answered the question before me: you just know.

Stephanie Weinblatt, MA, LCPC - www.healthylivingcounselingcenter.com

# Do you feel safe with your partner and does your partner feel safe with you?
Norma Stevens

So you find yourself in a dating relationship where you start feeling like marriage is a distinct possibility.

“I think I’ve found ‘the one’…(pause)…..or have I?” I remember dating in my 20’s and asking my father, “Dad how will I know when I meet the right guy?” His answer was far from illuminating; “You just know.”

As much as I love my dad, that answer was confusing and is part of the mythology that often surrounds relationships. As a therapist with years of experience working with couples, I realize even more—that answer is no answer at all.

If you are in the early phases of your relationship, it is difficult to determine if this person is someone you should marry because you may be in the throws of romantic love.

Various chemicals are flooding your brain creating euphoria and optimism. Eventually, this phase subsides, and you and your partner will need to decide whether to continue and go deeper.

So what are the signs? This is more complex than just a list of signs. There are the usual basics that you probably have heard before—couples having compatibility in areas such as finances, sex, children, faith traditions, careers, and family values.

While these are all important issues, I would say one of the most important signs is… Do you feel safe with your partner and does your partner feel safe with you? I’m not talking about physical safety.

If you do not feel physically safe, RUN! So what does “feeling safe” mean?

Stan Tatkin, author of Wired for Love, describes the concept of a couple bubble where two partners make a decision to have a bubble of safety around their relationship where they are mutually dependent on each other; where the relationship is the first priority; and the relationship is each partner’s safe haven in the world. Each partner has the other’s back. Shame, blame, defensiveness, and criticism pollute and pop the bubble.

Empathy, compassion, and acceptance are its oxygen. (See Tatkin’s book, Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship, for an eloquent and fuller description of the concept and ways to create and protect your couple bubble.)

A relationship consists of interaction dynamics between two people. So in addition to the question of whether or not your partner is someone you should marry, there is also the question of the kind of partner you are in the relationship and who you aspire to be to keep it safe. When I work with couples I often explain neither partner is a “bad” person, but together they can create a dynamic that can be hurtful to both of them.

So how safe IS your relationship? Here are some questions to consider:

Is your relationship safe enough for both of you to be vulnerable with each other?

Does your partner handle your vulnerability when you express feelings such as sadness, hurt or fear with compassion and understanding? Do you feel validated and heard after an expression of vulnerability or criticized or judged?

Do you offer compassion and understanding in the face of your partner’s expression of vulnerability? Can you be present for your partner and listen with an open heart or do you try to fix it or minimize their feelings?

Does your partner respect you and the things that are important to you—career, hobbies, opinions, thoughts, beliefs, spirituality, family, friends or other interests? Do you respect theirs?

Can you listen to one another with curiosity, respect and an open heart even when you disagree?

Is your partner willing to take responsibility for their behavior and are you willing to take responsibility for yours?

Are each of you willing to repair when one of you is hurt by the other?

Are you able to have empathy for each other? Even if you disagree, can you each try and understand each other’s perspectives?

Are mistakes met with compassion and understanding?

Yes to these questions create safety in the relationship.

Creating and maintaining a safe couple bubble takes work and happens over time. The willingness to be vulnerable with each other creates connection, and it is within this connection that one of life’s greatest joys resides. However, vulnerability can only be expressed in safety; otherwise, wounding will occur or sharing will not exist at all. The quality of a couple’s connection indicates how well they can handle the inevitable differences and conflicts that arise, and the travails that life will demand.

You may not be able to answer yes to many of the above questions yet or perhaps only to a few. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get married; however, it does indicate a need to invest in your relationship if you are considering marriage. Go to a therapist with post graduate training and supervision in couples therapy so you can build a strong foundation and learn how to create and sustain a safe couple bubble.

If you find in therapy that you can’t achieve safety between you, then your relationship may not be right for you.

Even if you come to the conclusion that you cannot marry this person, it will not be a waste of time or money! You may have averted a disaster, and you will take the growth and knowledge you receive from the experience into your next relationship. There are few places in life where we receive relationship education; yet, deciding whom we marry and the quality of that marriage profoundly affects not only our lives, but those of future generations!

Norma Stevens, MS, LCPC, NCC – www.normastevenslcpc.com

# Ask yourself the below questions
Kate Houston

We all want to find that lasting love, the one that will keep us snuggly warm at night and dazzled by day, but how do we know if Mr. Right is in front of us and not Mr. Next?

The answer is in your mirror. Look at yourself and ask:

- Am I in love with me?

- Do I like who I am when I am with him?

- Am I authentic and real around him?

- Are our lives rich and full already without each other in it?

- Does he have a good relationship with his mother and if not, has he done the inner work to make peace and heal from the past?

- Do we communicate openly and kindly with each other?

- Have I had difficult conversations with him that ended in understanding even if not in agreement and not raised voices?

- Am I clear with myself about my vision for the rest of my life and have I shared it with him? Does his life vision align with mine?

- Have we consistently held ourselves accountable for past wrongdoings toward each other? And toward others, especially past relationships?

