Dating is scouting for a good mate, which requires knowing what you want beforehand.

Watch for cues that show they’re interested.

Hunt around everywhere, not just on dating websites or your current social circles.

Set realistic expectations about what you want in a partner.

Date intentionally with the purpose of having fun and exploring a friendship, not as a sexual conquest or to abate loneliness.

Try unconventional dates to have an unconventional experience.

Pay close attention to how your date is responding to you.

If you fall in love, you’re temporarily delusional.

Watch for the many, many warning signs of a dysfunctional partner.

If you’re not finding anyone, you may need to change your approach.

Relationships operate on a vague timetable that you’ll likely want to consult.

If you don’t like where the relationship is going, end it correctly.

If you’d bet your life that they’re the best you’ll ever get, marry them, and don’t overthink it.

What’s up with dating?

Most people want a life partner, but it comes with many risks:

Your ideal mate will always have certain characteristics:
  • They’re willing to change, regardless of risks.
  • They openly communicate their issues and concerns with you.
  • You can trust them, with proven stories of their loyalty.
  • You share a natural intimacy with them (“chemistry”).
  • You share a similar sense of humor with them.
  • They encourage and support others’ successes.
  • You both share at least some hobbies.
  • You both bring out each other’s best characteristics of your personalities.
  • You both respect each other’s lives, decisions, and opinions.

Contrary to popular opinion, compatibility is mostly unrelated to relationship satisfaction:
  • Any two people who have healthy conflict-management skills and the right attitudes to stay honest and work hard at the relationship can live well with each other.
  • Vast differences between people create more misunderstanding, but they also create more benefits:
    • More unique ways of approaching issues
    • More diverse opinions means more perceived solutions
    • Broader set of skills to pull from
  • Each personality is uniquely different, so you can’t know simply from an internet profile or psychological assessment.

Understand yourself compared to others

It’s difficult without practice, but you can immediately know why you like someone if you examine yourself, then compare yourself to them.

Emotional temperament:
  • How do you/they see themselves?
  • Are there any clear addictions?
  • How happy are you/they about the present and future?
  • How much emotional energy do you/they have?
  • How likely are you/they to blame others for problems or failures?
  • How much romantic passion and sensual desire do you/they naturally show?

Social style:
  • How much moral character do you/they have (e.g., integrity, honesty, fairness)?
  • How capable are you/they for sensitivity and empathy?
  • How much do you/they need to control or be in control?
  • How much do you/they want to be around other people?
  • How much do you/they make personal time more important than intimate time?
  • How quickly do you/they compromise and adjust to circumstances?

Prevailing mentality and thinking:
  • How intelligent are you/they?
  • How much do you/they need details and are curious about new things?
  • How is your/their sense of humor?
  • How creative and artistically driven are you/they?

  • How much day-to-day life do you/they expend?
  • Do you/they enjoy physically challenging activities?
  • How much interest and enjoyment do you/they get out of the physical act of sex?
  • What is your/their attitude towards physical health in general?
  • What is your/their desire regarding safely and securely raising a family?
  • How efficient, productive and driven towards self-improvement are you/they?
  • How physically attractive do you/they feel?

Current relationship skills:
  • How well do you/they verbalize thoughts and feelings, ask questions, and compare/contrast?
    • How interested are you/they in communicating?
  • How capable are you/they at reducing damage from anger?
  • How capable are you/they in honestly and constructively expressing all emotions?
  • How well can you/they control mood and feelings?
  • What is your/their conflict management style?
    • How respectful are you/they of others in conflicts?
    • How well can you/they drop a resolved issue?

Values and beliefs:
  • How important is spiritual expression and beliefs to you/them?
  • How interested are you/they in raising children?
  • How traditional are you/they?
    • How important are morality and personal values to you/them?
    • How much do you/they want to be involved in church?
    • What religious beliefs do you/they have and how do they affect day-to-day life?
  • How ambitious and driven to personal success are you/they?
  • How much do you/they desire to give back to communities and behave ethically?

