So you’re thinking about getting married.
Well before you do, there’s something you should know: there’s someone better for you out there.
That’s right. This little bundle of perfection you are personifying as your spouse is not the best match for you. There is someone who aligns with your dreams, your goals, your political persuasion better. There is someone more attractive, funnier, smarter. There is someone with a better family, with cooler friends. There is someone wealthier, more ambitious, more spiritual.
Here’s the catch: You can’t find all that in one person.
As my boy Leo Tolstoy has said, “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content” (Anna Karenina #TheRealRussianNuke).
Sure, find someone who has a better family, but maybe they’ll be a total slob and smell bad. Meet someone that is funnier, but maybe they aren’t as kind. Chat with someone who passionately aligns to your political views, but maybe you don’t want a debate partner for a spouse. Connect with someone who is a model, but maybe then you can’t eat hamburgers and fries.
And even if all those “but maybe’s” are true, good luck at them being interested in you.
Yes, you found someone that meets the 5 most important criteria (after you made your list) and they exist. They are there and they are real. And no, that’s not settling–that’s falling in love with a human.
Now don’t get me wrong. Marriage is not a cavalier choice that you can make after two months of knowing someone when one of those months is long distance; it is an important decision to be weighed out and prayed about over time. (But then again, you might get lucky.)
Because once that decision is made to take it to the next step, don’t worry about any lists you’ve made in dating.
What I’ve admired about the best marriages I’ve seen is that the spouse becomes the other person’s “list.” It is no longer a ‘I wish you had this’ or ‘If only you didn’t have that,’ but rather a beautiful appreciation of the person for who they are that leads to a love and commitment that last forever.
Plus, regardless of who they are and who you are now, you’ll never stay married to the same person. You’ll change and they’ll change. The key is changing together.
You do that by setting your long-term goals as the same destination. If you both are constantly working towards that singular goal, you become less of single individuals and one whole.
So stop looking for the one. There are ones all around you. They key is to choose your love and then love your choice.
As an author at The Blaze commented after hearing the devastating news that Nicolas Sparks and his wife separated, “I didn’t marry The One, I married this one, and the two of us became one.”