Three Points To Consider When Deciding Who To Date/Marry
by ChristianCrush Team
When you marry someone with an opposite personality, you set yourself up for a lot of learning opportunities. Someone who is more similar to you will probably help you grow, but marrying an opposite forces you to change your entire life.
Relationship trends have always been evolving. Right after the Revolutionary war it became popular to be completely frank with the person you were courting (Bruns and Richards 2014). Truth doesn’t exactly seem to be the name of the game in today’s Internet world – look at any online site and you’ll see many people fudging on various traits such as weight and income.
The healthiest kind of marriage is the kind that creates not only a balance between personalities, but a way for each person to continue to grow. Marrying an opposite personality could be more like purgatory than heaven if you didn’t first decide on your own identity. Opposites might attract because they seem like an adventure, but compatibility is more important. Just think of the push and pull that comes from loving someone so different. No one wants to walk into a marriage that results in mental trauma instead of growth.
Part of the lure of marrying the opposite personality is instant fascination. It’s easy to get lost working out why they are so different and how in the world they are that way. Yet the healthiest relationships aren’t based on mystery and adventure – they need a foundation firmly set on God, then on one another. Can these two people actually live together? Will their differences make things fun, or bring out their inherent dissimilarities? The lie that romance is all about chemicals has made many people think that the most important element of a relationship is the spark. But sparks fade. Everything fades if you don’t fight for it.
A mentally healthy person can date a wide range of people. Everyone presents a viable option when you are open and honest with yourself and the other person. Committing to someone who doesn’t think the way you do shouldn’t just be done for the newness of the choice. Do it because all the good and bad things average out to someone who’s actually a wise choice for your future.
Opposites attract, but they don’t always stay together. And, really, you don’t have to marry an opposite personality in order to have fun and to learn things. Some people need to marry a person who is very different, while others need a similar personality to keep them going. It’s like the age-old conversation starter: If you met yourself, would you like you? Some people would get along swimmingly with their twin selves, while others would rather resort to hiding in hallway closets than have to talk to themselves.
And what about the people who wrongly envision the type of person they need to be with? That could mean years of dating someone who is less than the best for you. I used to think that I needed an extrovert to pull me out of the house to go do fun things every day. After trying that for a while, I realized that doing things is fun, but doing fun things every day of the week is exhausting. Marrying an opposite would be a terrible idea in my case, because that would mean marrying someone loud and extroverted who didn’t use logical thinking to decipher problems. Dating is hard enough even before you decide to only date people opposite (or similar) to you. Even if you think they are opposite when you first meet, they may turn out to be nothing like you imagined.
Even more important than marrying a certain personality is honesty. Think of the men and women who have been friends for so long they can’t remember not being friends – some of their personalities are so opposite it’s a wonder they see eye-to-eye on anything. But the friends like that are always the ones who tell one another everything (even the too-much-information type stuff). Honesty is more important than almost anything else because that’s when you really discover if your personalities are compatible.
I really don’t think God matches people the same way we humans match colors. While we might hold up brown and black and say they look terrible together, God could have picked those two colors especially for a lifetime of bliss. And from personal experience, I know that the things I pick for myself aren’t always the things that God picks for me. After all, it’s my nature to choose to do things that don’t quite jive with the Holy Spirit. Life is a constant struggle between what I want and what the Spirit wants (Gal. 5:17).
Here are a couple of steps to get you started down the road to wedding bells:
Don’t let quick judgments get between you and God’s plans. For that matter, don’t let long-held prejudice hold you back, either. It might be nice to picture yourself with a tall man with brown hair, but what if God has someone picked out for you who’s half an inch shorter and blond? You never know what you might be missing out on when you judge all those awesome, short, blond men (or women).
2-More similar couples last longer
While it’s not always the case, usually, the more couples have in common the better. For starters, be sure to marry someone who shares your faith in Jesus. Sharing this value can often become the glue that will keep you together and it will help you see situations from a similar vantage point. Also, it can be helpful to find someone who shares your values on other major categories of life, such as finances, parenting style, etc. Lastly, some temperament differences can be complimentary but usually the more similar the personality traits are the more peaceful the relationship will be.
3-Pray for discernment
As always, continually pray to God for direction and discernment on who you date and possibly marry. Ask Him to guide you with wisdom in the decisions you make. Also, be sure to ask your friends and family on their opinion with the person you are courting to see if their impressions align with your experiences.
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Do you feel it's better to date/marry someone similar or dissimilar to you and why?