What You Want vs. What You Need

It’s interesting that many of the qualities you look for in a dating partner are almost all irrelevant in a spouse. Dating expectations are often unrealistic, especially when applied to marriage. At the top of the list for many guys (maybe most) are looks. Nothing wrong with that because, as we all know, physical attraction is an important part of a relationship. But some guys determine their partners solely based on looks, and those looks are often based on images of models and actresses. Now look, if you’re lucky enough to find a woman that has your fantasy look along with an incredible personality, intelligence, and the moral and ethical qualities that are included in the Hebrew term “Chesed” — Mazal Tov! realistic dating expectationsThe reality is that in many cases guys will go for the looks and barely focus on the rest of the list. If you’re just looking to date and have some fun, fine. Knock yourself out. If you’re looking for a spouse to spend the rest of your life with…ARE YOU CRAZY!!!

You will be living with your spouse for years. You will face trying situations together. You will suffer, mourn, and rejoice together. Most importantly, you will raise children together (more accurately, your wife will raise your children most of the time). How important do you think looks are now??

Ladies, you’re not off the hook on this one. Many of you focus on the profession or balance sheet of a potential partner. How much is he making now, and how much will he be making in 5 and 10 years? I understand, you want to make sure you can send the kids to private school and take those annual Caribbean vacations like all of your friends in the Five Towns. Well, let me throw a bucket of ice cold water on your head. Profession, balance sheet, or earning potential is not what’s going to make you happy and secure in a marriage. Yes, making a living is important. Being wealthy isn’t.

Happiness has nothing to do with the amount of money or possessions you have. That’s why so many rich people are miserable and so many poor folks are satisfied. Super looks is irrelevant after a couple of years of marriage. If you’re not sure what I’m taking about, speak to some married friends or relatives (yes, even your parents) and ask them to explain what I’m saying.

If you are serious about getting married, you better start focusing on what’s really important in a spouse. Make sure you set realistic dating expectations. Otherwise, we’ll be having this same conversation again in another 5 or 10 years (or more).

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