I am going to discuss a quality that not many, if any, even would consider as an important ingredient when searching for a mate: being open minded.
Can you imagine if you met someone and they ticked all of your boxes but had a closed mind?
In the future, when circumstances change (and they will), you will find out she or he refuses to look at something differently. You will find out he or she won’t even consider an alternative to his/her point of view when it comes to making decisions on your life as well as his/hers.
Can you see that this will cause an enormous conflict in the future? Have you ever heard the conversation that goes something like this: “Why can’t you be more open and consider how I feel about this situation?” And the comeback is, “I am being open about it. You are the one that is not.”
You must find out the other person’s interpretation of “open minded” and not just by asking the question. Make sure you put the person in a real situation that makes them confirm their answer. You are risking your future. You want to put the odds in your favor and reduce the risk of having many years of pain.
No one is trying to lie to you or deceive you or vice versa, but only finding out if these two people are compatible.
When you have an open mind, you are more likely to respect the other person’s viewpoint. In that respect, there are no real arguments, only discussions. But you need to ask yourself, “In my opinion, deep down and honestly, does he/she have an open mind?”
When I look back at my previous relationships, I realize most of my disagreements and arguments with my partner were about each individual’s interpretation of how they looked at the problem/solution and how I viewed it differently.
And depending on the importance of the situation, it can escalate to a major catastrophe in your love life.
What follows is the determination to be right, so the fight continues. Soon you drift into other areas, until finally you are not even arguing about the original problem; you are just arguing about everything. I would rather be happy and at peace than try proving I am right.
No matter what I am discussing or with whom, as long as I accept that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I never will give a disagreement the opportunity to become an argument. An argument is the place where no one wins, irrespective of the outcome.
I also have learned that whatever people think of me and my opinions is none of my business.
If you are looking for a solid relationship and have a future family in mind, then make sure you put responsibility on your list. If they do not show any responsibility before marriage, then they will not possess it afterward.
How many times have I heard people say, “I knew he/she was like that when I met him/her. I expected him/her to change and adjust when our circumstances changed, like having children or a mortgage, but he/she simply did not.” They just expected this person to suddenly display responsibility when the time was right, but this was not the case.
Finding a suitable partner is like buying a house. You must know what you want in the future before you buy into it now.
When you buy a house to rent or as an investment, you are looking for different qualities and have different priorities guiding your decision than if you buy a house to live in. I know this seems unorthodox, but the same applies in a partner. Do you want to just have fun for awhile, rent them and then move on, or do you wish to buy them and keep them forever?
There are so many people who meet someone and think, “Gosh, he/she is cool, crazy and fun to be around. I think I will marry, change him/her and live happily ever after.” You are playing with fire because the choice is not yours to change anything; it is your partner’s.
You cannot change anyone; they only can change themselves and only if they want to do so. A person must take responsibility for their actions and behavior before you commit yourself to that person.
I had a friend who fell in love with a heavy drinker. After they got married, she told everyone that married life was great; that is, until the children came along. Their situation changed, but the drinking did not.
Suddenly, married life was not so good and once the fighting began, it all went downhill from there. People expect and assume that people will be responsible when necessary. Sadly, this is not always the case.
These things must be discussed so agreements are made and, again, look at different signs that suggest the other person is being responsible so this does not happen to you.
I had another friend who went bowling five nights a week with his partner and it was a major part of their lives. One party bowled because they wanted to be with their mate; the other had had a passion for it for years. They were very happy, so they decided to get married.
Six months into the marriage, one partner decided they wanted to quit bowling and do other things in their life but the other wanted to continue bowling five nights a week.
Can you see where this is going? Why would you want to marry a person who has a passion for bowling when you do not? And worse, why would you want to change him/her after the commitment has been made? But yet, she could not understand why her mate would not reduce the number of nights he bowled and he did not understand why he should.
People need to discuss their plans for the future and not assume that both parties will be responsible and then accommodate the changes that occur in the future.
So, be careful. A great man once told me: “Use your ears and your eyes. Be victim-wise, not victim-ized”.