  • How healthy a family did you/they come from and how do you/they see their overall health and hygiene?
    • How close are you/they to family and how much involvement do they have in life?
  • How educated are you/they, and how important do you/they see it?
  • How much are they willing to change to have a relationship?
  • How many past relationships did you/they have, how did they go, and why did they end?
  • What kinds of friends do you/they have? Are they healthy?

Age differences:
  • An age gap is usually fine, but often comes with a maturity gap.
  • Significant age differences have more risks of misunderstood cultural norms and others’ rejection.
  • Younger people have higher risks and benefits:
    • They’re usually more attractive, more easily impressed, and often with fewer poor relationship experiences.
    • At the same time, they’re often too dependent, demanding, inexperienced, unintelligent, boring, and unprepared for some of life’s challenges.
  • Older people are usually great dates:
    • They’re often independent and interesting.
    • At the same time, they’re frequently jaded about life and a female significantly older than a male can sometimes create power struggles.
  • If you don’t reciprocate the feelings of an older person flirting with you, politely call them “sir” or “ma’am”.

Signs of interest

To get a baseline, pay close attention to how that person responds to other people of your gender and social status.

Universal cues:
  • When meeting, eyebrows rise and then come back down after a second.
  • Slightly longer and more focused eye contact than normal.
    • Pupils will dilate 45% larger while looking at someone they’re interested in.
    • While typical staring is 4.5 seconds, people who are interested average 8.2 seconds.
    • More time looking at the other person’s lips.
  • Body language mirrors the other person.
    • Watch if they follow when you change position or yawn after you.
    • Facing their body more toward that person.
  • Genuine smiles that crinkle the eyes.
  • Laughing frequently with you, even if you weren’t that funny.
  • In a group, when everyone’s attention moves to another person, they keep attention on that first person.

Male-specific cues:
  • Any gesture that gives the appearance of being larger.
    • Slightly flared nostrils, lips sometimes slightly parted.
    • Legs spread shoulder-width apart.
    • Stretching, wide arm gestures.
    • Chest pushed out and stomach pulled in.
    • Hands at sides or with thumbs tucked into pockets.
  • Head tilted slightly to one side.
  • Adjusting collars, sleeves, or socks.
  • Smoothing hair.

Female-specific cues:
  • Generally, much more subtle than men’s actions.
  • Any gesture to appear more alluring.
    • Sits with one leg pressed on top of the other with a hand on the thigh.
    • Exposes neck and wrist skin more.
    • Tosses hair, intimate gazing.
  • Brings up a movie she wants to watch or place she wants to go.

Hunt everywhere

Even if you’re attractive and successful, the most likely candidates for a relationship haven’t met you yet, so keep meeting new people.

When dating, you’re essentially “selling” yourself:
  • Successful dating is a bit of both sales and marketing:
    • A complete slob won’t get a date after 1,000 tries.
    • An attractive, successful person who doesn’t meet new people will probably never find a mate.
  • Sales requires increasing the chances of an unlikely thing happening.
    • The most obvious way to improve chances is to increase your events:
      1. If you go to one new venue every week, you’ve visited about 50 places in a year.
      2. At each venue, it’s likely you’ll find 5 new people you find attractive, which is 250 people a year.
      3. 100 people will already be in a relationship.
      4. 100 of them won’t find you attractive.
      5. Of the remaining 50, 20-40 won’t meet your standards, and you’ll find 10 possible candidates you can get to know more.
  • Marketing is conveying your value at each event by improving how you appear:

Search everywhere for a date:
  • Ask family and friends.
  • Pursue group events for the things you enjoy and find new friends.
  • Invite people to your home.
  • Visit an official dating event or a dating website.

Dating website tips:
  • Use a good photo that captures your personality.
    • Since they’re dating you and not your friends, don’t use group photos.
    • Unless you’re looking for a one-night stand, don’t show anything sexually suggestive.
    • Pay a professional photographer to capture your best physical qualities.
  • Avoid standard greetings like “hey, how are you?”
    • Bring up a shared interest right away.
    • Tell them a funny observation about their profile.
    • Generally, the more attractive they are the more people are contacting them, so stay tactful.
  • Try to fill your profile and bio with keywords that match the things you value.

