In reflecting on my most recent anniversary celebration with my husband, I am beyond grateful. We go through these things, just like every real relationship does, but we always find our way through whatever storms arise…together. We won’t pretend to be perfect, but our superpower is that we know that we’re in this “thing” for life. This thing of ours has blossomed into the best friendship, spiritual guidance, accountability system, unconditional love and support, and all-around unforgettable memories I have ever had. When people ask me why I chose my husband or what I would recommend for them picking a life partner, I never seem to have all the words…until now…
Here are my 4 non-negotiables for picking a life partner!
1. Find a good person who is particularly good to you.
We all know good people. I’m not talking about people who pretend to be good when there’s a reward on the other end, but rather truly good people who have a tendency towards doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Good people come in all different flavors. Humans are naturally flawed and will make mistakes. That is a given. However, good people work to learn from them to avoid further harm. As an optimist and sometimes “too kind” of a person (or so people tell me, as if being “too kind” is even really possible), I married someone who has far more edge and sarcastic flair than I could muster. However, at his core, I know that he means well. I see the care with which he handles his relationships within his close circle and even interactions with strangers. I witness the conscience that will not allow him to stray far from his strong moral compass. Furthermore, even when he hurts me at times (because some degree of misunderstanding and hurt is inevitable in human relationships), I can contrast it with the overwhelmingly far more common days where he goes out of his way to lessen my burden or put a smile on my face. For those who argue that they like the “bad” types, I consider it to be unwise to expect someone who you know is not a good person to make you the exception and be good to you. Sure, it happens, but the odds are not in your favor, my friend. Therefore, my first non-negotiable is that you MUST find a good person who is particularly good to you.
2. Embrace a person who rocks your world!
Have you ever had someone come into your life and shake things up in a way that made your world better? Well, THAT is the result we’re looking for here. We like and find commonality with a lot of people in our lifetimes, but I’m willing to bet that the majority of people do not like most people nearly enough to partner with them for life. To be honest, I was not a fan of my husband when I first met him. In fact, I went home and ranted to my friend about all the things about him that I didn’t like. Those things made me uncomfortable because they were so different from the life and world that I had created for myself. Those things are now the things that I love most about him and what he brings to our life together. I’m a compulsive planner, so I appreciate the spontaneity that he forces into my life. I can be pretty serious at times, so I love that he can find the humor in just about anything and reminds me to lighten up a bit. The list goes on forever! I’m not saying that opposites always attract, but I am saying that finding someone who shakes up your world in the right way may be how to infuse some things into your life that you didn’t even know that you needed. Embrace a person who shakes up and then rocks your world!
3. Find a partner who will truly partner with you to achieve your fullest potential.
Partnership is the key word here. Partnerships come in many forms, and whether you actually want to go in all those directions with your life partner, I believe you should at least have the option. How would you help each other grow as spiritual partners? How would your values align to partner in raising a family? What skills would each of you bring to the table as business partners? What are unique ways you could partner together to create amazing things? My husband and I had conversations addressing all of these questions before I made my decision to make him my life partner. I knew what I was getting myself into, and so did he. Our life partnership is the center from which everything else we do in life emerges. The most important question to ask yourself is related to growth: will your partner help you to grow as an individual, and will you be able to work together to accomplish meaningful goals as a team? I believe that God wants each of us to experience the full abundance of life and all that it offers. Find a partner who will truly partner with you to achieve your fullest potential.
4. Feel that your person is for YOU.
If life has taught me anything, it’s that not everyone is for you. That has taken me a while to learn, but I don’t question that fact now. The same way that this fact applies to non-romantic relationships, it also applies in selecting a life partner. I don’t think I believe in love at first sight, but I do believe in love at first gut feeling. It’s hard to explain, but once I truly got to know my husband, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and peace that I never had in any prior relationship. It was like I finally felt like I was right where I needed to be, which of course, was with my husband. He is MY person, and there’s no doubt about that in my mind. I have said it before and I will say it again: if you had to spend too much time convincing yourself that someone is for you, then you’re likely lying to yourself. Listen to and trust yourself. The final and most important non-negotiable for picking your life partner is to feel that this person is YOUR person and truly for you.
Again, these are MY non-negotiables, and they have served me well in life. Take from it what you may! I’m never here to dictate anyone’s decisions to them, but I hope that you find something meaningful here that can help you enrich your existence in the special way that picking the right life partner has the power to do!
With Love and HAPPIness,
The HAPPIest MD