I have been reading a few books that talks about dating and lifelong commitment in marriage. A few of my favourites would be I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris and Relationships that Work (and those that don’t) by Norman Wright.
There are differences and similarities shared by every couple. Similarities often satiate while differences often attract. Differences are rarely the cause of conflict in a marriage. However, problems arise from our similarities. This means differences are the occasion while similarities are the cause. Differences often attract in the first place, then irritate, then frustrate, then illuminate and finally may unite us. Nevertheless, the uniqueness of the other one often attracts in a way that one would either accept or gets irritated.
And for many years, people often ask the same question – “When you marry, do you end up marrying someone who is your opposite or someone who is similar?”
There is a list by Dr Neal Warren (in the book Finding the Love of Your Life) which I would highly recommend to couples who are dating exclusively and thinking about the next level.
Which of these have you thought about?
1. Socioeconomic background of family
3. Formal education
4. Verbal skills
5. Expected roles for both persons within the marriage
6. Views about power distribution within the family
7. Desired number of children
8. When a family should be started
9. Child-rearing views
10. Political philosophy
11. Views about smoking, alcohol and drugs
12. Amount of involvement with in-laws
13. Sense of humour
16. Desire for verbal intimacy and ability to be intimate
17. The role of conflict and how to resolve it
18. The way to handle anger
19. How friendships with the opposite sex should be handled
20. Expected amount of privacy and rules for its use
21. Level of ambition
22. Life goals
23. Attitudes about weight
24. Religious and spiritual beliefs and preferences
25. Amount of church involvement
26. Family spiritual involvement
27. Hobbies and Interests
28. Type of music enjoyed
29. Energy level of physical activities
30. Sexual drive and sexual interests
31. Amount of income to be spent and saved
32. How money should be allocated (clothes, vacations, etc.)
33. Amount of money to be given away and to whom
34. Degree of risks to be taken with investments
35. Attitudes about cleanliness — house, clothes, body, etc
36. Ways of handling sickness
37. Health standards — when to see a doctor
38. Interpersonal and social skills
39. Amount and type of social involvement preferred
40. Geographical area in which to live
41. Size and style of house
42. Type of furniture and decorations
43. Amount and type of travel preferred
44. How to spend vacations
45. How to celebrate major holidays
46. How much time to spend together
47. When to go to sleep and get up
48. Temperature of home during the day and night
49. Activity during meals (talking, watching TV, etc.)
50. Television programs preferred
If you are in a relationship right now, how well do you know what your bf or gf knows, thinks or does about each of these 50 items? How well does the other half know what you believe, think or do regarding these items?
Isn’t it time to discover this before going any deeper into a relationship?
Working together to achieve compatibility is the ultimate educational experience! 🙂 Happy Discussing!