Although there are a lot of posts on the web that ask you to follow the “7 signs” or “x ways” to know how you have found your soulmate, the reality is a little different. First, what is perfect for one person is not for another. The more you get bogged down in details (eg hobbies, interests…) the harder it is to get alignment. You can spend the rest of your life looking for that perfect partner, but that would be an awful waste of your life. Don’t rush into marriage but don’t spend a lifetime looking for a perfect entity that may not exist. Only God is perfect, we all have flaws, don’t forget that.
Before we get into the Do factors there are a couple of Don’ts. Don’t marry potential, see where the person is today. Your prospective spouse will never change because of you, only because they want to change. Don’t marry for love. It is difficult for the the conscious mind to know the difference between lust and love. True love displays over time after marriage and when your relationship is challenged.
Instead we at Perfect Muslim Wedding would suggest to focus on some fundamentals. There is a Prophetic saying which says and we Paraphrase here “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion; Marry her for her faith, otherwise you’ll be at a loss.” The saying (hadith) shows priority of faith not mutual exclusion that other things like beauty are not important. Also what should a woman look for in a husband.
No matter what your gender, here are some things to explore.
- Choose Character over Chemistry
As the saying goes “Chemistry ignites the fire, but character keeps it burning.” Pay attention to the fundamentals. ie Personality/Behavior the true character of a person which includes: Kindness, Respect, Generosity, Empathy, Mindfulness(opposite of being needy), Transparent, Safety, Trust, Comfortable, Attraction, Humility, Responsibility, and Happiness. We don’t have to elaborate on these, but they are kind of a given. Without any of the key factors that relationship will be challenging.
- Choose Compatibility including Values Compatibility, Financial Compatibility, Family Compatibility, and Goals Compatibility over looking for a ideal match. Remember there is no Ideal perfect, husband wife. Knowing the family history is critical. No matter how different we are than our parents so much of our upbringing will consciously and subconsciously affect our future behavior. Watch out for red flags on values eg a pattern of divorce in the family, how they manage conflict, or communicate.
- Choose Good Enough over Perfect ; it is human nature that we want the best of everything and we look over own blind spots. Consider the whole person, rather than eg just physical appearance. Hopefully the sum is greater than the parts.
- Choose Present over Disengaged. When they are with you and with others do they give you their undivided attention? Can you disagree with them? How do they take feedback? Both pre-marriage and post-marriage you need healthy ways to resolve conflicts. Can you trust them? Remember real trust like love can only be measured once you, they are tested, and it has to be earned through actions.
- Leave it to God: When you feel someone is in good alignment with these basics and you feel you are ready to propose, pray a little prayer (Salat-Istikharah) and ask guidance from God.
This by no means is a conclusive list. What else should we add to it? Please share your comments.