Would you marry you? If you were/are single, are you the kind of person you’d be looking for and want to hook up with?
Sure, we all want a partner who is our version of the Perfect 10. But truth be told, we cross our fingers that said Perfect 10 will settle for a Strong 7 and overlook a few of our less than perfect traits. When you’re dating and doing your best to impress the object of your affection, you’ve got a couple of things working for you: (1) your sweetheart is blinded by falling-in-love hormones, and (2) you’re on your best behavior. You’ll never seem more like a Perfect 10 than in those too-short falling-in-love days.
Unfortunately, being on best behavior is like holding in your stomach—you can’t do it forever. The more comfortable you are in the relationship, the more likely you are to slide from a Perfect 10 to an Almost Perfect 9 to a Slightly Flawed 8 until you become the “real you.” It isn’t always pretty. Worse, at just about the same time you’ve become the “real you,” those falling-in-love hormones ease up so your sweetheart can see you (and all your flaws) more realistically.
Step outside yourself for a moment and then turn a critical eye in your direction.
Start with the outside. Do you take pride in your appearance? Are you carrying a few extra pounds? Are you in ratty old clothes more often than not? If your personal grooming and pride in your appearance have slacked off, there’s a good chance your partner’s assessment of your “perfection” has gone backwards a notch or two. Your sweetie may not have said a word but—and you can bank on this—your sweetheart has noticed.
Now, take a look at the inside. Do you like what you see and are you proud of you? Or, do you secretly agree with Woody Allen that you wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have you as a member?
Low self-esteem is a major cause of relationship failure. A person with low self-esteem has difficulty seeing issues clearly, often hears criticism where there is none, suffers from jealousy, is afraid to communicate openly and honestly, feels at fault for problems that arise in the relationship, and may be needy and dependent. People with low self-esteem often compensate by being overly critical of others, defensive, and self-protective. If you see yourself anywhere in that description, it’s time (perhaps past time) to do some work on you. The closer you are to the kind of person you’d want to marry, the better partner you’ll be. The better partner you are, the better relationship you’ll have.
Do you treat your sweetheart as you want to be treated? Yep, it’s that Golden Rule thing. If you want your sweetie to greet you with a smile, if you want your partner to respect your feelings, privacy, and opinions, if you want your honey to be respectful, and so on and so on, then you know what to do.
Are you as interesting as you’d like your partner to be? As charitable? As understanding, kind, and thoughtful? Does thinking about your answer to the mirror-mirror-on-the-wall question—would you marry you—make you squirm a bit?
If, after a little self-reflection, you have found any reason why you wouldn’t marry you, you now know what you need to work on to be a better partner.