The more you think about asking someone out, the less likely you’ll actually do it, so take the risk quickly and often.

Set realistic expectations

After a few dates, you should have a prioritized list of everything you want in a partner:
  • While feelings will waver, guidelines don’t.
  • Write out your list, and keep consulting it to keep yourself accountable.
  • As you date, it’s not uncommon for your standards to change when you gain increased awareness of who you are and what you want.

If you let past experiences unrelated to them affect your judgment, you’re being irrational and unfair to them.

Nobody is perfect, so don’t expect it:
  • Instead, prioritize your desires to see how many of the things you want, and how important they are to you.
  • No human, no matter how beautiful, attractive, or loving, can give someone satisfaction in life.
    • You can only love anyone as much as you love yourself.
  • Respect people for who they are, not what they could be or what you want them to be.

To succeed through all the effort and unlikely circumstances, you must find a way to persevere irrespective of what happens.

Date intentionally

You’re dating to learn, not to make lifetime commitments:
  • Dating is a shared experiment to see how you and someone else get along.
  • Date people you usually wouldn’t to further understand who you would prefer.

You must have fun with them:
  • You both should want to spend time together.
  • Your priority is to make friends, not sexual conquest or fighting loneliness.

Be authentic:
  • The most exciting and fun dates come from natural chemistry, which comes from differences.
  • If you de-emphasize your quirks, you’ll be acceptable to most people, but some people absolutely adore them, and they’re your best chances for a long-term relationship.
  • Long-term intimacy is impossible if you pretend to be someone else.
  • If you have trouble knowing what to say, just say whatever comes into your head.

Focus more on their needs, not yours:
  • Think of the relationship as 60/40, not 50/50.
  • Learn to meet their best interests, then watch how they respond.

Set physical standards on how intimate you’ll go, since you will cross them and will need to back away.

Small issues today will become larger ones in the future, so your ability to wisely and quickly handle conflicts play a huge part of a successful relationship.

Break from conventional

If you want them to see you as interesting, do something more interesting than a conventional dinner-and-a-movie.

Or, at the very least, have dinner after the movie to discuss it with them.

If you’re sociable, bring a friend with their date to set up a double date.

Try anything you or they haven’t done before:
  • Go bowling or visit a golf driving range.
  • Go target shooting with guns or archery.
  • Rent motorcycles or bicycles.
  • Go hang-gliding.
  • Rent kayaks or a canoe.
  • Hike in the woods or mountains.
  • Play in the snow or go skiing.
  • Visit a museum, conservatory or zoo.
  • Go roller or ice skating.
  • Visit local festivals, concerts, art presentations, and community events.
  • Try wine tasting.
  • Ride in a hot air balloon or helicopter.
  • Go sky diving or bungee jumping.

Some date ideas are risky because they’ll interfere with your date’s social standards:
  • One person drives while the other person flips a coin at every intersection to turn left or right.
  • Set up a treasure hunt with clues on pieces of paper hidden around the city with a gift at the end.
  • Go geo-hashing.
  • Volunteer together.
  • Go yard sale or thrift store shopping.

Show you’re serious with more intimate venues:
  • Share a spa treatment and massage.
  • Go stargazing.
  • Have a photo shoot together.
  • Travel on a long-distance train.
  • Tour Christmas lights in your area.
  • Go to the park and talk.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Take a college, dancing, or art class together.

To be very intimate, stay at home:
  • Bear in mind that any time alone with them in a comfortable environment can easily turn into sexual foreplay.
  • Make a home-cooked meal with romantic candles.
  • Watch an old movie marathon.
  • Play board games.
  • Blow up a kids pool and fill it with blankets or pillows for an outdoor date.
  • If you’re very serious about the relationship, offer to give a massage.

