You should consider 7 factors when examining your current relationship:
1. Interpersonal Attraction: Do you find this person attractive physically, sexually, mentally, and emotionally? Is he or she your intellectual equal? Is he or she empathetic and compassionate?
2. Cultural background: Do your backgrounds have common elements such as religion, education, and nationality?
3. Relationship Style:
4. Pattern of Communication: Is communication a joint effort? Each partner should be able to freely self-disclose, share confidences, and be a good listener. Can you comfortably discuss the nature of your relationship? Do you each assume equal responsibility for the success of the relationship? Do you each avoid blaming each other for problems?
5. Achievement Orientation: Are both partners solution-oriented? Are you each willing to adjust your behavior in order to solve problems? Is there an absence of criticism in the relationship? Criticism during courtship is an important warning sign.
6. Validation Response: Can your partner read your emotional signals correctly—and respond correctly? Does he or she show love and tenderness when you need it, anxiety when you are threatened, and even anger when it is appropriate? Does he or she understand your perspective and communicate this understanding?
7. Personal Mastery: Are you each well-disciplined, organized, and stable? If each partner has attained a high level of personal mastery, the relationship is likely to be successful.
Things usually don't get better once you're married.
If your potential marriage partner does things that upset, worry, and hurt you now while you’re dating, you should not expect things to get better once you are married. More likely, things will get even worse. During courtship, consciously or unconsciously, we all try hard to make the best impression possible. After marriage, we tend to let our guard down. So, unfortunately, any problems you notice now will be magnified later.
Who you marry is quite possibly the most important decision you will ever make. Marriage is not something to be rushed or entered into half-heartedly. If you still feel confused after reading this article, asking yourself some honest questions, and examining the nature of your relationship, perhaps you should consider seeing a counselor. He or she may be able to help you see your situation more clearly and aid you in your decision-making process.
Dr. Kevin Leman, Were You Born For Each Other?