While there are many things that may attract you to a girlfriend / boyfriend at different stages in dating, the Smarter Sooner guy suggests the following consideration before you decide to settle down and marry:
Aside from everything else that align you and your potential spouse (and there should be lots of things as you consider something as serious as marriage), be sure that, above everything else, you see genuine kindness in that person.
When both spouses are kind to one-another, they have a tremendous foundation for a long and healthy marriage / relationship. While so many things change over time in a relationship or marriage, kindness is something that never wanes. If somebody is genuinely kind today, that person will always be kind. And, when you are the beneficiary of kindness, it’s more likely that you will behave similarly in return – and this reciprocation of kindness makes the bond even stronger. You may not see eye to eye all the time (and you will have your differences), but when you approach your significant other in a kind manner and your receive the same back, you have the greatest likelihood of a harmonious relationship.
Here are some clear signs of kindness:
- Communication tone: Speaking to one another in a kind manner goes a long way. It’s clear in the tone and style and it’s something that you feel. A kind tone is soft and loving and always invites conversation / dialogue even at tough times.
- Listening: A kind person listens well because he/she believes that it’s important to honor others by paying attention and placing value on what they’re saying.
- Patience: A kind person is patient and recognizes that each person has a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Even when somebody is not doing something the way you might do it (as fast, as good, as efficiently), somebody kind will be genuinely tolerant and accepting.
- Thoughtfulness: Does your significant other spontaneously do thoughtful things for you? They can be little or big, but the little ones seem to count the most. There are thousands of thoughtful scenarios. We all know when somebody is being thoughtful.
- Kindness to animals: Those who are genuinely kind to people, are ALWAYS kind to animals. The way somebody treats animals says a lot.
- Kindness to people he/she doesn’t know: Being kind to strangers is something that truly kind people do. You don’t have to just share kindness with people you know.
- Kindness to weak, infirm or elderly people. A truly kind person goes out his / her way to be helpful, thoughtful or otherwise kind to people who are at a disadvantage. I wrote another blog on this referring to the substantial impact that being kind to the elderly has. https://smartersooner.com/2015/11/30/be-kind-to-seniors-it-pays-off/
There are lots of shapes and colors of kindness and you will know if your significant other exhibits these tendencies or not. The one who is smarter sooner will place greater value on Kindness and gravitate towards those who are kind. Look for it, honor and acknowledge it and return the same kindness. It’s a great cycle.