Marriage is a big life decision that you should not make without a lot of thought and reflection. To help you get started, consider these 25 qualities of the person you should marry.
1. They respect your beliefs and values.
The person you marry doesn’t have to agree with you on every issue, but even so, you must have a mutual respect for each other’s core beliefs and values. How could it be possible to keep on loving a person you don’t respect? Spoiler Alert: It’s not.
2. They help you grow as a person.
The person you marry should help you evolve into a better version of yourself. That doesn’t mean they should belittle you with insults or tell you that you’re not “good enough,” because positive transformation cannot happen without total acceptance of who you are; but your partner should challenge you to step up your game in every aspect of your life.
3. They trust you, and you trust them.
The person you marry shouldn’t be snooping through your phone, private messages, or browsing history. If they are concerned about a specific issue, they should confront you about it without mincing words or sneaking behind your back.
4. They love all of you (even the flawed parts).
The person you marry should be in love with you—not their idea of who they think you should be. If they can’t accept you without attempting to mold you into another person, you would be wise to look for love elsewhere.
5. They make you chuckle or have giggle fits.
The person you marry should make you feel happy and fulfilled, not sad and stuck. You should be able to smile at each other for no good reason (other than the fact that you’re so happy to be together), and you should have inside jokes that no one else in your social circle “gets.”
6. They are okay with the occasional night in.
The person you marry has every right to expect the occasional date night, road-trip, vacation, or adventure of their choosing; however, they shouldn’t feel like you always have to be doing something in order to enjoy your time together. They should be perfectly content to snuggle up with you in bed and enjoy a rare moment of silence together, with no need for anything but the feeling of peace and happiness that comes with being wrapped up in your arms.
7. They make time together a priority.
The person you marry needs to make time for you, because even the best relationship cannot survive without proper care and attention.
8. They have a life outside of your relationship.
The person you marry shouldn’t expect you to spend every waking moment with them, because you have hopes and dreams beyond the scope of your relationship. And besides, two people can only spend so much time together before getting fed up with each other, so a little bit of space will be good for both of you.
9. They express why they appreciate you.
The person you marry should make a point of expressing why they appreciate you, how they feel about you, and what physical qualities about yourself that they find attractive, handsome, sexy, or hot. It’s easy to feel your partner doesn’t care without the occasional compliment, so make sure they truly appreciate the role you play in the story that is their life.
10. They are willing to make compromises.
The person you marry shouldn’t be a weak-willed pushover who bends to your every whim, but that doesn’t mean they get to be stubborn. It is rare that one half of a couple is 100% right or wrong in any given argument. The answer usually lies somewhere in the middle. Your partner should be willing to talk through any given issue with you and make a compromise that might not be exactly what either of you want, but is nonetheless fair to you both.
11. They respect your mom and dad.
The person you marry doesn’t have to enjoy spending time with your family (just ask any married person you know how they feel about their in-laws to discover how unrealistic that idea is), but they should still have enough respect to do so without complaint during the holidays and special occasions that are important to you.
12. They inspire your trust.
The person you marry should be a person who you trust so much that you feel like you could tell them anything. If you feel like you must hide things about your past or personality, this could be a sign you’re dating the wrong person.
13. They can admit their shortcomings.
The person you marry doesn’t have to be perfect, but they should be truthful enough to admit it when they are wrong. It is okay to make a mistake as long as it is followed by a sincere apology and honest explanation. But if your partner avoids all conflict, denies all short-comings, and is unwilling to apologize, you might want to abandon ship unless facing a constant storm of marital strife sounds like fun.
14. They captivate your interest.
The person you marry should intrigue you in the same way a really good movie does; no matter how many times you watch it, you still enjoy the experience, and always seem to notice something new with each additional viewing. If they aren’t capable of sustaining your interest for the long-haul, then there is no way you can expect long-lasting relationship success.
15. They share your vision for the future.
The person you marry doesn’t have to be on the exact same life path as you, but your trails should converge in enough places so that you can both reach your final destination together. In other words: If your partner wants to travel overseas, but you’re too scared to even get in the plane, then you might have a problem.
