When you’re dating or looking for Mr. or Miss Right - how can you know if you’ve really found the right person? Listen to this question from Rachel’s mom:
“My daughter Rachel brought home a boy she met at college named Doug. He is a nice boy, but doesn’t have the qualities we always thought Rachel needed and looked for. In fact, the other day she called home and told me that Doug doesn’t share her faith, but he’s winning over her heart. He is intelligent, handsome, easy to talk to, devoted to his family, and very interested in her...but he doesn’t share the biggest part that makes her who she is: her faith in Jesus. He could be Mr. Right for someone else, but he’s Mr. Wrong for our girl. What should we do?”
Rachel and her mom are in a predicament most face at one point. Rachel likes being Doug’s special target of interest. She feels flattered that he “has time” for her, and she believes he will always make time for her. But now she’s starting to realize that they don’t have much in common—especially moral standards. Rachel has two choices. Either she breaks it off or she compromises her beliefs to make Doug happy. In Rachel’s case, she began to feel guilty and finally said, “I should have known better.”
You may have had a time when you thought: “This person is not someone I should be dating.” Perhaps you finally saw that you were trying to find your self-worth and security in a person instead of God, and you felt guilty for it. It is a difficult truth to swallow—knowing you should have known better than to fall for Mr. or Miss Wrong.
Here are 10 ways to help you know if you’ve found the right person for you:
- Consider what you want in a person. As a Christian, your very first qualification must be that the person you decide to marry must also be a Christian. Then go from there.
- Look carefully at your own personality (and get advice from loved ones here as well). Are you a target for the “Wrongs” of the world? Are you easily used? Do you have low expectations? Are you too undemanding? Are you a natural caretaker?
- Find healthy places to meet people. Although it could happen, chances are you won’t find the strong Christian without excessive behaviors hanging out at the bar or casino.
- Explore your attraction. Search for the real reasons why you like this person, and what he or she is fulfilling in you. Examine all that you have in common. Be with someone with whom you can enjoy as many activities as possible.
- Study the person carefully. Be brutally honest with yourself about his or her faults, fears, insecurities, strengths, goals, and dreams. Watch how he or she treats others.
- Find your motive for marriage. Do you want to marry this person because of love, or because you hate being alone?
- Agree on full financial disclosure before marriage. You need to know how this person handles finances. Financial secrets are a sign of deeper secrets. If he or she doesn’t trust you to come in, do not go farther.
- Listen to the people who know you. Loving friends will help you see what you do not see. Be willing to listen.
- Don’t have sex! Make God and your future more important than your urges. A healthy relationship will stop growing when you enter into the world of premarital sex.
- Pray. God really does want to meet your needs. Pray for direction in the action you take to find and marry the person God has for you.
You need to be strong enough to avoid the allure of the wrong person. Why? Because unhealthy matches breed pain, guilt, embarrassment, and broken families. Men and women need to guard their hearts so they don’t have to eventually say (especially painful if they’re already married), “I should have known better.”
For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!