Have you found someone who might be a good marriage partner? If so, how can you tell if that person is right for you?
It’s vital that you look beyond superficial traits. After all, the cutest girl may not be trustworthy or the most popular boy may not be morally upright. You want someone you’ll be comfortable with—someone who truly fits your personality and your goals.—Genesis 2:18; Matthew 19:4-6.
Looking Beyond the Surface
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!” However, you need to look beyond superficial traits. You need to discern “the secret person of the heart.” (1 Peter 3:4; Ephesians 3:16) Rather than focus on how much you agree on things, it might be more revealing to note what happens when you disagree.
For example, consider the following:
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.
Is the person manipulative, possessive, or jealous? Does he or she demand to know your every move? “I hear of dating couples who fight because one person can’t stand that the other hasn’t constantly ‘checked in,’” says Nicole. “I think that’s a bad sign.”—1 Corinthians 13:4.
How is that one viewed by others? You may want to talk to those who have known this person for some time, such as mature ones in the congregation. That way you will know if he or she is “well reported on.”—Acts 16:1, 2.