It’s easy to get caught up in the world of “the perfect”. In the world of the perfect, every guy is a perfect gentleman and treats all women with respect. Men do not waste their time with frivolities (such as video games, unless, of course your idea of a perfect guy is someone who plays video games). They should work extremely hard, make tons of money, yet still manage to give 110% of himself to helping raise the kids, handling the chores around the house, and providing you with the romance and love that you need to be completely content and happy in life. Men should be at least six feet tall with chiseled abs (don’t forget this is the world of the perfect), unafraid of commitment, and…well the list goes on, and usually varies from person to person.
I think even the most idealistic of us try to stay grounded in enough reality to know that no one is perfect. Still, where do you draw the line of idealism and realism, and what do you accept in a marriage partner? What are some things that are okay to live with, and other things that have the potential to really deteriorate the relationship over time? This line, the line of what you’re willing to accept as “flaws” of a marriage partner, is extremely important, and must be drawn with great care. A little bit too much on the idealistic side, and you’ll be single for the rest of your life (until you hit 30, realize you’re too idealistic and join eHarmony, okcupid, or Cougars.com). A little bit too much on the realistic side, and well…you might wake up next to an ape. Never fun to wake up next to an ape.
If you dont draw this line very well, you could very easily end up in a relationship you regret. And in a world that provides basically no penalty to abandon ship at the first sign of trouble (divorce is at an all time high, and is almost considered social norm…a reality that is one of the travesties of our time), getting into a failed marriage is going to cost you a lot of money, create a ton of emotional turmoil, and/or possibly create a super freaky obsessed ex-wife or ex-husband with a thirst for revenge, and an arsenal of ideas on how to get it (woman tying man to bed then cutting off his testicles comes to mind…true story.)
1.) Physical Appearance. It’s superficial and petty. It’s also retarded/ridiculous because age will always win out over looks. Yet, unless you’re the type of person that really doesn’t care at all (I’m not sure I even know a single person who doesn’t care at all…), then you need to consider this question: how important are looks to you?
Generally speaking, this area of idealism vs. realism is self defining. You can usually draw the line based on what’s available to you (your own looks being the barometer of this measurement). If you’re a good looking guy, then you can probably set the standard for how good looking the girl you date is going to be. If you have lots of money, this could also open up otherwise unavailable dating opportunities.
Yet, if you are not content with how attractive your romantic significant other is, it could be hard to remain loyal. I think it’s unrealistic (and a bit too superficial) to set your standards so high that basically only super models will fit your criteria for attractiveness in a dating partner (unless you really live in a world where you can get this type of girl/guy). However, I do think you need to find your partner attractive. You also need to learn and realize for yourself how important this area is to you. Everyone is different, and not everyone over values physical attractiveness.
Decide where you want to draw this line before you commit to marriage with someone. Don’t undervalue the importance of this, because if you marry someone who you do not find attractive, the moment an opportunity opens up with a girl or guy you think is more attractive…it could cause a lot of issues…
2.) Stand By Your Deal-Breakers. Everyone has certain things that are essential to them. DO NOT COMPROMISE IN THESE AREAS. It will only cause pain and misery. Everyone has very specific things they NEED to have in their significant other for it to work. Make sure she/he has these qualities, and don’t compromise. The problem with compromising in this area is that if he/she does not have the quality, it’s like a corrosive acid that eats away at you in time. You might be able to live without that quality for a year or two, but imagine having to ask yourself year after year after year, “why isn’t he/she like this or that!” Eventually, you’re going to get sick of it, and want out of the relationship.
3.) Money Management. Most issues surrounding marriage center around money. Money management is huge, and unless you guys are both relatively on the same page (or at least willing to listen to the one who is better at money management), then this could create ridiculous problems in your marriage. If one person is making all the money and the other one is spending it all, trust me, it’s going to cause some pretty damn epic fights. Furthermore, if one person is just horrible with money and doesn’t understand the concept of saving money for anything while the other one is trying extremely hard to save and prepare for important life events (sending kids to college could be one), then…
You get the idea. Money is important, and how you handle money can greatly impact whether the marriage will work.
4.) Stubbornness. How stubborn is the person you’re considering for marriage? This can be a very important thing to consider, unless you have an insane amount of patience. If the person you might marry is too stubborn, this will cause a ton of issues in life. Life is difficult–it’s constantly changing, evolving, and throwing new challenges in your way. This quote in the movie Rocky Balboa captures the reality of this: “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Life can be pretty difficult. Finding a person in life who is willing to learn, grow, and change is so important. Stubborn people can be impossible to deal with at times, and that’ll make your life just that much more difficult.
5.) Cleanliness. If one person is a slob, and the other is a neat freak…you guys will hate each other rather quickly. I guarantee it.
6.) Morals/Values/Religion/Politics. I really don’t think I need to explain this one. If you don’t know why this is important for marriage, date someone who has sharply different viewpoints of the world than you do. It’s not impossible, but damn, it can cause quite a bit of hurdles in the relationship, that’s for sure…