A popular saying goes, "Marriage involves three rings: the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering."
If it is commonly felt that marriage is so difficult, why do most people wish to get married? Probably, the instinct to find a mate is inherent in human beings; and I am no exception. Somehow, I believe that there is someone out there who was made specially for me, and, once I find him, we will fall in love, and get married; and only then will I feel complete. So, how will I recognise my Mr Right? What qualities should I be looking for?
First of all, I am not looking for "Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome". Character is more important than looks. I cannot deny that I am attracted to good-looking boys, but marrying solely for physical attraction will probably lead to short term pleasure but life-long regret. I have also noticed that handsome boys are often vain and arrogant, which I find most unattractive. One of the main things that I admire in a man is humility. Such a man will not boast about his wealth, intelligence or achievements, but, instead appreciate other people's abilities and achievements. He will also readily admit when he has made a mistake. Such a man would be a joy to live with.
Good communication is the key to any solid relationship, most of all, marriage. I would want my future husband to share his thoughts with me. I want to hear his dreams and to share in his struggles. On the other hand, I will also need someone who will be ready to listen to me, and interested to know what is happening in my life. There should be no secrets between us.
Life is full of challenges. We can expect to face failure as well as success; heartache as well as joy; boredom as well as excitement. So, the perfect husband should have a positive attitude and a good sense of humour. He should be witty and say things which make me laugh. The perfect husband would also be one who can see the silver lining behind every cloud, rather than focus on the flaws in every situation. With such a man, I will be encouraged to look at life in a happier and more positive way.
Above all other qualities, the perfect husband will be faithful. He must be someone who really believes in that marriage is made to last "till death do us part". He will be totally committed to our relationship, and willing to stay for the long haul, "in sickness and in health, for better or for worse"; as couples promise in the wedding vows. The perfect husband would not be distracted by other women; not even when I have lost my looks. He would be a "one woman man". In return, I will also promise my total loyalty and faithfulness to my future husband.
Actually, there are many other qualities that make a man perfect husband material. For example, one obvious quality would be the ability to provide; and, though it is not the most important quality, physical attraction must be a part of the equation for a marriage to work well. However, while it is easy to make lists, finding a man to live up to them will be very difficult. Furthermore, instead of focusing on my requirements for the perfect husband, I think I should recognise my own imperfections, and set about correcting them. As Barnett Brickner said, "Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate."
Learn the qualities that make a person an ideal partner – They may not be what you expected.
While the reasons we fall in love are often a mystery, the reasons we stay in love are far less elusive. There may be no such thing as the perfect partner, but an ideal partner can be found in someone who has developed themselves in certain ways that go beyond looks, charms and success. Although we each seek out a specific set of qualities that is uniquely meaningful to us alone, there are certain psychological characteristics both you and your partner can strive for that make the relationship much more likely for lasting success.
1. An ideal partner has grown up.
One common criticism people make about their partners is that they need to “grow up.” What many of us fail to recognize is that growing up is not merely a matter of acting like an adult. To truly grow up means recognizing and resolving early childhood traumas or losses, and then understanding how these events influence our current behaviors.
Therefore the ideal partner is willing to reflect on their past. They possess a maturity that comes from being emotionally emancipated from their family of origin. They have developed a strong sense of independence and autonomy, having made the psychological shift from boy to man or girl to woman. Having broken ties to old identities and patterns, this person is more available to their partner and the new family they have created, as oppose to the one in which they were born.
Because this partner has grown up, they are less likely to re-enact childhood experiences in an intimate relationship. Because they have evolved as a person, they aren’t looking for someone to compensate for shortcomings and weaknesses. They aren’t looking for someone to complete their incompleteness. Rather this person is looking for someone like themselves. They are looking for another adult with qualities similar to theirs, with whom they can share life in a compatible fashion.
2. An ideal partner is open and non-defensive.
The ideal partner is open and undefended, and is willing to be vulnerable. As a result, they are approachable and receptive to feedback without being overly sensitive about any topic. Their openness also enables them to be forthright in expressing feelings, thoughts, dreams and desires. It includes an interest in personal and sexual development.
3. An ideal partner is honest and lives with integrity.
The ideal partner realizes the importance of honesty in a close relationship. Honesty builds trust between people. Dishonesty confuses the other person, destroying their trust along with their sense of reality. Nothing has a more destructive impact on a close relationship between two people than dishonesty and deception. Even in such painful situations as infidelity, the blatant deception involved is often more hurtful than the unfaithful act itself.
The ideal partner strives to live a life of integrity so that there are no discrepancies between one’s words and actions. This goes for all levels of communication, both verbal and non-verbal.
4. An ideal partner is respectful of and sensitive to the other, having uniquely individual goals and priorities.
Ideal partners value the other’s interests separate from their own. They feel congenial toward and supportive of one another’s overall goals in life. They are sensitive to the other’s wants, desires and feelings, and place them on an equal basis with their own. Ideal partners treat each other with respect and sensitivity. They do not try to control each other with threatening or manipulative behavior. They are respectful of one another’s distinct personal boundaries while at the same time, being close physically and emotionally.
5. An ideal partner has empathy for and understanding of their partner.
The ideal partner perceives their mate on both an intellectual, observational level and an emotional, intuitive level. This partner is able to both understand and empathize with their mate.
When a couple understands each other, they become aware of the commonalities that exist between them and also recognize and appreciate the differences. When both partners are empathic, that is, capable of communicating with feeling and with respect for the other person’s wants, attitudes and values, each partner feels understood and validated.
6. An ideal partner is physically affectionate and sexually responsive.
The ideal partner is easily affectionate and responsive on many levels: physically, emotionally and verbally. They are personal, acknowledging and outwardly demonstrative of feelings of warmth and tenderness. They enjoy closeness in being sexual and are uninhibited in freely giving and accepting affection and pleasure during lovemaking.
7. An ideal partner has a sense of humor!
The ideal partner has a sense of humor. A sense of humor can be a lifesaver in a relationship. The ability to laugh at one’s self and at life’s foibles allows a person to maintain a proper perspective while dealing with sensitive issues that arise within the couple. Couples who are playful and teasing often defuse potentially volatile situations with their humor. A good sense of humor definitely eases the tense moments in a relationship.
Besides, it always feels good to have fun with someone!
Read Dr. Lisa Firestone’s Article on the Characteristics of an Ideal Partner
Read More on Relationships and Intimacy.