Richard and I have been married for 19 years! I have loved him for half of my life. (This fact blows my mind!)
I have so many friends who aren't in love with thier spouse and I truly hate that for them. I want my children to find the perfect mate for them when it's time. Here are my keys to finding THE ONE:
1. The person you want to marry makes you want to be better in every area of your life. They don't do this by the words they say, but by the kind of person they are. DO NOT marry someone to change them, this is a TERRIBLE IDEA.
2. The person you want to marry is a person you can laugh with. OFTEN. Laughing, smiling and having a good time in the most mundane times of the day is essential. You don't have to watch crude commedians, go to concerts or big events to laugh. Laughing should be part of driving, talking, and everyday conversations.
3. The person you want to marry is a person you can trust. You don't test this on the first date, this is a track record of times of keeping a secret, not embarrassing you, keeping their word, doing what they say they will do. It cannot be measured in a short amount of time. If you can't trust someone, you don't give them your heart.
4. A person you want to marry honors their family. It's true what they say about how a guy treats his mother, but it's also true that if they can't get along with their family, they won't get along with yours. There is no way to not bring this conflict into the rest of your life. It's not a matter of what kind of people their parents and siblings "are" or what their family "has done", it's a matter of how they treat/honor/respect their parents or siblings.
5. The person you want to marry should not be selfish. Yes, this eliminates 90% of all humans. A person you want to marry should not be characterized by selfishness. Time, possessions, emotions, trust, and love are all to be shared freely without conditions. BEWARE of those who are on their absolute best behavior during dating. They should be, but it may not be their real nature. You can only test this one over time.
6. Become the person you are trying to attract. If you want someone trustworthy, be someone who is faithful and trustworthy. If you want someone who honors their family, honor yours. If you want someone who is not selfish, evaluate those things in your life that you hold onto a little tight.
7. You MUST know what things are NON-NEGOTIABLE in your life and in your future mate's. Having a mate that loved God was a non-negotiable for me. I couldn't tell this overnight by attendance at church, having a Bible or wearing a tie on Sunday. It takes time to make sure the NON-NEGOTIABLES are true in another person's life. This list of NON-NEGOTIABLES will help keep those who aren't going to be "the one" from getting into your heart before you spend a lot of emotions on them.
Is there more? Of course! I pray often that my children will seek God more than their mate so that He can lead them to THE BEST He has for them. It's not an area they want to make a mistake in! I'm so very thankful for God's DIVINE INTERVENTION to bring Richard into my life. Richard had lots of other choices, and I'm sure I would've made huge mistakes if He hadn't kept me busy in college. THANK YOU GOD for the gift of my husband. Happy Anniversary Richard!