Opposites do attract, but the attraction might not last. When choosing a marriage partner most people want enough in common with their future spouse to enjoy activities together as well as share major life goals. Deciding to marry means preparing for a lifetime commitment, so you want to be certain about your compatibility before agreeing to tie the knot.
1. Similar Personality Traits
Compare your personality with your partner's. Neil Clark Warren, a psychologist specializing in relationships, claims that couples with similar personality characteristics are more likely to have a successful relationship. This doesn't mean you need to be carbon copies of each other, but be aware of personality differences that could lead to conflict. If you value punctuality but your future spouse is always running late, or you are a neat freak and your future spouse habitually tosses clothes on the floor and never cleans the kitchen, marriage might mean years of stress and frustration.
2. Mutual Interests
Ask yourself if you would be friends with your potential spouse if the sexual attraction wasn't there. Marriage means compromise, but if your idea of an ideal vacation is quiet time in front of the television and your partner prefers wild parties, outdoor sports and action-packed adventure, the compromise might be too onerous for either one of you and resentment is likely to follow. Enjoying any activity more enthusiastically than your spouse is not necessarily problematic, but if one of you is passionately devoted to something that the other hates or finds boring, it could mean trouble ahead.
3. Shared Goals
Compare your long-term goals. Sharing a vision for your future together is an essential ingredient for successful marriage. Ask yourself and your partner if you aspire to owning your own home and are willing to save toward it. How big the house should be and whether it's an urban or rural home should also be considered. It's important to agree on the big ticket topics such as whether to have children, who will be the main caregiver and what religion, if any, to follow for you and your children.
4. Expectations of Marriage
Discuss your beliefs about how disagreements in your marriage will be handled. Couples who divorce tend to express anger and communicate negatively with each other. Know your partner's style of dealing with conflict. Determine whether you share expectations about who'll be responsible for housework and financial decisions. It's best if you are able to discuss contentious issues and resolve them without anger, criticism or blame.
- Huff Post: The Elusive Marital Ingredient
- Psychology Today: Should You Marry Him? Ten Steps to Clarity
- Hitched: Understanding Sexual Compatibility In Marriage
- Psychology Today: Does Compatibility Predict Marriage Success?
- Aish.com: Clarity Before Marriage
- The Christian Broadcasting Network: Getting Married: How Do You Know for Sure?
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images