If you’re married, make it special:
  • Revisit how your first date or dates went.
  • Have them run an errand, then decorate the place into something romantic while they’re gone.
  • Plan a weekend trip, but surprise them by having a couple you both like to to be there as well.
  • Go visit a store together but don’t buy anything, but pay attention to what they like and get it for them as a gift later.
  • Renew your wedding vows.

Whatever you do, it can be frugal, but not cheap.

Observe your date

Your date should be having as much fun as you:
  • Romantic relationships are merely high-risk, high-reward friendships.
  • If they can’t enjoy things with you, even if they don’t prefer it, the relationship is already shaky.
  • Don’t take it personally, since plenty of good people aren’t a good fit for you specifically.

On the date, note their body language:
  • Stare at their eyes for a few seconds longer than usual to see if they respond.
  • Focus more on what they do than what they say.
  • Share intimate details and observe their response.
  • Note specifically how often they check their phone, look elsewhere, or look uncomfortable.

Don’t lie about a future date if you’re not interested or unsure:
  • They’ll have to face your rejection eventually, so earlier is better.
  • Saying “We’ll see” or “I’ll get back to you” is a polite way to say no, though your date probably needs a more direct response.

Don’t trust falling in love

Falling in love is the natural feeling that the person is wholly, thoroughly, utterly perfect for you:
  • People usually fail to see when they’ve fallen in love, especially younger people.
  • People often falsely attribute their exciting experiences as coming from the people who shared their experience.
  • To find out if you’re in love, watch closely how you respond to others’ well-reasoned, well-intended criticisms against your relationship.
    • If you give an equally well-articulated response, you’re likely in love but using the rest of your brain.
  • Without a marriage to make it safe, submitting to the feelings from passionate love is being unreasonable, close-minded, and emotionally reckless.

When we fall in love, we tend to project our feelings onto a stranger but are unaware we’re doing it.

Falling in love is a terrible way to make romantic decisions:
  • Contrary to popular stories, successful relationships are very rarely “love at first sight”.
  • In fact, belief in “true love” romance stories has been scientifically proven to give poor relationship success.
  • Instead of thinking “I love them” you should be able to say, “I can live with their worst traits for the rest of my life”.

Many of the things people do in romantic books and movies disrespect boundaries, break laws, and destroy trust.

Warning signs

If you see any of their quirks that really annoy you, they’ll get much worse as you get to know them.

None of these signs are necessarily unsolvable, but don’t intensify the relationship without awareness of how to fix or avoid them.

However, nobody is entirely “perfect” for you because everyone is somewhat broken, so your personality may work well against some of them.

They’re psychologically or physically abusive:
  • Abusive people usually disrespect boundaries without realizing it.
  • If they disrespect you, it’ll only get worse as you grow closer.
  • Never rationalize abusive behavior.
  • Physically abusive people can’t control their anger once it boils over.
  • Living with an abusive person is a minefield of avoiding outbursts.

Meeting your needs when they shouldn’t be:
  • Generally, one solitary person can only meet 80% of another’s psychological needs.
  • They don’t have enough supporting family or friends and believe a relationship will solve their issues.
  • They feel the need to help others but impose that need into the relationship.
  • They’re afraid of loneliness and use someone’s physical presence to prevent it.
  • They’re bringing deep psychological issues from their childhood into the relationship and are desperately needy with unclear expectations.
  • If you carry on with it, you’ll become the other half of a destructive and overly codependent lifestyle.

Overly controlling:
  • Controlling people have severe trust issues that inspire them to disrespect and demean others.
  • You can most easily detect controlling behavior through jealousy, their demand for information that doesn’t concern them, and an unwillingness to admit when they’re wrong.
    • It usually takes at least a few dates to discover it.
    • At its most extreme, jealous people will envy strong family ties and completely platonic friends.
  • Controlling people have crippling insecurities.
  • If you find manipulative behavior attractive, imagine it for the rest of your life.
  • Even when you pity their lack of self-control, you’re letting them hurt you and others without consequences.
  • If they sever ties with someone else without discussing it with you, they’ve started over-controlling your life.

