Delight or doom?

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By Jacqueline Del Rosario, America’s Marriage Doctor

You’ve invested a lot of time, effort and emotional energy in your relationship. Things are good, and you think you’ve found “the one” – that marriage-worthy person you’re prepared to spend the rest of your life with, for better or for worse. But, before you say “I do” and turn this relationship into a life-long commitment, first determine if you and your mate are compatible in key areas proven to foster happy, healthy marriages that go the distance.

Here are 7 signs to help you best assess if your relationship will result in delightful wedded bliss, or if doom and gloom is the more likely outcome. This Marriage Compatibility Checklist will help you analyze the relationship hand you’ve been dealt, so you can hold ‘em or fold ‘em!

You are like-minded. While you don’t have to be exactly the same (let’s face it, that would be boring), you do need to have congruent core morals and values. These shape expectations and direction and are essential ingredients of a resilient marriage. After all, how can two people travel together, and enjoy the journey, unless they are heading in the same direction and agree on how they will get there? Are you on the same pathway in terms of wants, needs and desires, or are you headed down opposite roads?

Your temperaments balance each other. One of you may be an extrovert, and the other an introvert; one, a Type A, and the other, more passive. While these glaring differences may lead to conflict at times, these opposing temperaments often bring balance. If you are the yin to your mate’s yang, or vice versa, you will better your chances of achieving a harmonious relationship. But, bear in mind that these differing character traits should serve to create a well-rounded, whole relationship. Beware if your respective tendencies are just too different to ever make the puzzle pieces fit.

You are both committed to do the work. The Beatles got it wrong – love is NOT all you need. Effort and work are necessary to cultivate a strong and satisfying relationship for the long term. Rewards rarely come by just “phoning it in”; rather, dividends are realized when you work hard at something with forethought, intention and resolve.  With respect to relationships, a commitment to continual fine-tuning and improvement is the glue that holds it all together. If your partner is not engaged in making the effort now, it is unlikely to change once you are married. In fact, the lack of effort and engagement could get even worse as complacency sets in. 

You are able to speak your partner’s “love language.” When two people with different dialects try to communicate, it is often confusing, frustrating and downright futile. Neither person understands what the other is trying to say. The same holds true in a marriage in which each partner has their own “love language” – those romantic, sexual, and emotional needs that make each individual feel fulfilled. Is your mate taking the time to learn and speak your “love language,” and are you interested in speaking theirs – or is such emotional gratification already being lost in translation? 

You are able to work together to resolve problems. Cooperation is where the rubber meets the road. The bottom line is that you have to be able to work through conflict to find mutually-felt resolution in a healthy and productive manner. Marital life is filled with bumps, twists and turns, so having a partner who cooperates with you to work through conflicts minimizes the stress on the relationship. This certainly doesn’t mean you can, or should, enter marriage with the intent to change the other person, nor should you change who YOU are simply to keep the peace. The key is to be true to yourself while learning when and how to compromise so that you can work through problems effectively, without one or the other feeling resentful. If this isn’t possible now, take pause.

You are attracted to them. Do you remember that initial spark between the two of you? There is a special chemistry that is electrifying when there is a true physical attraction. As your relationship matures, daily life issues dominate your attention and bodies age; a fundamental human attraction can keep those fires burning between the two of you – both physically and emotionally. Every fire will burn itself out if not fueled, so assess if the flames are being well-stoked now, before the wedding day.

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