How to Choose the Right Husband

Some enchanted afternoon ...
Some enchanted afternoon ...

There are many Internet dating sites, but meeting someone in person whether at a club (social, environmental, political, church, etc.) or a party may be a better place. Because both of you may be with friends, there is a potential opportunity to meet other people who know him. This kind of meeting place may also give you an impression of what he is like with other people and the kind of people he enjoys. Dating is fun and exciting, but it is important to be with the right person. To find the right person you have to be very clear about the values and qualities that you hold dear to your heart. The person does not have to be exactly like you, but he must be compatible with your values. What are your absolute prerequisites for a partner? Many years ago I pondered on this question and started making a list after the having following encounter.

I worked as a waitress while going to college. One shy young man frequented the restaurant almost daily. He said little and would only have a single cup of coffee, but would leave a big tip each time. Only once did he talk to me a little. He said that he had worked long and hard for many years to become a professor. Because of this he had not had time to date and felt awkward in asking a girl out. Soon afterwards on a subsequent visit he left this short note under his empty coffee cup, “What are your prerequisites for going out with a guy?” I did not really know him and had never thought about going out with him. In fact, I never did go out with him, but his note made me think. This was the first time that I thought seriously about making a list of the values and qualities that I considered important in a potential partner. I was a spiritual person who valued family and friendship, and who also enjoyed life, learning, and having fun with my friends. Below are the values that I decided to look for in my future partner.

Spirituality

Spirituality was very important to me because I felt that if he were not spiritual we would have a serious problem in our relationship. I enjoyed going to church and I wanted my partner to enjoy going to the services with me. If you are a spiritual person then it is important to find someone with similar beliefs.

Commitment to Family

I was ready to get married and have children. My husband-to-be and I had only gone out on three dates when I asked him about his plans and whether he was seriously looking for a partner. A bit startled he stammered out an answer, “Uhhh, well uhhh, … first I want to finish graduate school and get a job and make some money and get established…..”. I then told him, “Well, in that case, I don’t intend to waste my time with you because there are plenty of other guys in this area who are interested in marriage in the near future.” So we parted, but parted amicably. About a month later he called me back and we resumed dating and we were married a little over a year later. We now have been married for 47 years and are very happy to be together and to have found each other. If you are ready to get married then do not be shy about asking the same question. Commitment also means to value this other individual on a daily basis as the most special person in the world. If you already have children then be certain that this person can love and respect your children as his own. It would be very painful to see your child suffer by being disrespected or abused. You are the protector of your child.

Faithfulness

Faithfulness is a very important quality because without trust there is no relationship. In our relationship neither of us ever wavered in being faithful to each other. You want to find someone who will be faithful to you for a lifetime. A person who lies or cheats is not a candidate. Find out about the person's past relationships. When you are out on a date, extreme flirtatiousness with others is not okay. Continuing to fraternize with past girlfriends after you are dating seriously is also not okay.

Emotional Health

It is very important to be able to express one’s feelings in an open and honest way. It is less likely that you will have serious problems if both of you can share your feelings instead of just pretending or worrying about how the other person will react. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their emotions, thoughts and behavior. Those who have emotional problems may not express anger in a healthy way and may become withdrawn or even violent. They also may have difficulty handling stress and may resort to alcohol or drugs. Find out if the person has any addictions and watch for any violent outbursts.

Communication and Resolving Conflict

To resolve conflicts, effective communication is essential. Find out how your potential partner handles conflict. Occasional arguments and anger are normal in a relationship; how the couple handles them is what is important. Do each of you express what is bothering you in "I" terms or “you” terms. For example, say “I feel angry” instead of saying “You are mean”. In other words, does each of you start by talking about how you are being affected by the situation or do you start accusing or blaming each other. Do you avoid the terms “always” and “never” in arguments. Does he join you in trying to find a solution or stay angry for hours or days? It is important for couples to find ways to resolve conflicts in a peaceful way without name calling, swearing, hitting or yelling. We learned from a psychologist about “active listening”. What this means is to be able to hear not just with your ears but with all of your other senses and your heart. If your partner is bothered, you need to be able to repeat the same sentence that they just said. For example, if I said, “I really feel frustrated that you come home from work late so often and the children and I have to wait to eat with you.” My husband would often give an excuse or defend himself saying that he had too much to do and many deadlines to meet. This, while it contained some truth, was not the proper response. Later he was able to respond, “ I hear that you are frustrated that I am often late and you have to wait for me” and then he could offer some possible compromises. If you are dating someone with whom you are having difficulty in communicating, you may want to jointly seek out a psychologist to try to resolve this issue. If you cannot resolve it, perhaps this is not the person for you.

