Finding your life partner

*5 Golden Rules for finding your Life Partner*
by Rabbi Dov Heller, MA

A relationship coach lays out his 5 golden rules for evaluating the
prospects of long-term marital success.

When it comes to making the decision about choosing a life partner, no one
wants to make a mistake. Yet, with a divorce rate of close to 50 percent, it
appears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to finding
Mr/Ms Right! If you ask most couples who are engaged why they're getting
married, they'll say" "We're in love."

I believe this is the #1 mistake make when they date. Choosing a life
partner should never be based on love. Though this may sound not politically
correct, there's profound truth here.

Love is not the basis for getting married. Rather, love is the result of a
good marriage. When the other ingredients are right, then the love will
come.

Let me say it again: You can't build a lifetime relationship on love alone.
You need a lot more. Here are 5 questions you must ask yourself if you're
serious about finding and keeping a life partner.

QUESTION #1: Do we share a common life purpose?

Why is this so important? Let me put it this way: If you're married for 20
to 30 years, that's a long time to live with someone. What do you plan to do
with each other all that time? Travel, eat and jog together? You need to
share something deeper and more meaningful. You need a common life purpose.

Two things can happen in a marriage. You can grow together, or you can grow
apart. 50 percent of the people out there are growing apart. To make a
marriage work,
you need to know what you want out of life bottom line –
and marry someone who wants the same thing.

QUESTION #2: Do I feel safe expressing my feelings and thoughts with this
person?

This question goes to the core of the quality of your relationship.
Feeling safe means you can communicate openly with this
person. The basis of having communication is trust – i.e. trust that I won't
get "punished" or hurt for expressing my honest thoughts and feelings. A
colleague of mine defines an abusive person as someone with whom you feel
afraid to express your thoughts and feelings.

Be honest with yourself on this one. Make sure you feel emotionally safe
with the person you plan to marry.

QUESTION #3: Is he/she a mensch?

A mensch is someone who is a refined and sensitive person. How can you test?
Here are some suggestions. Do they work on personal growth on a regular
basis? Are they serious about improving themselves? A teacher of mine
defines a good person as "someone who is always striving to be good and do
the right thing." So ask about your significant other. What do they do with
their time? Is this person materialistic? Usually a materialistic person is
not someone whose top priority is character refinement. There are
essentially two types of people in the world: People who are dedicated to
personal growth and people who are dedicated to seeking comfort. Someone
whose goal in life is to be comfortable will put personal comfort ahead of
doing the right thing. You need to know that before walking down the aisle.

QUESTION #4: How does he/she treat other people?

The one most important thing that makes any relationship work is the ability
to give. By giving, we mean the ability to give another person pleasure.

Ask: Is this someone who enjoys giving pleasure to others or are they are
wrapped up in themselves and self-absorbed? To measure this, think about the
following: How do they treat people whom they do not have to be nice to,
such as waiters, bus boy, taxi driver, etc. How do they treat parents and
siblings? Do they have gratitude and appreciation?

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