No perfect man or woman exists.

The same way that I admit that I'm not perfect, I don't delude myself into thinking that anyone else is perfect either. Everyone, including myself, has hang-ups. Some of us have more, and others have less, but everybody has got something they're not proud of.

Therefore, shopping for your picture-perfect lover is a fantasy never to be actualized, because that person has never been created! (And if you ever do find that perfect person, please call me right away!)

SEEING THE FAULTS

I'm very concerned when someone meets the "woman of my dreams." Whenever there's immediate chemistry, your radar should sound off. People claim that they've found the love of their life when, in fact, all they've found is the "infatuation" of their life.

When I was single, looking to get married, I was offered excellent advice. "Ask yourself the following question when you think you've found the right woman: Is there anything about her that bothers you? If the answer is, 'no, nothing at all' -- then you've got the wrong person!"

If nothing at all bothers you -- then you've got the wrong person!

The genius behind this question is figuring out what's driving you after the one you're dating. Is it love or infatuation? Infatuation is blind. You focus on one or two things that are wonderful -- and tune out the rest.

Love, on the other hand, is not blind. Parents love their children, yet simultaneously know many of their shortcomings. Parents love us in despite our faults. They see us for who we really are. They have a balanced picture, both the good and the bad.

Everyone has shortcomings. And we all have virtues. Never walk into a relationship thinking there's only good. Be prepared for the shortcomings. If you don't see them when you're dating, trust me, your spouse won't be able to hide them for long. You'll see them shortly after you're married.

Many people think that a great loving relationship is based on whether you've got the "right one" or not. The "right one" might seem perfect in the beginning, but the real test is what will be in the future. Will you be able to navigate the many stormy waters that the relationship will have to cross? Does this person have the relationship-building skills that will be needed to address the serious, difficult issues you'll inevitably face?

PUTTING IT TO THE TEST

I'd recommend asking yourself the following three questions:

  1. Do I respect this person enough that I want to be more like him?

  2. If we get married and have a child who is the spitting-image of my spouse, will I be happy?

  3. If my partner's personality and habits stay exactly as they are today, will I be happy 20, 30, 40 years down the road?

If you can't say "yes" to each of these three questions, you're probably entering a marriage that won't meet your expectations. This will leave you disappointed and most likely, very unhappy.

You may be entering a marriage that won't meet your expectations.

Think about these questions now, before you marry. You'll save yourself a lot of heartache.

Thinking that "things can just go on without a decision" is a bad choice. No decision is a decision. If I'm piloting a plane and the plane is going to crash, choosing not to eject is, essentially, choosing to go down with the plane.

Time spent dating the wrong person, in the end, is lost time with your eventual spouse. Therefore, finding ways to accelerate the dating process should be a top priority.