The Biggest Mistake We Can Make When Choosing a Life Partner

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What common mistakes do people make when choosing a life partner? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Craig Weiler, married almost thirty years, on Quora:

When choosing a life partner, most people think of romantic dinners, affectionate snuggling on the couch, hot sex and fantastic adventures together.

The reality is quite different.

The groceries won't magically appear in your refrigerator or pantry; you have to go shopping. The bills must get paid, and the dishes won't clean themselves, and the house won't tidy itself up. Someone has to do that work day in and day out for their entire lives. It's tedious and repetitive, but it's life. When it's done, you'll probably sit in front of the TV together.

You'll be sharing most of your boring lives, together. It's a common mistake to forget about this part of it, yet this will account for 99% of how you live together. At some point, your partner won't look quite so sexy; is the rest enough to keep you together?

What does it take to live a boring life with someone? You both need to be kind to one another. Saying cruel or hateful things, not being supportive and being unfair and unreasonable are not things anyone can put up with for the long haul.

Even a boring life has its ups and downs. The question is, do the two of you band together to solve problems? Or do you both fall out?

Your life partner is the other half of a team that includes you. Your contribution is 50% of the total. That is a lot. You are each other's primary person to lean on when things get tough. Are you both going to step up?

Over the long haul, you will have misfortunes, probably at least one terrible one. Can you support one another through debilitating illnesses or injury? Through financial disaster? Personal failure and depression?

When (not if) this happens, you and your partner will find out just how emotionally secure both of you are. Does this make both of you closer and increase your trust and friendship? Or does it tear you apart?

If you are not a strong, kind person yourself, you have little hope of finding a partner that is those things. Those who are emotionally stable will not commit themselves to someone who is shallow and selfish.

Is this someone you can take care of if they become an invalid? Will they take care of you if this should happen to you? Long term relationships are made of devotion, friendship, kindness and emotional strength. Not romance, sex, and love.

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