If you have a hard time answering these questions honestly and without hesitation with a hell yes! he may not be the One for you.

If you felt a pining or loneliness inside, or felt a sense of emptiness and aching desire to find man to love you just before you met this guy, he’s probably Mr. Next. And that’s perfectly okay. Mr. Next may serve the beautiful purpose of giving you a lesson to learn about love to ready you for your lasting love. Maybe Mr. Next wonderfully fills your bucket with affection that was painfully missing from your last relationship. Or he spent quality time with you and made you feel so special that you healed a part of your heart that had been trampled on terribly. Maybe Mr. Next showed you a wonderful way to communicate, with sweet openness, no defenses, and vulnerability so that you could finally bury your own defenses and melt emotionally into his arms.

Sometimes we mistake Mr. Next as Mr. Right.

And we can recognize him if we find ourselves making deals with ourselves in our heads, without even talking with him. We offer ourselves compromises to our values and boundaries because he’s got most of what we want and that might be good enough. He’s Mr. Next if we want to hold onto him because we are reacting from a place of fear and lack rather than responding from a solid grounding of abundant love.

But Mr. Right is out there for you. Oh and while you are waiting, how about becoming the best Ms. Right you can be?

Kate Houston, Love Coach - www.fabulousandfearlessover40.com

# Follow the below tips

Get to know him

Take your time getting to know him. Get past the honeymoon stage of dating before you make a decision to marry him. When you first meet someone you are really attracted to, it can be easy to overlook things that might otherwise bother you. Infatuation and idealization can cloud the way you view him and your relationship.

He might a have a great job, be good looking and seem to be a great catch on the outside, but what is he like on the inside. Don’t go into a relationship believing he will change later or that you will change him. Be mindful that you are not idealizing who he is and his behavior. Look closer at a man’s heart and that will tell you who he is. Look for healthy boundaries and healthy behaviors.

Actions speak louder than words

Compassion, empathy and personal responsibility are characteristics that are important in a relationship. If he lacks these attributes and is inconsiderate, selfish and irresponsible when you meet him, don’t expect that he will change for you. You need to make sure that he follows through with his actions and don’t take his word that he will change just because he says he will. He needs to show you with his actions that he is who he says is.

His words need to be congruent with his actions and it will take time to gauge his behavior accordingly. Ask yourself critical questions about the relationship and your compatibility with him. Are you on the same page about money management, children, sex, family and lifestyle? If he wants an open relationship now and you don’t, how will this play out in future if you marry him?

If you want children and he doesn’t, can you live with not having any? Make sure that you are not sugarcoating aspects the relationship or his behavior because you are attached to the outcome.

Hold him accountable

Hold him accountable from the beginning and don’t enable him. If he is rude to you or abusive, nip it in the bud immediately. Stand your ground and let him know that he needs to treat you with respect. If you let him slide on things from the beginning, it will make it easier for him to disregard your needs later in the relationship. If he steps up and changes his behavior, make sure that he sustains the behavior change for a while before moving forward.

The pace and standards that you set from the beginning of the relationship is what he will expect for the duration of the relationship. Don’t accommodate him to your own detriment. Yes, you are excited to see him, but give the relationship time to grow and develop. If he has to see you and talk to you every day; it might be flattering now, but it will get old quick. If he is needy now he will be needy later. Make sure that he is able to self-soothe and emotionally self-regulate if you are not around or cannot see him for a few days.

Who is he?

Ask yourself critical questions. How does he treat you in public versus private settings? Does he change personalities depending on the environment he is in? How does he treat his family and friends? How does he treat your family and friends? Is he a caring person or someone who fakes it? Does what he say match what he does?

Be careful that you are not so attached to the outcome of marriage that you overlook critical red flags. Listen to his choice of words and the language he uses. Is he telling you what he thinks you want to hear? Is he possessive? Does he disregard your needs? Do you need to ask his permission to do things with your friends or family?  How does he react when you disagree with him about something?

Visualize your future with him

Don’t succumb to pressure to get married just because everyone else is doing it or because you feel obligated by family or cultural expectations.  Do you want to get married? Are you ready for marriage? Ask yourself if you can see yourself married to him. Visualize your future with him honestly.

Think about aspects of the relationship that you are currently struggling with and whether those things can be worked on and improved. If he is man with “issues,” he needs to work on himself before getting married. If you or he have unresolved issues before you start a relationship, those issues won’t disappear just because you marry him.

Is he a man or a boy? How does he handle stress? Will he be able to handle the rough patches that might come in the future when you are married? Is he there for you now or does he bail out when things get tough? If he is a good man with a good heart, you can work with that. If his values are not congruent with yours, how will this play out in the future? His current and past behavior is a good predictor of his future behavior.

Make a list

This may seem simple, but writing things down will help you prioritize and sort through the things that are important to you in the relationship. List the good and the bad things about the relationship. Are the bad things manageable or scary? Does the good outweigh the bad? Can you go into the marriage without the expectation that he needs to change or will change?

