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Today was my last Psychology of Marriage class for the semester and we wrapped up with an excellent compilation of questions to consider when picking out Mr. or Mrs. Right. I don’t deserve credit for coming up with this list, I’m just sharing it with you. The real author is Dr. John Buri, St. Thomas professor and marriage and family specialist for 20+ years.

Questions to Consider when Picking out Mr. or Mrs. Right:

1. Are they willing to communicate? Willing and able are two different things, some people just need to be taught how to communicate whereas others are unwilling to try.

2. Do they  have close friends? If they don’t there is a reason and chances are it’s not a good.

3. Have they introduced you to their friends and family? Have you introduced them to your friends and family? If someone is embarrassed by you, or you’re embarrassed by them, it’s not a good sign.

4. If you broke up would you want to stay friends with this person? How much do you “like” the person you’re with? People can love someone without liking them much. Like and love are both crucial elements of a successful relationship.

5. How do they treat others? Not just at the beginning of the relationship but after the honeymoon phase has worn off. Do they yell at cashiers or not tip waitresses?

6. Is it difficult for the two of you to stay out of bed? If your relationship is solely about passion between the sheets you’re lacking the depth to last long-term.

7. Was your life stimulating & satisfying before you started dating this person? If your live revolves around your partner and you weren’t in a good place when you started dating you probably need some time alone. You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself first.

8. Do you have serious worries about your future happiness with this person? If you have serious doubts, not just jitters, you should reevaluate your relationship.

9. Are there taboo topics in your relationship? Your lives should be an open book for each other. If your partner has topics they refuse to discuss with you, how can you expect to enter into the partnership of marriage?

10. Is this person open to change and growth? People who aren’t willing to grow are not people you want to spend your future with.

11. Do they belittle, criticize or demean you? Do you have to walk on eggshells around them? This is a big red flag and could be a sign of future abuse. There is a respectful way to disagree and a way that is not healthy.

12. Do they avoid conflict? Avoiding conflict is a key sign of serious underlying issues. Don’t carry these into marriage.

13. Do they have a problem with impulse control? Drug addictions, out of control anger, gambling problems, shopping addictions, etc. will not go away when you get married and have a likelihood of escalating over time.

14. Is this person selfish? Self-centered?

15. Do you think seriously of what it would be like to date someone else? This is a sign that things aren’t going well. Don’t ever ignore your gut.

16. Do they have a positive, optimistic and agreeable attitude toward your future? Toward life in general?

Dr. Buri writes an excellent blog for Psychology Today.  He’s also written a book I would highly recommend, “How to Love Your Wife”. It’s not just for married men but anyone who is interested in great relationship advice.

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