Today is just a VERY special day to me. . .my beloved husband's birthday. . .and it's turned into a bit of an object lesson for my oldest two (young ladies who will, in the next few years or so, start thinking about the courting/dating process).
Choosing the 'Right Guy' is kind of important. (Notice I didn't say the 'Perfect Guy.' Contrary to Cosmo and Hollywood's insistence, he doesn't exist. :) )
Trouble is, we get advice from just about all sides about what constitutes 'Right.' Most of it is conflicting, but some of it is just plain wrong. Movies and magazines all emphasize chemistry over all other qualities as the most important thing to look for in a human being. But is that really the most crucial thing? I just don't think it is.
Most people I have known who've been married for a significant amount of time (25+ years) aren't still in that 'can't keep their hands off of each other' phase. (And haven't been for a LONG time!) Not that physical attraction and intimacy has disappeared with these long-timers (indeed, it hasn't!), it just isn't front and center any more.
So, my premise on how to choose the right guy is that the things that will be of value in 25 or so years ought to be top of your list now. With that in mind, here are my suggestions for choosing the right guy (or girl!).
- Find 'Compatible,' NOT 'Identical!' I don't care WHAT your grandma told you. . .opposites aren't always the best fit (too many differences, especially on key issues like money, faith, kids, and lifestyle, will breed constant conflict), but neither is marrying your twin. Too many similarities and there is no spark or creativity or interest after awhile. So, look for someone who shares your core beliefs and values, but also has some differing talents, interests and personality traits.
- Pick someone heading in your direction. Sure, you might be at the same place now, but make sure to find out where your intended sees himself in five, ten, and twenty+ years. If his ten year plan is for just the two of you to be in a fancy New York apartment and rocking 70 hour work weeks in order to fund expensive trips abroad while your ideal goal by that point is to have a small farm in rural Northern California where you are raising hoards of kids, chickens and goats, you probably aren't ideally suited for the 'long haul.'
- Match your senses of humor. Life is going to throw you a curve ball or two, and there will be stretches that are tedious, so making sure you have someone who can make you laugh (and you can make laugh, too!), is hugely important.
- Find someone who values honesty and with whom you can be completely honest. Not knowing and accepting your spouse as a whole, or being known and accepted by him, only works for a little while. Pretending is hard work. So is hiding and stuffing down the truth. If a man is worthy of your love, he'll accept the whole you. . .scars and all. And you will do the same for him. And, you know what, to know and be known like that grows the deepest, most healing kind of love.
I love you, Ian. Happy Birthday!