In terms of dating with the goal of marriage, it’s important that your core relationship values align with your partner’s. There will always be shades of difference, but you don’t want to live in a house divided.
For example, if you desire an equal partnership and your partner wants a traditional relationship where the man makes the decisions, then you know this won’t work out in the end for either of you.
Essential values might include religious beliefs, how other people and animals deserve to be treated, self-care, views on work-life balance, and how finances should be handled.
3. They share similar life goals
“The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about.” – Bruce Forsyth
Your life goals will most likely reflect your core values. And, just like your values, your life goals need to be reasonably well in sync with your partner’s.
Talk through key topics like children, work-life balance, where and when you want to retire and the differences you’d like to make in the world might top the list. Is your partner supportive of your life goals? Would you support your partner’s own dreams?
Marriage-minded singles are not afraid to express their intentions of finding a spouse. You need to be willing to put a stake in the sand.
4. They possess reasonable and effective conflict resolution skills
“The success of marriage comes not in finding the right person, but in the ability of both partners to adjust to the real person they inevitably realize they married.” – John Fischer
This is a critical area when determining if the person you’re dating is marriage material. You may not think the conflict will ever be possible with this person when you’re still in the early stages of dating, but it’s a guarantee in any relationship, romantic or not.
How a person responds or reacts to conflict speaks volumes about their suitability as a life-long mate. As much as no one likes the idea of fighting, it’s important to learn early on how your partner handles themselves during fights. It’s also important to learn how you fight together, and how your fighting styles affect one another.
Some people quickly go on the offensive, while others run away to avoid conflict. Which patterns do each of you display? Can you sit down and work out your differences in a calm, respectful manner?
Someone who is committed to finding healthy ways to resolve conflict is likely to be open to getting support when necessary. Couples and/or individual therapy isn’t an insult, but an empowering tool toward sustaining healthy relationships.
If your date is marriage material, the two of you will approach conflicts as a productive opportunity to grow as a couple.
5. They show consistency and follow-through on promises
“Dating should be less about matching outward circumstances than meeting your inner necessity.” – Mark Amend
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you count on this person?
- If they say they are going to be somewhere, do they show up … and on time?
- Can you count on constancy in their treatment of you and of other people?
- Are they cool under pressure or in conflict, or do they fly off the handle?
- Do they take small responsibilities as seriously as they do the big ones?
A marriage-minded person will want to be someone on whom you can fully rely. This is about dependability, and dependability is rooted in strong character. When a person can be trusted with little things, you can confidently inch your way into trusting them with bigger things — like your life.