Based on your choice of a life partner it can be bliss or hell, happy or hopeless. It should not be made only because your biological clock is ticking away or you are terrified of being alone in your old age. Nonetheless we all make decisions because of their convenience and certainly not their inconvenience. While physical attraction is an important part of the lifelong commitment, it should not be of paramount importance. Think of what happens when gravity takes its toll and your wrinkles start appearing. I have compiled a comprehensive list you can skim through but mull on it before you take that plunge in deep waters. Part I
Have you met the parents/ relatives? How do you see yourself fitting in and getting along?
It is a disheartening reality that there are still some families who may have myopic and antiquated prejudices that inhibit communication and prevent bonds from forming, resulting in unnerving and emotionally draining gatherings. There are methods we can implement to alleviate problems but where there are close family ties and frequent reunions, keeping away may not be an option. Some family members may knowingly ask prying and embarrassing questions that put you in a difficult situation in front of everyone. Keep this in mind, because after the initial romancing has worn down, you may become very intolerant and refuse to attend gatherings.
- Have you considered the influence of siblings?
Your partner’s siblings may have some measure of influence over their brother/sister, maybe even more than the parents. They may even harbour residual affection for their sibling’s former companion and even go so far as to constantly bring that person up in order to goad you into reacting. Look at the qualities your partner’s siblings possess and think carefully about whether or not you would consider entrusting the care of any future children you may have with your partner to them.
- Do you plan to stay with this person for the short or long term??
Are you in it for the moment/moments or are you hoping to establish a lifelong commitment? Physical attraction may diminish over time or both of you may lose interest at some point along the way. It might get to the point where you are both happy for each other’s company and get along only as friends. Do you know whether or not your partner is in it with a future in mind? Discussing this is important to ensure that both of you are on the same page.
- Does your partner respect your boundaries and uphold your standards?
If you decide you want to wait until a certain point to have a physical relationship then your partner should be understanding and never forceful. Only you know when you are ready. This is why it is important that you trust who you are with; that person should not make you feel ashamed or afraid to express your emotions.
- Are you prepared to deal with your partner’s baggage?
We all come with baggage; abusive childhoods, divorces, custody battles etc. Are you equipped to deal with whatever emotional trauma your partner may have for what could be the rest of your life? Be prepared and decide if you can handle some situations, such as the presence of stepchildren.
- What are your partner’s views on financial issues?
Financial battles are common causes of disagreements and grounds for divorce. Look carefully and observe your partner’s spending habits, are they stingy misers waiting for someone to pick up the tab or are they carefree and spend for the moment? These days it may be better to pay cash and leave your credit free for purchase of new home or to make a worthwhile investment. Sometimes paying for a new vehicle every time a series change, may not be the wisest decision. Also children, if you choose to have, are a lifelong expenditure. Couples have to plan carefully and have a contingency fund if there is an unexpected health issue, retrenchment, home repairs, car repairs etc.
- What is your partner’s credit record?
While people have a right to keep some things private, you may someday find yourself faced with being liable for the debts your partner incurred in the past. You may want to have a frank discussion about the past before moving forward with the person.
- What motivates your potential life partner?
What are their aspirations in life? It is important that you endeavour to understand what drives your partner. Is he/she concerned with only acquiring wealth? Are they more interested in working hard than ever enjoying leisure time? Are they devoted to family or more self-centred? Whatever spurs them on, it is up to you to decide if their ultimate goals are compatible with what you want in life as well.
- What do you both not have in common?
Opposites attract they say, however, in the real world this aphorism does not always hold merit. No two people will ever be exactly alike; however, your differences should complement each other, or at least be supported by the other person. If you or your partner’s lifestyle choices are a continuous source of contention and strife between both of you, then you may have to reconsider the relationship with that person.
- What are your chances of long term survival?
Sometimes you take a chance and it feels like you can overcome everything and sometimes you get some blows that leave you reeling and unable to get off the ropes. Analyze. Discuss. Get advice and choose from the head and heart. Contemplate, in time of difficulties, do you envisage abandonment or security?
We at WOW wish you all the best to ensure that you live blessed and fulfilled lives.