What qualities should you look out for in an ideal potential spouse? For many ladies today, the answer includes things like self awareness, a visionary who knows where the relationship is going, commitment to the relationship, not a mama’s boy, good looking (because it has implications on future baby genetics), financial stability, taller than me, can relate well with my family, and so on.
Guys on the other hand generally tend to have a much shorter list for the ideal bachelorette. It seems to boil down to…a beautiful, humble woman who admires me, who will not expect me to read her mind or try to interpret her signals, and who will supply good and plentiful sex!
These are generalizations obviously. The point is that we all have a list of expectations about the ideal spouse. We are constantly on the lookout for Mr or Ms Right and when we encounter someone we like, we evaluate them against our inner criteria to see if they fit the bill. That’s why it’s common to hear women lamenting that they’re no good men left, or men complaining that women are too complicated!
Back in the day, things were much simpler. In a process that would make most headhunters today look like amateurs, parents shortlisted the candidates most likely to be compatible not just with their child but with the entire family. They conducted background checks, followed up the references, and delivered the candidate who best fit the bill.
Life today is a lot more complicated! With their only guidance coming from talk shows, magazines, and the internet, young people face the daunting task of single-handedly finding a spouse who will satisfy their needs, be good parents to their children and be faithful to the relationship! The high rates of divorce and infidelity in our culture testify to the fact that there’s a big problem with our mate selection criteria today.
What could the problem be? As a generation, we’ve grown up believing in the mantra ‘if it feels good, do it!’ Life is about the pursuit of happiness. We find a new job or leave our old one because of what we feel we’re getting from it. And we think the same way about marriage. We want a spouse who will make us happy and meet our needs.
The problem with this thinking is that it’s externally focused – it’s about looking for the right person and not about being the right person. When you finally meet the person of your dreams, then your only choice is manipulation. You have to keep pushing them to get what you want. You’ll only realize too late that you have transferred the responsibility for your joy, significance and self esteem to someone else. This is a burden we should never assign to another human being because they’re bound to disappoint.
The solution? You’ve heard it before… Stop focusing outward! Become the person who the person you’re looking for is looking for!