Common Interests

My husband enjoys gardening and I enjoy cooking and freezing the vegetables for the winter, so we both get a lot of joy out of our garden. We both also enjoy traveling throughout the US, but our favorite place is still San Francisco where we met and where we lived early in our marriage. Learning new things and working on new projects together is another important shared endeavor for us. There is always something that we both are excited about and can share. Even when we had a lot of small children and were relatively poor, we figured out how to make a few dollars together through garage sales. We would go to auctions where for a few dollars we bought things that my husband could fix, and that I could sell at a profit. Find out if you share common interests such as sports, gardening, hiking, dancing, music, traveling, etc. The more activities you share, the more fun you have, and the more you laugh.

Responsibility

My husband and I were always responsible in managing money wisely. Except for purchasing a home, we tried to pay cash for things or do without them. Observe whether your potential partner is financially responsible or frequently spends more than he can afford? Does your potential partner consistently have a job or is he a slacker. Does he keep promises and pitch in to help when he is needed or go off and do his own thing. Is this person hard working and dependable?

Similar Educational Background

Be aware of your respective educational backgrounds. If you have similar education, you can discuss more topics and share what you enjoy. This is not a hard and fast requirement though, just another thing to think about. A person may be self educated or very creative or otherwise very compatible, so these things may outweigh this factor. You will have to decide for yourself.

Relationship with parents

Determine if the person has had a bad relationship with his mother, father or both and hasn't worked out his problems. You may end up suffering after marriage because you will find yourself unjustly identified with his mother or father. Be sure to get to know his parents and observe what type of relationship they have with each other and his relationship with each of them. If your potential partner does not have a close relationship with his parents, he may have trouble having a close relationship with you, at least for many years to come.

Friendship

Friendship is something that I have valued all of my life. Consider the type of friends a candidate partner has. Someone with long-term friends may be a better and more understanding and loving partner than a loner. The person with close friends has developed loyalty, empathy, and a caring attitude and has developed experience in sharing and resolving conflict. The type of friends that your potential partner associates with may also tell you much about his values and interests.

Abstinence from sex

I know that this isn't too popular these days but if you want to get to know someone, wait for a while because otherwise it can become just a sexual relationship. Also it is easy to mistake passion for love and you may not really get to know each other until you get married and that may be a bit late.

Attraction

Be sure you feel an attraction to the person both in terms of physical appearance and personality in addition to just enjoying being with each other. I was dating someone else before my husband and I started going out. The other person was personable and had a more promising financial future, but I was more attracted to my husband-to-be. It is more fun to kiss a person that you feel attracted to.

Summary

In summary, choosing a partner is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. Perhaps what each one of us is looking for is to be loved and cherished as a very special person and in turn to have someone that we can love and cherish in the same way for all of our lives together. Be very specific about the qualities you value. Notice what attracted you to your present or past boyfriend. If there are deal breaking issues that you notice and that you cannot resolve, then give up and move on. The most important quality in a human being is how much he can love and how much empathy he has for others. Other qualities that are very important are ability to communicate and resolve conflicts, commitment, faithfulness, honesty, sense of humor, and enjoying life and others.

Other Tips

  • Write down a list of important values and qualities and don't compromise on what you hold dear to your heart.
  • On the Internet don't give your real name, phone or address until you have met face-to-face in a public place and gotten to know each other a bit.
  • Before getting serious, do a background check for your own safety and that of your children, if any. There are many sites that will do background checks for a nominal charge. Also check this free sex offender link.


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