16. They give without expectation of anything in return.
The person you marry you marry should be selfless enough to surprise you with the occasional small act of kindness, without the expectation of getting anything out of it. If you’ve ever been on a date with a male (or female) who expected to “get laid” just because they took you out to a fancy dinner, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. There is nothing more irritating than people who don’t give gifts to be nice, but rather with a predetermined outcome on their mind.
17. They don’t constantly try to “one-up” you.
The person you marry you marry has every right to perform a touchdown dance if they win a poker match or board-game, but it’s a bit lame to live your life as if every single moment is a competition with another person.
18. They can be with you in the present moment.
The person you marry should be able to enjoy a romantic dinner or car ride together without having to escape into their phone every few seconds. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with a person who can’t appreciate the simple act of looking into your eyes, basking in your presence, and enjoying the silence? I didn’t think so.
19. They turn you on (and vice versa).
The person you marry needs to feel magnetically attracted to you; likewise, you should sometimes catch your thoughts drifting away to a naughty place, where you find yourself wanting to rip their clothes off so badly that it hurts. Looks aren’t everything, but show me a person who says physical attraction is 100% unimportant, and I’ll show you a person who is delusional and out of touch with reality. I feel the need to clarify that I’m not saying any “look” is inherently better than any other. I happen to be friends with a lot of gorgeous women of any body-type you can imagine; curvy, muscular, skinny, fit, somewhere in between? It doesn’t matter. The same applies to you too, fellas. I can’t speak for everyone, but there are three things that turn me on more than looks ever could: confidence, sharp wit, and an ability to make me think.
20. They are willing to confront their demons.
The person you marry might have a few skeletons in their closet, and that’s okay. I would never tell you to not marry a person just because they suffer from alcoholism or suicidal thoughts; being unwilling to confront those obstacles, however, is a different story.
21. They don’t let feelings fester inside.
The person you marry shouldn’t keep their most vivid thoughts and feelings hidden behind a veil of secrecy. They should be willing to speak up when something is bothering them, so you can tackle the issue together as a team. Troubles that are held in have a way of intensifying, so you probably don’t want to marry a person who puts up a barrier that cannot be obstructed.
22. They remain faithful to you.
The person you marry needs to be faithful to you and only you (unless you both have agreed otherwise). If you want to get frisky in bed with other invited guests, then I’m not here to judge you, but it’s very important that you and your partner are both on the same page; otherwise, cheating is a thoughtless and inconsiderate act that is unforgivable in the eyes of many. I usually implore people to forgive their partners, but this is one area where you might only want to give a person a single chance, and I can’t say I would blame you.
23. They aren’t resistant to change.
The person you marry shouldn’t resist change with every ounce of their being. Sometimes life presents us with open doors of opportunity that could lead to a new career, a new house, a new hometown, or (insert the limitless possibilities that could occur here). If you love to improvise based on the contents of the hand you’re dealt, no matter where that might take you, then you shouldn’t settle down with a rigid partner who is so afraid of change that they won’t even discuss the issue with you.
24. They exercise personal responsibility.
The person you marry should carry themselves like a responsible adult, not a reckless teenager. While life is meant to be fun, that doesn’t mean it should resemble a 24/7 shopping spree. If your partner is bogged down in debt, or misses payment after payment, or is unemployed and doesn’t seem to care, then his or her financial woes will become a constant source of stress as soon as you tie the knot. Unless dealing with collection calls and paying for a bunch of stuff that shouldn’t even be your problem sounds like fun, vet your potential spouse’s thoughts on financial matters before you even think about marrying them.
25. They love you here, now, today, as you are.
The person you marry should never make you feel inferior, unaccepted, or not “good enough.” Yes, they should encourage you to improve yourself, but they should do that by building you up (not tearing you down). If they can’t love you—all of you! even the weird, awkward, and flawed parts—then, they don’t deserve you.
Of course, marriage isn’t for everybody, so never feel like you “have to” get married just because “society said so.” Tons of happy couples have flourished without the need for a marriage license. If you don’t want to get married, don’t. This is your life, so do your thing without apology.
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Different people are attracted to different things, so feel free to post a comment and tell us what you think are two or three qualities of the person you should marry. If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured photo credit: wedding at autumn via shutterstock.com
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