Today, perhaps more than ever before, one of the most difficult decisions a man faces is deciding on the person he plans to marry and spend the rest of his days. And why wouldn’t it be? There’s the high rate of divorce. There’s a plethora of dating sites casting a massive net into the single population that makes dating around easier than ever. And, of course, the pure fear of ending up in a relationship that is just OK – not bad enough to divorce but never really feeling fulfilled.
So here’s the definitive checklist to help you decide if “she is the one.” But what makes our list truly different is we were bold enough to prioritize it in order of importance!
- Attraction: If you don’t get this one right, don’t bother moving and stop right here. This could include any combination of attributes that make up the total package: Physical attraction, sense of humor, smile, kindness, having fun etc.
- SEX: Sexual compatibility is probably one of the most compromised on the list. Long term it has a lot less to do with physical attraction than you might think. Example: if you are very attracted to someone who does not like similar sexual acts, positions, or adventure, it might work short term but gets old pretty quick. Don’t sell yourself short in this department.
- Can you be yourself?: How many times have you seen a friend or a family member act differently when in front of their significant other? Being someone you’re not negatively affects so many other aspects of your life (and in this post, list items). This can ultimately lead to resentment or anger in the relationship.
- How does she resolve a fight? Look, it’s going to happen and you better be comfortable about how she will resolve it. Does she go silent for long periods of time or is she resilient? What ever her style, it better be compatible with yours. It doesn’t get much worse than one person thinking the fight is over while the other person is just getting started.
- Family & Religion: This is very important and outside the “how many kids we should have” conversation we think that it consistently gets ranked higher than it should be. It’s common sense that families are important and anyone thinking marriage usually thinks so as well. But if you get 1-4 on the list right, this should fall into place. Remember, anytime you bring other people (family members included) into the fold you are bound to face situations less than perfect, but having those other attributes in check will make it much easier.
- Money: It goes without saying that a big reason behind relationship problems is not having enough money. But that’s really an earning question and maybe should be included in “Attraction.” What we are really talking about here is how your partner might prefer to spend some of their cash. Example: If she receives a bonus at work does she put it towards a piece of jewelry for herself, a vacation trip for the two of you, or the money you are saving for a down payment on a house?
- Work Ethic: Having similar career ambitions and understanding the sacrifices you may need to make for each other. Having the perfect 1-4 is near meaningless if they are working 24/7.
- Interests: This is a tricky one and is a “nice to have” more than a “must have.” Chances are you will have a few things in common if you have gotten to this stage of your relationship, but it’s also completely fine (and healthy) to have separate interests. As long as you have a nice balance of interests shared, you should be just fine.
- Will you follow her or will she follow you to the ends of the Earth?: Where you end up together is where your life is and if she (or you) are not willing to do that for each other this could be a deal breaker. But practically speaking this is usually dictated to where you earn a living so don’t stress too much about this one.
- Does she make you happy? We placed this last because if after you going through our checklist and it’s riddled with yes’s and no’s but she makes you happy and you can’t live without her, to hell with some ridiculous list.