Confused or distorted gender identity:
  • Hypersensitive about themselves or their image.
  • Over-identifies with their sexuality or expects that everyone else identifies strictly as sexual beings.
  • Insecure male identities hold to rigid roles without discussion, are extremely jealous, and try to control others.
  • Insecure female identities try to deceive everyone, subvert authority, and rapidly blame others.

  • Self-absorbed people care way too much about themselves to care about you.
  • They’re usually overly concerned about image, only talk about themselves, or assert superiority needlessly.
  • Even if they have a reputable status, their relationship has no room for your needs.
  • If someone is self-absorbed, they won’t admit they’ve done something wrong, even if it hurts you.

They only want your money:
  • Materialistic people will force their partners to assume debt later.
  • In marriage, they tend to lead families to financial ruin.
  • Leave them if they’re unwilling to learn healthy financial principles.

Wants the concept of you more than you as a person:
  • While people should desire that you grow and improve, authentic love is valuing the person as they are now.
  • If someone is meeting their needs through you without considering your feelings, they’re being psychologically abusive.

They’re perpetually miserable:
  • Working through personal issues is good, but not when everyone else is having fun!
  • Everyone has a baseline happiness they revert to when there’s no outside pressure, and you can’t change that.
  • While you may temporarily improve their satisfaction, they’ll eventually become accustomed to you.
  • The worst variation of this is someone who has become contentious about frivolous things.

Their have no personal goals or ambitions:
  • They have no personal goals or ambitions.
  • Without goals and purpose people become stagnant, lazy deadbeats.
  • If they quickly adapt to what you like, they haven’t discovered what they like in themselves.
  • Note if they’ve learned how to cook, clean, or take care of themselves.
  • Since they may never find purpose, don’t wait for them to find it.
  • At its most severe, this person is unwilling to take care of children from a previous marriage.

They’re reckless with their possessions or body:
  • They’re reckless with their money, resources or self.
  • Living in excess with money or resources, neglecting self-maintenance, and taking unnecessary risks is disrespecting their own boundaries.
  • Usually, they’ll expect you to maintain their stability, but also won’t respect your boundaries.
  • Any recklessness or extreme behavior is usually a sign of addiction, which makes you a means to their substance.

They’re sexually promiscuous:
  • Sexually promiscuous people use the allure of sex to gain attention, love, and power.
  • Sexually promiscuous women often dress provocatively and flirt openly.
  • Sexually promiscuous men usually date many different women at once.
  • If they’ve had a history of cheating, they’ll likely cheat on you as well.
  • Unfaithful behavior almost always follows into marriage as well.

They compromise their morals:
  • If they disrespect their morals, they won’t respect yours.
  • They’re usually lying about many seemingly unimportant things or constantly breaking promises.
  • While they can learn morality, they often have a hard time saying “no” in conflicts, which means they won’t listen when you say it.

They mistreat others:
  • Everyone treats a new relationship well, but character expresses the most through long-term relationships and positions of power.
  • Note how they treat children, animals, service workers, and anyone they have power over.
  • If they have children, observe how much they love them.

They’re inauthentic or liars:
  • Their actions, lifestyles, and past doesn’t seem to align.
  • While they might be fun to be around, you won’t be able to trust them.
  • Often, they’re unaware of how they look.
  • The most dangerous version of this is both highly charming and psychologically abusive.

They’re an addict:
  • Addicts value their substance more than anyone or anything else.
  • Addictions can include alcohol, pornography, prescription drugs, video games, television, feelings, housekeeping, traveling, and productivity.
  • That person needs significant help, but your position in a relationship will create a conflict of interest.
  • Direct them to a recovery group, then leave them if they don’t change genuinely and permanently.

Has no long-term friends:
  • A romantic relationship is an intimate friendship that hurts worse than a typical friendship.
  • They will need someone else to vent about you.
  • If they can’t keep friends, they have a chronic psychological issue.

