Selecting the right person to marry is easily the most important decision you will ever make in your life. For this reason, you need to have extremely high standards when you are dating to find the right person. Here are some characteristics that your ideal candidate should have.
Step 3 – Know What to Look For
She should be sexually attractive to you. Well meaning people will tell you that looks are not that important in a marriage. Even the Bible says, “beauty is fleeting” (Proverbs 31:30). Of course, they are right. Eventually, every one gets old and loses their looks.
But even though looks are not everything, you absolutely must be sexually attracted to a woman to consider her a candidate for marriage.
This sounds like an obvious truth, but it is easy, especially for good men, to get confused about this. Let’s say you find a reasonably good-looking girl who has great character. She’s smart and well educated. She’s a good cook. She has strong family values. She’d make a great wife and mother. She is everything you could possibly want in a wife—except that you are not attracted to her. Wouldn’t it be cruel and superficial if you were to dump her over such a little thing as sexual attraction?
I am ashamed to say that I’ve made this mistake myself. I tried to convince myself that somehow, I would become attracted. But if you are not attracted to a girl at the beginning, it is never going to happen.
Don’t try to reason this out. It is biology. Your natural sexual attraction is telling you something about the person.
So what about the whole, “beauty is fleeting” stuff in the Bible? This just means that beauty is not enough. A girl has to have more going for her than just being attractive. She also has to have other qualities in order be considered marriage material. Still, being attractive is non-negotiable.
Now, I didn’t say that a marriage candidate needs to look like a super model—only that you need to be sexually attracted to her. Not your friends—just you.
If you don’t have sexual attraction to a girl, also called “chemistry,” then don’t bother to check any of the following criteria. Drop her and move on to the next candidate.
You should be proud to have her on your arm. You wouldn’t want to be with a girl who was ashamed to be seen with you in public. Similarly, if you are in anyway ashamed to be with a girl, you should not be dating her in the first place.
Again, this seems like obvious advice, but some guys actually make this mistake. I happen to know a guy who dated a girl for five years without telling any of his friends or family about her. Then, for some inexplicable reason, he ended up marrying her. The lesson is to never get into this situation in the first place.
There are many reasons why you might be ashamed of a girl. It might be her looks. Or maybe she doesn’t know how to dress. Maybe she’s stupid. Whatever it is, if you are ashamed of a woman, don’t try to “fix” the problem—you should break off the relationship immediately.
She should have the same religious beliefs as you. There are lots of successful interfaith marriages. So why am I recommending against marrying a woman who is of a different religion?
For starters, I think that most of those successful interfaith marriages only appear to be interfaith. Most of the folks in these marriages both hold that religion is, at best, of only secondary importance. In other words, I think they really do have the same faith, only that their faith isn’t what most of us would call a religion.
This is not to say that these couples are in any way bad, only that they don’t attach much importance to formal religion. If that describes you, then you should try to find a girl who similarly gives little importance to her religion.
There are a couple of (big) caveats to this advice.
- The first caveat is that people change. If you are a non-observant Catholic and you marry a non-observant Jew, what will happen if either one of you decides to become observant?
- The second caveat is related to children. If you do marry a person of another faith, be sure to discuss what the children will be before you send out the wedding invitations.
The bottom line is that even if you place little stock in religious faith, you are still better off finding a wife who belongs to your same faith tradition.
But what if you do observe a particular religious faith? In that case, you should definitely find a woman who holds the same beliefs. Why?
- You will be able to practice your faith together. If you marry a woman of a different faith, how comfortable would you be attending services by yourself for the rest of your life?
- If mom and dad both share the same religious faith, it sends a consistent message to their children. If parents have different beliefs, it sends a message to the children that religious beliefs don’t really matter too much.
Marriage in the modern world is already difficult enough without adding the extra difficulty of your closest partner having different beliefs.
She should be of childbearing age. I hope you are not reading this to get politically correct advice, because you won’t find it here. The articles on Honor and Daring are targeted at a specific group of men. Most of these men will be called to be fathers, and the only way for this to happen is if you select a woman who is still fertile.
Nature again helps us here because women who are still fertile are precisely the women that men find most attractive. Progressive women like to mock older men who select younger wives, but men are just obeying the preferences given to us by evolution. It’s Science!
Don’t think that you have to go with a very young woman though. There key point is to find a woman who is emotionally mature and ready for marriage.
You should enjoy spending time together—alone. In a successful marriage, you have to spend most of your time together so you will have to be good friends and partners.
Yes, there will plenty of opportunities for dinner parties and the like, but even the most socially active couple will have down time where they are just together. If you are dating a girl, but find that you the two of you are unable to spend time alone together, it is time to examine why not. If it is because you just don’t have that much in common, it is time to move on.
She gets along with your family and friends. Your family and your friends know you better than anybody else. If your family and friends are warning you about a girl, you should take their warning seriously.
You can still make an independent decision, but don’t neglect what your family and friends are saying.
She has integrity. Integrity means a firm adherence to a code of moral conduct. Unfortunately, integrity is a rare quality in modern culture because we are all taught that there are no hard and fast moral truths—we are taught relativism.
But you don’t want your marriage to be relativistic. In any marriage, there will be tough times: financial difficulties, fatigue, arguments, and times of separation. Unless both partners have integrity, it is easy for marriages to fall apart.
Under integrity, I would include the following characteristics, but don’t consider this an exhaustive list:
- Takes marriage vows seriously.
- Intends to be married for life.
- Would like to have children.
- Has discipline in spending. Frugal.
- Free of major addictions.
It goes without saying, that you should be a man of integrity as well.
Nowadays, I don’t think you will have any problem finding a woman who you find attractive. Rather, the difficulty lies in finding a woman who matches the other criteria and who is not completely infected with progressive thinking. In Part III, I will provide some tips on where to find the ideal girl.