Just think - someone for the rest of you life.  You'll do brunch on Sundays and date night on Fridays.  Never worry about having a date for weddings or Valentine's Day.  You grow old and wrinkled and he still loves you.  Or will he?  With 50% of marriages ending in divorce, how do know if will last?  Dating can be overwhelming and intimidating.   Here are a couple tips to picking the perfect mate.

First, stop shopping until you’re ready to buy.  If you’re the girl that needs to be on the arm of a guy, then you are missing so much!  You have the rest of your life for compromising and working things out with a guy.  Enjoy this time of life!  You can spend time with friends without worrying about what he is doing.  Work on your own goals, interests and dreams.  Travel.  Join a team.  Become involved in community sports or politics.  You have the rest of your life to be in a relationship.  Don’t miss out on what God has for you today because you are trying to force the relationship He has for you in the future.

If you are ready to settle down, the find someone like you.  Opposites attract, but they don’t last.  Research shows that the more ALIKE people are in certain ways, the more likely they will last in the long run.  Find someone who's like you in these areas:

Age. This isn’t just about a number.  Being raised in the same generation means you will have similar values and tendencies.  A large age gap also means different goals for right now and the near future (like babies and retiring).  

Religious upbringing. If you were raised in church and you’re dating a guy who "believes in God" but doesn't attend church or pray, you will have huge issues in your marriage.  Even if you are not attending church now, you will likely raise your children in church because that’s what family looks like to you.  Similar religious upbringing will matter every week.  And you will appreciate having your husband be the head of the house and obedient to God.

Background.  The vision you have of what your family will look like largely depends on what your childhood was like.  And the same for him.  Were you raised in the country? city?  One parent home or two?  Were your parents supportive and encouraging or critical and mostly absent?  If you have similar backgrounds, you will have an easier time in marriage because you will have the same expectations of what day-to-day life looks like.

Education. This is a tricky one.  There are some individuals who are incredibly successful without an education.  There are some highly educated people staying home playing video games all day.  However, in general, education increases self-esteem because there is a sense of accomplishment.  Education also increases job opportunities and income.  When one person has a higher education, an increased self-esteem and more job opportunities, the spouse can feel intimidated, threatened and inferior.  This is especially true if the wife has the higher education and income.  Find someone who has a similar education level to you.

About the Author

kristenhodges

Kristen lives in Florida with her awesome husband and 3 energetic kids. She earned a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and is a psychology professor at a local university. In her free time, she hangs out with family and friends, volunteers at her church and laughs as much as possible. She has a passion for Jesus, helping others and anything chocolate. Follow her on instagram @kristen_hodges_cg