Relationship 101Settling or Compromising?

Choosing a Life Partner

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Many of the e-mails we receive are good for the moment – a nice chuckle, the short-lived “hmm, that was interesting” or some that are simply deleted but this one was worthy of the save folder.  I received this from a good friend about 2 years ago, at a time when I was just weeks away from ending my current relationship, one that I thought would have lasted forever. 

If more people took the time to really think about what they want and determine if they’re looking for short-term thrills or long-term relationships, they will understand what it takes to choose a life partner.

Although I’ve only been single for a little over three months, I find myself evaluating my past relationships as well as my dealings with any men I’m dealing with currently and realized I’ve been settling far too often.  I don’t mean settling in the way that most would consider such as lack of employment, unstable living situations, criminal records or unavailable men, but settling and making excuses for their undesirable characteristics and traits.   I would go so far as to say that with the exception of one or two, none of them were really potential partner material but instead were and are short-term thrills.

So saying all of this, I went digging through the archives and found this, and while it is a long read written by an unknown author, I hope you find it worth your while. 

When it comes to making the decision about choosing a life partner, no one wants to make a mistake. Yet, with a divorce rate of close to 50%, it appears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to finding Mr. or Mrs. Right!
If you ask most couples who are engaged why they’re getting married, they’ll say: ‘We’re in love’.  I believe this is the #1 mistake people make when they date. Choosing a life partner should never be based on love.

Though this may sound ‘not politically correct’, there’s a profound truth here. Love is not the basis for getting married. Rather, love is the result of a good marriage. When the other ingredients are right,
then the love will come. Let me say it again: ‘You can’t build a lifetime relationship on love alone’. You need a lot more!!!

Here are five questions you must ask yourself if you’re serious about finding and keeping a life partner.



# 1:  Do we share a common life purpose?

Why is this so important? Let me put it this way: If you’re married for 20 or 30 years, that’s a long time to live with someone. What do you plan to do with each other all that time? Travel, eat and jog together? You need to share something deeper and more meaningful. You need a common
life purpose. Two things can happen in a marriage:
(1) You can grow together, or
(2) You can grow apart.
50% of the people out there are growing apart. To make a marriage work, you need to know what you want out of life! Bottom line; and marry someone who wants the same thing.



# 2:  Do I feel safe expressing my feelings and thoughts with this person?

This question goes to the core of the quality of your relationship. Feeling safe means you can communicate openly with this person. The basis of having good communication is trust – I.e. trust that I won’t get ‘punished’; or hurt for expressing my honest thoughts and feelings. A colleague of mine defines an abusive person as someone with whom you feel afraid to express your thoughts and feelings. Be honest with yourself on this one. Make sure you feel emotionally safe with the person you plan to marry.
# 3: Is he/she a mensch?

A mensch is someone who is a refined and sensitive person. How can you test?  Here are some suggestions.

Do they work on personal growth on a regular basis?
Are they serious about improving themselves?

A teacher of mine defines a good person as ‘someone who is always striving to be good and do the right thing’.  So ask your significant other what do they do with their time? Is this person materialistic?  Usually a materialistic person is not someone whose top priority is character refinement.

There are essentially two types of people in the world:
(1) People who are dedicated to personal growth, and
(2) People who are dedicated to seeking comfort.

Someone whose goal in life is to be comfortable will put personal comfort ahead of doing the right thing. You need to know that before walking down the aisle.


# 4:  How does he/she treat other people?

The one most important thing that makes any relationship work is the ability to give. By giving, we mean the ability to give another person pleasure.  Ask: Is this someone who enjoys giving pleasure to others or are they wrapped up in themselves and self-absorbed? To measure this, think about the following:
How do they treat people whom they do not have to be nice to, such as waiters, bus boys, taxi drivers, etc.?
How do they treat their parents and siblings?
Do they have gratitude and appreciation?
Can you do nearly as much for them? You can be sure that someone who treats others poorly will eventually treat you poorly as well.

# 5: Is there anything I’m hoping to change about this person after we’re married?

Too many people make the mistake of marrying someone with the intention of trying to ‘improve’ them after they’re married. As a colleague of mine puts it, ‘You can probably expect someone to change after marriage for the worse’. If you cannot fully accept this person the way they are now, then you are not ready to marry them.

In conclusion, dating doesn’t have to be difficult and treacherous. The key is to try leading a little more with your head and less with your heart. It pays to be as objective as possible when you are dating; so be sure to ask questions that will help you get to the key issues. 

Falling in love is a great feeling, but when you wake up with a ring on your finger, you don’t want to find yourself in trouble because you didn’t do your homework.



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Hangover - a let down following great excitement or excess. Wow. This one sentence describes nearly all of my dating and relationship experiences!

I'm a 30 year-old woman muddling through the Los Angeles dating scene and yes - Believe all that you've heard about the screwed up men and women in La-La Land.

This blog is of my actual experiences that will either make you chuckle, laugh out loud or maybe say "aw.....".

If your dating hangovers seem worse than the next person's, read on, post a comment and enjoy!



  1. I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head so to speak with this – I think if we were more honest with ourselves and each other we would be able to figure out if who we are with is a person of convenience or a long term person. But often we are too damn chicken to accept the pain of being single. Look people it is not that bad – it’s easier than sleeping next to a person you realize you despise, or getting a divorce. I realize that and ended my engagement, singleness is a heck of a lot more peaceful than fear or hatred.

    1. Ah… yes – singleness is better than being stuck in a relationship where you aren’t compatible or the other is just wrong for you. You commented that we are too damn chicken and I think there’s a little bit of laziness there too. Yes, any relationship takes work but sometimes we are too lazy to ask the types of questions we should because we probably don’t want to know the answers. Instead, we end up being with someone just because we don’t want to be alone and in the end, become a statistic.

      Thanks for commenting.


  2. Some good advice here Carmen. Having recently got married (it took 2 years to get there) I can say it takes a lot of preparation and willingness to be selfless rather than selfish in order to make it work. Marriage is a trek not a short sprint there is a bit of pain along the way but it needs committment in order to finish the journey. I think we need to remind ourselves of this sometimes.

  3. Hi Mark,

    You’re absolutely right; If more people approached the thought of marriage a lot differently, more would find they need time to work on themselves in turning that selfish into selfless OR may find they are interested in marriage for all the wrong reasons.

    Congrats on finding your one and best of luck to you in your marriage.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Carmen ~

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