Poor or strange relationships with their parents:
  • People usually mistreat their parents because they don’t respect authority, including future marital authority.
  • If they’re unwilling to cut unhealthy family connections, they may be codependent.
  • However, if they’ve distanced themselves from an unhealthy family dynamic at all, it may be a sign of personal strength.
  • Deliver an ultimatum that they’ll eventually have to choose you or the family, and follow through on it.

You have to keep the relationship a secret:
  • If you or your partner must withhold information about the relationship from others, ask why you must hide it.
  • Eventually, everyone will know about it if you continue it.

Your friends or family are opposed to the relationship:
  • Ask why they oppose the relationship, and presume they have good intentions in it somewhere.
  • You will likely lose the relationship with everyone opposed if you continue the relationship.

One of you isn’t that attracted to the other:
  • Relationships need mutually natural physical and emotional attraction.
  • Someone not attracted to the other is abusing the relationship to meet needs.
  • Alternately, someone might be attracted, but might show it in a way that makes you uncomfortable.

If you’re not finding anyone

Deeply ask yourself why you can’t seem to find anyone:
  • Ask friends for their sincere input.
  • Maybe you’re the one with the above-stated warning signs!
  • If you feel helpless without a partner, you’re in a better place than feeling helpless with a partner.

Are you exposing yourself to enough people?

Are you doing something unattractive?
  • Focus on first impressions.
    • For example, 80% of a woman’s first impression comes from whether a man is slouching.
  • Clean and groom yourself more.
    • Depending on the context, either smelling nice or body odor is extremely attractive.
    • If you’re male, grow facial hair.
  • Learn to be more charming and gracious.
    • Make more direct eye contact.
    • Smile more often.
    • Find more similarities with others.
    • Sharing walking pace with others.
  • Try to appear more attractive.
    • Stand tall or try to look tall.
    • Get a pet or play a musical instrument.
    • The most attractive color to wear is black for men and bright red for women.
    • People are often very attracted to someone who looks like their opposite-gender parent.

Watch for people who “friend-zone” you:
  • A friend-zone is someone who doesn’t share interest in you, but they still wants you around.
  • Women friend-zone more often than men.
  • You shouldn’t need to earn someone’s affection, and are worth more than that.
  • Avoid spending much time with them, since they’re effectively using you.
    • Ask them about connecting you with one of their friends.
      • If they don’t like you, they’ll oblige.
      • If they like you, they’ll change their mind out of jealousy.
  • Sometimes you’ll feel like a person is cycling between interested and disinterested.
    • They are either playing mind games or don’t know what they want.

Relationships have a vague schedule

If they’re worth it, stay consistently in touch, but wait 1-2 days before calling again after the first date.

After a week or two, give them gifts to show your affection:
  • Make little things for them or show you’re thinking of them:
    • Handwritten notes or romantic cards
      • Get two romantic cards and write the inscription from the first card into the second.
    • Flowers or chocolates (for men to women)
    • Put notes or money inside a clear balloon with glitter and inflate it
    • Plot (x^2 + y^2 -1)^3 – x^2*y^3 = 0 on a graph to make a heart
    • Send a heart-shaped pizza to them
  • Look at a woman’s Pinterest account to find out what she likes.
  • Don’t give anything too expensive, since it can create an artificial attraction based on the money you’re spending on them.

Keep your long-term purpose in mind:
  • You’re probably not just dating to have fun.
  • Within 2-3 weeks, you should be discussing more controversial issues like religion and politics.
  • After at least a month, discuss both your past relationships.
  • After 2-3 months, discuss thoughts and opinions about money.
  • After a few months, bring your date around friends and family to observe their reactions and get their input.
    • Giving constant and immediate relationship updates to all your friends will usually complicate the situation, so keep those updates private to closer friends only.

Your biological clock will probably hasten your schedule:
  • You’ll make fast relationships from your feelings and impulses, but meaningful relationships always take time.
  • The relationship must form naturally, so don’t rush it.
    • If you’re not going steady with them, keep dating around.
    • If the other person is trying to rush the relationship, they may have control or codependency issues.
  • Take the time to get to know their friends, values, family, faith, and anything else you can learn about them.

