I remember experiencing all of these symptoms more than one time in my life and none of them turned out to be a predictor of a lasting relationship. When we fall in love with our heart, we may tend to ignore reality or other glaring signs that this may not be the right relationship for you. Don’t get me wrong, romance is wonderful and feels good, but a lasting relationship must be based on what your mind says, not just what your heart says.
Even more challenging is being a romantic at heart. Nobody loves romance movies more than I do, especially those where the girl has given up on love and she ends up falling in love and living happily ever after. Who can resist the movies Titanic, Sleepless in Seattle, Pretty Woman, Love & Basketball, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back? Each one of those movies, tugged at my heart strings and I left wondering if love could ever happen to me that way. I wanted to have the “love glow” on my face like each of the women in those movies.
A few years ago I had a conversation with my daughter about finding a mate and about marriage. I encouraged her to make her requests known to God by writing down what she desired in a future. I had done the same thing after I had experienced divorce and was considering what it would take for me to take the plunge again. As a pay to ward off potential suitors, I cam up with my “perfect man” list. My list contained some physical characteristics, but it included mostly what I wanted in a man intellectually. I wanted someone who was of course tall, dark and handsome (I threw that because I didn’t want the Lord playing tricks on me), but I also wanted an intelligent man who loved God, was respectful of his parents, was involved in the community, understood my commitments to my children and family and of course had a wonderful sense of humor.
By looking at my list, it was easy for me to turn some suitors down because they did not pass the test. Why would I make the mistake of entering into a relationship with someone who did not share my commitment to God or who didn’t go to church? Why would I choose a mate solely based on how they were dressed or how they looked wearing a suit?
According to marriage experts Dr. Les and Leslie Parrot, there are 7 predictors of whether or not a couple will be happily remarried. They include:
- Healthy expectations of marriage
- A realistic concept of love
- A positive attitude and outlook toward life
- The ability to communicate their feelings
- An understanding and acceptance of their gender differences
- The ability to make decision and settle arguments
- A common spiritual foundation and goal