If you are unsure about him or certain aspects the relationship, don’t expect that he or the relationship will magically change just because you got married. If you have doubts, wait and work on it before getting married. Go to premarital counseling to address any issues before you get married. Talk about your concerns and be realistic about your expectations from the relationship and marriage. Don’t settle and sell yourself short. This is an important decision and it deserves careful thought and consideration.

Pay attention to how you feel when you are with him

We want to be in the company of people that feel good to be around and are uplifting. Is he a calming presence or do you dread spending time with him? Do you feel anxious when he starts drinking or do you have fun together? Do you end up fighting more often than not? What kind of feelings does he elicit from you? Do you enjoy his company? Be honest about the way he makes you feel. Be mindful that the man you marry is the kind of person that adds value to your life.

You will know he is the one to marry because it will just be easy to be with him. His compassion for you will be genuine and comforting. The relationship should be something that excites and motivates you. He will bring out the best in you and be someone that you feel at home with. He will be the kind of man that will show you he loves and care for you with his actions.

If you have doubts, do a “gut” check. Trust your feelings and your intuition. Check in with a therapist and talk it out. Above all, be honest with yourself.  Don’t force yourself to do anything you are not comfortable with or feel obligated to do. Take your time and don’t rush. You want to be absolutely confident about marrying him when you’re walking down the aisle; so do the work you need to do before you get there.

Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT – www.themindfullife.net

# Watch out for the below signs

Just like we need traffic lights to guide us and keep us safe when driving, we too, also need to develop an inner system to know if we are with the right partner.

How do we know if our partner is the right one to marry?

We need to tune in and follow our inner guide system.

Warning signs are like the yellow and red lights letting us know something is wrong in our relationship.  Some major warning signs include: distrust, withholding information, lies, manipulation, any form of abuse, a need for control, possessiveness, anger issues, and isolation from friends and family.

When you experience positive green light signs, these are indicators that the person you’re with is the right one to marry.

Does he encourage you to pursue your goals, dreams, aspirations, and passions?

Does he value what you value?

Does he treat you with respect?

Is there open communication?

Do you both share in decision making

Do you trust him?

Is he emotionally available?

Does he actively listen to what you have to say?

If you answered yes to the above, these are positive indicators sending you the green light to marry the man you’re with, if you choose to do so.

Follow your intuitions and your inner traffic light will help to guide your decisions.

Brooke Campbell, MA, LCAT - www.creativekinections.com

# Evaluate based on the below checklist

While dating, you may meet many men who hopefully will be your Mr. Right. 

Here is a checklist to make it easier for you to identify the ideal love match for you.

- He does nice things to make you feel special

- He is easy to talk to

- He shares many of the same interests as you

- He makes you feel very comfortable around him

- He shares a similar vision for the future

- He is a genuine nice guy and a "good friend"

- You share similar quirks

- He has some good insights into making a relationship work

- He supports and encourages you

]     He is attractive and finds you attractive

- He has most of the criteria in your "must-have" list

- He makes you feel happy when you’re with him

- He appreciates your individuality and autonomy

- You are a better person because of him

- You feel invigorated, not exhausted when you’re with him

- He is romantic and loving

- You feel respected

- You find talking to him is easy

If he possesses most (all) of these, sounds like you've found a keeper.  

How do you know you are ready to move forward -- and get married?  If you know you have a good thing and you want to spend the rest of your life with him, then you are ready.  If he expresses his desire to be with you forever, and you don't get scared at that thought, then you are ready.  

If losing him would be devastating and being with him is exciting and fulfilling, then you are ready.  If you've stopped looking for someone better and are satisfied you found "the one," then you are ready to take the next step - Marriage!

Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com

# The big things and the little things take time to accurately assess

I tell all of my clients to take their time making the marriage decision

It’s too hard to know what’s real and what’s not in a newish relationship.  This has nothing to do with deceit. It’s just that we all put our best foot forward in a new relationship.  We want to impress our partners.  We are also hopefully flying high on the sexually powerful chemical cocktail that nature provides in new relationships.  While a powerful incentive to mate, it doesn’t guarantee much in the way of the compatibility necessary to make a long-term relationship work.

I really don’t think there are any useful short cuts in the getting to know you process.  You have to be clear in your own mind about the qualities you are looking for and then keep assessing to see if the person you are interested in possesses them (or at least most of them).

I think women get in trouble when they begin to deceive themselves about what they are experiencing in their relationship

Most of us really want to find a life partner and sometimes that need can overtake a more rational assessment of the person we are interested in.  Through the rose-colored glasses of love (or lust), we begin to make excuses for certain traits or behaviors that would normally be unacceptable.  

What works for us and doesn’t is mostly a matter of our own preferences.  The object of your affection isn’t a bad person because he doesn’t ever pick up after himself.  But don’t fool yourself that it isn’t important to you if it is.

Of course, the most important things to know have to do with character, values and life-style choices.  Are you religious?  Do political views matter to you?  Do you want children?  Are you both able to effectively communicate and resolve conflict? These are huge criteria to evaluate when choosing a partner.

The big things and the little things take time to accurately assess.

Don’t rush the process.  When you are able to think clearly, you will know whether this is a man worth spending your life with.

Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com

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