End relationships correctly

Leave relationships for good reasons:
  • You don’t see a future with them.
  • They feel more like a burden to you than a benefit.
  • One of your lifestyles is changing dramatically from the other.
  • They’re cheating on you.
    • If you’re not sure, send them flowers anonymously and see if they come home without them.

Since a breakup is usually intense, if at all possible do it in person for the sake of your partner:
  • By breaking up via text or phone, you’re hurting their feelings from it and behaving cowardly.
  • Sometimes, they’ll try to avoid that uncomfortable conversation.
    • At that point, you tried to resolve the conflict, and they’ve shown they understand but don’t care about your sense of closure.

If they’ve broken up with you, move on:
  • Ignore frustration attraction, where they’re even more attractive because they dumped you.
  • That person made a decision, and trying to get back in a relationship with them is overstepping your standards.
  • You have more worth than being someone else’s backup relationship.

Try to avoid as much physical interaction as humanly possible, which may mean changing jobs or moving.

Don’t have another relationship for at least half a year:
  • If you only remember bad things about your ex, you probably haven’t gotten over them.
    • It takes 12-18 months to fully get over the brain’s romantic chemical state.
    • Multiple relationships significantly alter your brain’s wiring and increase the chances of unfaithfulness in the future.
  • When you do decide to date again, find someone who is precisely the opposite of what you were dating to avoid a “rebound”.
  • Find support from your friends and family and take the time to heal.

Sometimes, a hopeful romantic relationship can only be platonic.

If you’ll never find anyone better, marry

A great marriage is far less about finding the “right” person than finding someone willing to work at a relationship with you:
  • When you’re in love, you’re oblivious to how much that person actually cares.
  • Having a life partner is less “finding” and more “making”.

Most cultures imply a relationship is a testing ground for marriage:
  • It takes 2-4 years to thoroughly get to know someone.
  • While a relationship is generally low-commitment, marriage is a major and (hopefully) permanent life decision.
  • Don’t listen to to the social pressure to marry, since people will push having children and buying a house later the same way.

Some cultures expect marriage a few months from meeting, but others expect 3-5 years of dating before even considering it, but you should seriously consider and decide after about a year.

Marriage is a huge decision, but always the best one with the right person:
  • Marriage is the foundation for a family.
  • Society almost always endorses it, and often even gives tax benefits for it.
  • Even when parents don’t approve, they’ll usually get over it.
  • Further, a bad marriage can become a good marriage later if both sides are willing to work at it.

Deciding on marriage has degrees of intention:
  1. Let the other person decide.
  2. Determine by feelings and sentiments.
    • Fear of being alone and never settling down.
    • Love for someone and desire for what’s best for both of you.
  3. Following your intuition irrespective of logic or feelings.
    • Spend time becoming aware of what you’re sensing.
  4. Deep, considerate analysis that weighs out pros and cons.
    • Examine the thoughts that lead to your instincts.
    • Fully understand both the good and bad consequences.
    • Discover non-negotiable lines that they absolutely must value, believe, and do to make you happy.

Some reasons are terrible to get married over:
  • You feel you need the other person to live.
  • You’ve spent a long time with them and think life would be easier.
  • You don’t feel right and imagine a marriage will resolve that unease.
  • The other person is wealthy.
  • You see a friendship with them forever, but have significant unresolved issues with them.
  • You both share children and want to get married to hide your shame.

If you’re sure you want to get married, don’t hesitate:
  • Weddings don’t cost as much as you might think.
    • Financially, marriage is cheaper than singleness, at least until children.
  • You’ll never fully understand that person, so all you need to know is whether they’re a decent fit for the rest of your life.
    • While you could theoretically keep looking, you’re not getting younger.
    • Both of you building on that marriage is more important than what you started with.
  • If you have a good relationship, it’s always worth it!

If you want to jump-start your marriage, communicate and demonstrate all your worst qualities to them before you get married.