If we are going to be serious about making marriage work it might be far easier if we married the right person in the first place.  Dating a person is a very important part of preparing for a stable married life.  When we are young and in love we think that people with negative qualities will change later on.  Most often they do not.

 Some research has been done inAmericaon this very topic.  It reveals some important points to consider.  So if you are dating and thinking of getting married look at the following and don’t let denial get in the way.  Problems in a future marriage are signalled when these warning signs are exhibited.

Be careful when you are with a person who uses alcohol or drugs excessively; a person who avoids discussing their past or present life or is very vague about these points; people who have few or no personal boundaries or self discipline; those who are overly dependant on family members and cannot really stand on their own two feet; a person, while dating you, is frequently flirting or staring at others; a person who is in constant need of attention.  Avoid someone who is not emotionally finished with an ex-spouse; a person who is only recently divorced or recovering from a broken relationship; a person who has constant credit problems, debts, bad finances and is always undergoing a “temporary bad time”; people who need to be in control all the time; anyone who never shows any fear or vulnerability.  Beware of those who never keep their promises or are constantly late.  Avoid people who express excessive focus on sexual themes and people who cannot seem to have any long term relationship.

 It is bad when a person interrupts without listening and talks only of themselves and never asks about you.  Avoid workaholics or someone who has excessive interests in any one thing.  Avoid people who are always negative or pessimistic and are constantly critical of others; people who are sarcastic in their sense of humour.  Avoid those who do not take care of themselves in diet, exercise or appearance; those who cannot tolerate any opinions about themselves without becoming defensive. 

 The unusual advice given is to avoid those who are constantly on the computer and whose lives solely revolve around them.  It is not good when people will not avoid conflicts if they can be bypassed.  Also avoid people who have problems with anger and anger management.

 You may be amazed by this list and ask whether you can find the perfect person.  It is not a matter of being perfect but simply avoiding marriage to someone who, most certainly, will not be suitable to create the type of marriage we need and want.