Finding the right partner or spouse is not like finding the right person to help you survive a lonely summer — it means finding a person that you can see yourself growing old with and loving thirty, forty, or fifty or more years down the line.

Choosing the person you want to marry or commit to forever is serious business, and it demands a lot of forethought, responsibility, and honesty.

But once you’ve found that special person, all of your hard work will be worth it and you can get ready for a lifetime of happiness. If you want to know how to find the right partner or spouse, just follow these steps.

Love yourself

Seriously — loving yourself before you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is the easiest way to ensure that you’ll be committing yourself to that person for the right reasons. You don’t have to be 100% satisfied with yourself, but if you’re unhappy with who you are, you’re at risk of getting together with someone just because he or she makes you feel better about yourself.

In a sense, yes, the person you marry should “complete you,” making you feel completely whole as a person — but you should already love who you are and feel blessed that the person you want to be with makes you feel even better!

You should be happy with who you are, what you do, and how you look — this will not only make it easier for you to attract people with your confidence, but it will make you look for an equally amazing person who will only make your life better, not the person who can fill in all of the gaps in your unsatisfactory life.

Be (reasonably) happy being alone

Let’s face it — being single when all of your friends are happily dating or married is no picnic. You may want love more than anything in the world, and it’s natural for you to feel lonely or sad if you can’t find it.

But part of loving yourself is loving spending time solo, and finding ways to stay interested and excited about life without a significant other. This will make you feel even better when that special person comes along!

If you’re miserable by yourself, then you will be too easily swayed by the first person who comes along and gives you something to do. Don’t mistake companionship for love.

Get some experience

If you find your first love when you’re sixteen, then you are a rare and lucky breed. However, most people do not in fact marry their first, or second, or even their fourth boyfriend or girlfriend. Dating more people lets you understand the endless ways that a relationship can work, and can make you see that there are so many forms and dynamics that a relationship can have.

Though you shouldn’t ditch the person you love just to play the field, if you think you’re just “pretty happy” with the person you’re with but have never dated anyone else, it’s better to see what’s out there than to settle.

Dating a lot of people helps you learn to compromise, and will make you even surer that what you feel for your future spouse is truly special.

Getting some sexual experience never hurt anyone either. If you’ve had a few partners before you’ve met your special someone, you’ll be even more sure that the chemistry you share is truly special.

If you end up committing to the first person you’ve been with without being truly happy, you may spend the rest of your life wondering about what’s out there.

Don’t settle

Not settling is related to loving yourself, loving being alone, and having some experience. People settle all too often because they find someone who makes them feel less alone and loved, even if it’s not in the right way.

Another reason people settle is because they’ve been with the same person for five years and realize they “might as well” get married because that’s what everyone else is doing or because they’ve been together for so long that it’s the only logical step.

You should only get married because that’s what you want, not because it’s what the other person wants, because it’s what your family wants, or because you’re too scared to say goodbye.


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