Not too long ago, we were talking about family matters with a friend. Our friend is divorced and has raised some intelligent, thoughtful children. Her parenting and relationship experiences, fine-tuned and paid for (most recently) with the intentional sacrifice of another intimate relationship, are helpful to many others in her circle of friends and family. She had deliberately postponed another intimate relationship (marriage), waiting until her children were grown up. In the interim, she has attended workshops, took classes and earnestly sought to improve her relationship skills.
Now the two youngest children were over 18 and she was ready to prepare for a lasting marriage. Suddenly, she leaned forward and said, “Krsnanandini and Tariq, I am looking for three things in a mate: “Chemistry, character and commitment”. We commended her for this succinct yet apt description of some very universal, very basic relationship requirements. In our article in the book, All in One Marriage Prep, we discuss the law of relationship order, which highlights the process of meeting someone, and the sequential stages involved in developing a healthy relationship. This article showcases the three concepts of chemistry, character and commitment in the context of beginning the relationship process in the first place.
For most of us, marriage is a social, religious or community institution where two people, preferably with the blessings of their family and community, agree that they will live peacefully and cooperatively together to love and nurture each other, their children, their families and their communities.
So how will such an important, long-term relationship be decided? Who will you choose? Culture, education, family and so many things must be considered. All of these factors can come under the heading of Chemistry, character and commitment.
Chemistry is significant because it frequently demonstrates a physical and/or mental compatibility and attraction. This is often the way nature allows us to be drawn to a possible mate in the first place.
Character covers a lot of territory including family and cultural background, integrity and education. “Is this person truthful, clean, friendly?” Does he exhibit compassion, loyalty and consideration? How doe she treat the waitress, the maid and the bank teller?
Commitment – A person who is willing to invest his/her time, energy, and other resources along with vows to serve, love and honor is demonstrating commitment. You can examine how a potential spouse may be committed in other areas: his/her parental, religious or social duties as well as commitment to self-improvement or personal growth.
Chemistry, character and commitment are three smooth stones that can defeat the Goliath of apprehension and uncertainty about whether or not you should proceed to develop a relationship with another individual.