Why your ridiculously high standards are keeping you single

Finding a spouse need not be complicated. Discover the important qualities that make finding a mate more likely.

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  • It's not a bad thing to have a good idea of the type of person you want to marry. You need to have standards when it comes to choosing a life-long mate. Some make a list of what they want in that person. Problem is some make their lists so detailed and lengthy that finding someone to fit the bill is practically impossible. If you are in this category you may be passing by the very one who would be just right for you, though he or she may not measure up to every criteria you have listed.

  • A short list works best. There are a few things that are vitally important to your future happiness. Those are the qualities you pay attention to. Write out your list and focus on what truly matters. Let's examine a few items on your list that may be standing in your way of finding your one-and-only true love.

  • Things to erase from your list

  • He/she has to have a well established career

  • You could waste a whole lot of time waiting for this to happen. Many people marry and enjoy the journey together as they develop careers. That allows time for each to have input and give assistance in helping to make it happen.

  • He/she needs to come from a family with money

  • If you're marrying for an inheritance, or free ride from your mate's sugar daddy, jump off that train as fast as you can. Your spouse's family's money isn't yours. You need to focus on making your own income, not relying on someone else's. Also, looking for a rich family seriously limits your pool of prospects.

  • He must be at least 6 feet tall, or she must be 5'5"

  • Height is irrelevant to happiness. Character is what matters. You may be passing by a peach of a guy or gal as your potential mate if you walk around with a tape measure in your mind.

  • He/she needs to know how to play the piano

  • OK, that would be nice, but definitely not necessary for a happy marriage. Everyone has their own talents and what ever they are they can bless a future marriage and family. If we all had the same talents life might be quite boring. Notice the talents of those you date, but don't decide in your mind what these talents "must" be. Just enjoy what they are.

  • He/she must be from an intact family

  • Ideally we all want our family to be full of happily married in-laws. Unfortunately, it's simply a sad fact of life in far too many cases nowadays. If a future spouse has divorced parents, that need not be a problem for your marriage. Many learn from the failures of their parents and make their own marriage stronger—determined to not let that happen to them.

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  • He/she has to have blond hair

  • Hair color doesn't matter. Those who said they would never marry a red head ended up doing so and have the cutest ever little redheaded kids—and they love it. No need to be choosie when it comes to hair color. It is not an indicator of character. Anyway, that may not even be their natural hair color—"only their hairdresser knows".

  • Needs to have a college degree

  • That would be nice, but not necessary, as long as your potential is working on an education that will lead to employment. A young couple we know does well on his income in computer work. Though he has no college degree, his education has been in being certified in computer programs that are valuable to developing companies. There are many ways to prepare for supporting a family.

  • Must be athletic

  • So what if he/she was never involved in competitive sports, or won a medal. Some fabulous people have no propensity for sports. They aren't built that way, or they aren't interested. That doesn't mean that at some point later in life they might enjoy taking up skiing or some other recreational sport. Often couples help each other develop interest that vary from what they are accustomed to.

  • Many other nonessentials could be on this list. Let's move on to what really matters in choosing a mate.

  • Qualities in a future mate that are not negotiable

    1. Knows how to work hard and can hold a job.

    2. Is kind and respectful to you and other people.

    3. Knows how to laugh and have fun.

    4. Wants to have children.

    5. Believes in your same moral values.

  • These are what matter most in looking for a mate. Keep it simple and you will have greater success in finding the man or woman of your dreams. Get rid of the idea of finding the perfect partner. They don't exist. Finding someone on the right path does. Remember, you can't expect something from your future spouse that you are not willing to be yourself.

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Gary Lundberg is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Joy is a writer. Together they author books on relationships.

Website: http://garyjoylundberg.com

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