At some point in life, I think we all have dreamed of finding our “one and only,” our perfect match. We dream of tall, dark, and handsome — or at least someone who will take us dancing or cheer for our favorite sports team.
But how can you find your perfect match? That future husband or wife who will be just right for you?
In order to find the perfect spouse, we may need to shift our thinking a little. I’d like to suggest three ways that we can find the best match:
1. Be the Perfect Spouse
Many of you have probably made a “list” in Young Women’s full of attributes you want in a future spouse. (I actually found several versions of “the list” in my old scripture case not too long ago!) While it’s important to seek a worthy and righteous eternal companion, someone with whom you are compatible, it’s perhaps even more important to develop those attributes yourself.
Elder Robert D. Hales teaches, “Your responsibility now is to be worthy of the person you want to marry. If you want to marry a wholesome, attractive, honest, happy, hardworking, spiritual person, be that kind of person.”
Part of being the perfect spouse includes developing a healthy self-esteem. Social science shows us that low self-esteem can damage relationships. Alternatively, being happily single is a great preparation to being happily married! (See Dr. Rob’s article on loving yourself.) This personal security allows us to develop healthy relationships in the future — including the happy marriage with that “one and only.”
2. Don’t Expect Immediate Perfection
While it’s reasonable and good to have high expectations of marriage, nobody is perfect — including your future spouse. Just as you won’t measure up to your “list” 100% of the time, neither will your Mr. (or Mrs.) Right. As Elder Hales puts it, “None of us marry perfection; we marry potential.”
If you enter into marriage expecting a totally flawless spouse, psychologist Susan Heitler says you’re in for a bumpy ride! Remember to be patient as you deal with imperfect people. You’re imperfect too, after all.
Does this mean you should settle for someone less than ideal? Not a chance! But keep in mind that any marriage candidate will have weaknesses; it’s just a matter of picking which ones you can work with.
3. Date, Date, Date!
Dating in 2017 may look a little different than dating back in the day. Let’s be honest: who even goes on real dates anymore unless you’re already exclusive?
Unfortunately, this shift in culture makes it a whole lot harder to find the right fit for marriage.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks counseled young single adults to avoid the plague of “hanging out,” however difficult it may be. He said, “Unlike hanging out, dating is not a team sport. Dating is pairing off to experience the kind of one-on-one association and temporary commitment that can lead to marriage in some rare and treasured cases.”
By practicing that commitment, even just for a few hours, young men and women are able to really get to know each other. They can figure out if their date has the qualities that would make a good eternal companion.
The Perfect Spouse
In the end, finding the one you want to spend eternity with may be a little different than you imagined. She may not be a football fanatic, and he may not be the best dancer on the planet. In fact, whoever you end up with will have real weaknesses — just like you do! But as we try our best to be our best and follow the prophetic counsel to go on dates, we will have the best shot at finding our “perfect match.”
It worked for me anyway! 😉