While love does happen in this dreamy whirl-wind way for some, for most of us it’s a little more complicated than a feeling. Often, there are other practicalities to consider before choosing a mate for life. Susan, who wrote a self-help book called ‘101 Questions That Will Lead You to the Truth, Whatever That Is’, suggests asking yourself these questions before you commit to the long haul:
1. Can you really handle their faults?
We all have our foibles. Leaving pans in the sink, leaving socks on the floor, forgetting birthdays, snorting when we laugh, saying ‘like’ too much, gulping water too loudly…the list of small but highly annoying things people do is endless. It’s ok for your partner to have bad habits – you probably do too, it’s whether the good things override the bad. It’s easy to put up with a few irritating habits when you have a trusting, caring, loving relationship.
2. Can you name the parts of you that they find attractive?
If you know your partner loves the colour of your eyes, or the feel of your skin, the likelihood is that’s because they’ve told you. Knowing that the person you’re with finds you attractive is vital. If you spend the rest of your life with a person who fails to tell you how great you look, or worse, criticises you, then what’s that going to do to your self esteem over time? Valuing each other and making it known that you value each other is so important when it comes to the long term.
3. Have they seen you at your worst?
People who get married within a few weeks or months of meeting each other may be basing their love on initial attraction. They’ve seen each other at their best but will they feel the same when the other person is feeling depressed, stressed, or angry? Will they still find them attractive without their hair done, or their make-up on? If you can see each other at your worst and still feel the same then its a good indicator you’re onto a winner.
If you’re with someone but can’t decide if they’re The One, then you might benefit from talking things through with a life coach. Life coaches use specialist interview techniques to reach the root of a problem, making the path seem clearer for you to make your decision. Find out more by visiting our Relationship page.
View more of Susan’s must-ask questions at iVillage.