Well, from preschool age, little girls learn to play house, care for baby dolls, and pretend that Barbie and Ken will get married and live happily ever after. Society feeds this ideal of finding Mr. Right to girls as being the benchmark of their success as females and is deeply entrenched in long-standing cultural myths.
Women then grow up with Utopia-like visions of meeting the perfect guy, falling head over heels in love, and living happily ever after themselves, seldom considering the very real problems and challenges that spring forth in normal, everyday life.
Women then run every man they date through that love filter—Is he “the one”?
This approach to dating makes finding fulfilling love incredibly difficult. Why? Think about it …
First, the truth is—there is far more to you than that shallow ‘happily ever after’ fantasy. It’s a hollow vision of love.
Who in her right mind deliberately chooses to abandon her own dreams, goals, or gifts in exchange for sacrificing her mind, body, and soul for others, while being unfulfilled? That sounds more like indentured servant than real love.
You know (and I know) that you’re here to do more than just sit up, look cute, make babies, and validate some guy, right? You were born with gifts and talents that no one possesses but you. By now, I hope you recognize that. You don’t have to sacrifice being the fullest, deepest version of yourself to find some fairytale notion of love.
Second, are you even ready for Mr. Right to enter you life? If you’re like most human beings, you’re working on yourself a bit still. That doesn’t mean you can’t cross paths with someone who’s a “perfect” fit for you while you’re working on yourself. But there is a season for everything.
So, why make dating needlessly hard on yourself? The sooner you accept the fact that not every man you date will become your baby daddy or your husband, your love life will transform from being a burden to a fulfilling series of experiences.
Confusing Mr. Right Now with Mr. Right is a costly mistake that could easily derail your life. So how do can you tell the difference between the two? Here are 10 crucial signs to watch for …
1. Are you solid within yourself?
Prematurely obligating yourself to someone before YOU are truly ready is not only foolish, it’s recipe for disaster. Your first priority is getting your own life together. You must do this prior to bringing anyone else into your life in a significant way. A succesfull relationship requires a solid foundation. Nothing is worse than building a house on sand, especially when you’re the sand.
Doing so prematurely is playing Russian roulette with your hopes and dreams and torpedoes your own future.
2. Do you know what you truly desire in life (as well as in a mate)?
Often, we confuse needs and wants. But what we want is often not what we truly need, and vice versa. Different seasons in our life require different things.
For example, hooking up with a guy who has his life together while you’re still struggling to finish college, find a job, rebuild your life, or establish yourself is more of a hindrance than a catalyst (to both him and you). Ill-timed relationships can unintentionally deter your focus. This typically results in you either delaying or abandoning your own goals altogether.
3. What’s your long-term vision?
People change over time, and so will you. Today, partying and shopping are high on your to-do list, but 10 years from now, will hanging out with the girls and shopping really matter as much?
If you mature properly the answer to that is NO; as you mature, things you want today won’t matter tomorrow. Think five and 10 years down the road, and gauge your now vs. long-term priorities. What’s attractive in a boyfriend won’t be attractive in a husband.
4. What character traits are most important?
Dating a man now who is great in bed, but ultimately emotionally unavailable and financially irresponsible may not significantly affect you now, but if you eventually desire to create a stable family, you will have hell to pay if you shackle yourself to this man.
When you’re living in the moment versus thinking long-term, your choices cost you big time. Just because you’re attracted to him on the surface doesn’t mean you know them at a deep, substantial level. Be wise; assess the cost before starting a life’s journey with a man.
5. Do you both share the same vision for what constitutes a healthy relationship?
Do you share the same attitudes about friends of the opposite sex, spiritual practices, what you disclose to others (especially family members and friends), and the sharing of individual resources? Being on the same page about how a relationship works is crucial to long-term success.
6. What are your fears telling you?
Are your doubts and fears about this man connected to your past experiences or your present expectations? Projecting your desire to find love on a potential mate can easily blind you to the realities of who you both truly are.
Pay attention to what your man says and does (do the two align?) and do the same thing with yourself. If you notice red flags or inconsistency in your behavior or feelings pause going any further in the relationship until you understand why. You cannot un-strike a match.
7. Do you love your relationship with him exactly as it is?
The truth is—personality type and personality traits remain stable over time. If you don’t know your mates personality type, I suggest both of you take the MBTI to determine compatibility.
As a Credentialed MBTI Master Practitioner, I strongly advise that couples get the facts about a partner’s personality type before moving forward in any potentially long-term relationship. Because, more than likely, your man’s traits and preferences will NOT change. Would you want to spend the rest of your life with him exactly as he is right now? If not, he’s not right for you.
8. Where is this relationship going?
Stable relationships happen because both parties have a structured plan for personal growth. If you aren’t both thriving individually, you cannot thrive collectively or as a couple. The trick here is make sure your individual life plans complement each other’s if a future together is the goal.
For example, if one of you is planning to spend the next three years traveling the world, while the other commits to growing vegetables in an organic greenhouse, you could be headed toward disaster. Never assume your partner is on the same page as you.
9. How do you handle conflict?
Conflict is an inherent part of any relationship. The issue isn’t conflict itself, the issue is always how the two of you handle conflict. If either you are volatile, melts down, is self-centered, bears grudges, or avoids confronting issues, this is a red flag.
You’ll never successfully resolve problems that either of you won’t admit are present. The fact that you and your mate are willing to put fires out together is a good indicator that your relationship can withstand pressure. However, if you’re constantly feeling bombarded with one issue after another, that’s a major warning sign.
10. Do the two of you match?
The overused term, “are you equally yoked” applies here. Put another way, do you have far more in common than you do differences? In my practice, after seeing hundreds of couples, and researching tens of thousands of relationships, I’ve discovered the primary reason that most relationships fail is because couples don’t share common beliefs, don’t possess shared values, or have mutual respect (or reverence) for the same things.
The lack of communal consciousness is often the cause of much miscommunication, which will ultimately result in one, or both parties, feeling disrespected and deprecated. Those things lead to apathy and distrust. Without trust, respect, and compassion, even the strongest relationships will inherently fail.
So, how did you do?
If your answers are negative, or even doubtful, to at least 4 of those questions, you’re probably dating Mr. Right Now, as opposed to Mr. Right.
If your answers were indecisive or negative to more than 6 of those questions, this is a relationship that should NOT move beyond the casual dating stage.
However, if over 8 of your answers reveal that these things are NOT an issue in your relationship, congratulations. This guy is a keeper. More than likely, this could be Mr. Right.
But, don’t assume anything. Get clarity! Just because there’s a bit of synergy here doesn’t mean this relationship is going to lead to an engagement or marriage. It’s quite possible that you’re one of few women who’s met a really decent guy. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
But, if he concurs that this is a significant relationship for him too, allow things to continue to develop organically. Pressuring him at this point could easily cause things to regress, if not fall apart altogether.
Bottom line, people come into your life for a season, a reason or a lesson.
With that being the case relax and chill. Enjoy the moment and the dating process. Don’t try to fix what’s not broken. Mr. Right Now could ultimately be your Mr. Right, just not right now. Allow time to have a voice in this.