Young People Ask . . .
Is This Person Right for Me?
Take a moment to complete the following quiz:
What qualities would you currently view as essential in a potential marriage mate? In the list below, put a ✔ next to the four traits you feel are most important.
․․․․․ spiritually minded
․․․․․ morally upright
When you were younger, did you ever develop a crush on anyone? In the list above, put an X next to the one trait you found most appealing about the person at that time.
There is nothing wrong with any of the above traits. Each of them has its own appeal. Wouldn’t you agree, though, that when you’re in the grip of a youthful crush, you tend to dwell on the more superficial qualities, such as those in the left-hand column?
As you mature, however, you begin using your perceptive powers to examine deeper issues, such as those in the right-hand column. For instance, you start to realize that the cutest girl in the neighborhood may not be trustworthy or that the most popular boy in class may not be morally upright. If you’re “past the bloom of youth”—the time of life when sexual desires first become strong—you most likely look beyond the superficial traits to answer the question, Is this person right for me?—1 Corinthians 7:36.
Will Just Anyone Do?
Over the course of time, more than a few members of the opposite sex may catch your eye. But not just anyone will do. After all, you want a lifelong mate, someone who will bring out the best in you and for whom you will do the same. (Matthew 19:4-6) Who might that person be? Before you can answer that question, you need to ‘look in the mirror’ and honestly evaluate yourself.—James 1:23-25.
To learn more about yourself, answer the following questions:
What are my strengths?
What are my weaknesses or vulnerabilities?
What emotional and spiritual needs do I have?
Getting to know yourself is no small task, but questions like those can get you started.* The more you understand yourself, the better equipped you will be to find someone who will amplify your strengths rather than your weaknesses. What, though, if you think you have found someone who is right for you?
Will This Relationship Work?
To answer that question, look at your friend objectively. Be careful, though! You might be inclined to see only what you want to see. So take your time. Try to perceive your friend’s true nature.
Many who date don’t look beyond the surface. Instead, they quickly point to the things they have in common: ‘We like the same music.’ ‘We enjoy the same activities.’ ‘We agree on everything!’ As mentioned earlier, though, if you’re truly past the bloom of youth, you will look beyond superficial traits. You need to discern “the secret person of the heart.”—1 Peter 3:4; Ephesians 3:16.
For example, rather than focus on how much you agree on things, it might be more revealing to note what happens when you disagree. In other words, how does this person handle conflict—by insisting on his or her way, perhaps giving in to “fits of anger” or “abusive speech”? (Galatians 5:19, 20; Colossians 3:8) Or does this person show reasonableness—a willingness to yield for the sake of peace when no issue of right or wrong is at stake?—James 3:17.
Another factor to consider: Is the person manipulative, controlling, or jealous? Does he or she demand to know your every move? “Possessiveness and jealousy are danger signs,” says a young woman named Nicole. “I hear of dating couples who fight because one person can’t stand that the other hasn’t constantly ‘checked in’—I think that’s a bad sign.”
How is your boyfriend or girlfriend viewed by others? You may want to talk to those who have known this person for some time, such as mature ones in his or her congregation. They will let you know if this person is “well reported on.”—Acts 16:1, 2.*
Should You Break Up?
What if you realize that the person you’re dating wouldn’t make a suitable marriage partner? In that case, it may well be wise to end the relationship. The Bible says: “Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself.”—Proverbs 22:3.*
In time, you may enter into a new relationship. If so, no doubt you will have an even more balanced outlook—one that has been acquired through experience. Perhaps at that time your answer to the question “Is this person right for me?” will be yes!
More articles from the “Young People Ask . . .” series can be found at the Web site www.watchtower.org/ype
For more questions to ask yourself, see page 30 of the January 2007 issue of Awake!
See also the questions in the boxes on pages 19-20.
For more information on breaking up, see pages 12-14 of the March 22, 2001, Awake!
TO THINK ABOUT
▪ What positive qualities would you bring into a marriage?
▪ What are some qualities you would look for in a marriage partner?
▪ In what ways could you learn more about the character, conduct, and reputation of someone you are dating?
[Box on page 19]
Would he make a good husband?
▪ How does he handle any authority he may have?—Matthew 20:25, 26.
▪ What are his goals?—1 Timothy 4:15.
▪ Is he now working toward those goals?—1 Corinthians 9:26, 27.
▪ Who are his friends?—Proverbs 13:20.
▪ What is his attitude toward money?—Hebrews 13:5, 6.
▪ What type of entertainment does he enjoy?—Psalm 97:10.
▪ What does his manner of dress indicate?—2 Corinthians 6:3.
▪ How does he demonstrate his love for Jehovah?—1 John 5:3.
▪ Is he industrious?—Proverbs 6:9-11.
▪ Is he financially responsible?—Luke 14:28.
▪ Is he well reported on?—Acts 16:1, 2.
▪ Does he honor his parents?—Exodus 20:12.
▪ Is he considerate of others?—Philippians 2:4.
▪ Is he disposed to anger?—Proverbs 22:24.
▪ Does he try to involve you in sexual misconduct?—Galatians 5:19.
▪ Is he physically or verbally abusive?—Ephesians 4:31.
▪ Does he need to use alcohol to have a good time?—Proverbs 20:1.
▪ Is he jealous and self-centered?—1 Corinthians 13:4, 5.
[Box on page 20]
Would she make a good wife?
▪ How does she show submissiveness in the family and congregation?—Ephesians 5:21, 22.
▪ What does her manner of dress indicate?—1 Peter 3:3, 4.
▪ Who are her friends?—Proverbs 13:20.
▪ What is her attitude toward money?—1 John 2:15-17.
▪ What are her goals?—1 Timothy 4:15.
▪ Is she now working toward those goals?—1 Corinthians 9:26, 27.
▪ What type of entertainment does she enjoy?—Psalm 97:10.
▪ How does she demonstrate her love for Jehovah?—1 John 5:3.
▪ Is she well reported on?—Ruth 4:11.
▪ Does she honor her parents?—Exodus 20:12.
▪ Is she considerate of others?—Proverbs 31:20.
▪ Is she contentious?—Proverbs 21:19.
▪ Does she try to involve you in sexual misconduct?—Galatians 5:19.
▪ Is she verbally or physically abusive?—Ephesians 4:31.
▪ Does she need to use alcohol to have a good time?—Proverbs 20:1.
▪ Is she jealous and self-centered?—1 Corinthians 13:4, 5.