Are You Ready For Love?

Are you psychologically healthy enough to get married? Can you pass the mental hygiene test?

The new movie, Saving Mr. Banks, has inspired us to remind others of the importance of "saving" the legacy of another Banks—Dr. Murray Banks.

Over the years, many of our readers have asked us this important question, "How do I marry the right person?" The truth is, the answer begins with you. Until you have your personal house in order, until you get your psychological and physical act together, you are not ready for marriage or any other kind of long-term relationship.

Have you ever thought about your wants and needs as a human being? Have you ever wondered if there was a simple litmus test available that could help determine the state of your mental health? Have you ever thought about what makes you tick—what makes you, you? Are you truly ready to engage in a long-term relationship with someone?

When we were engaged in our graduate training for our doctoral degrees many years ago we were introduced by one of our professors to a New York City clinical psychologist by the name of Dr. Murray Banks. Not only did Dr. Banks give mesmerizing speeches that kept you on the edge of your seat, the content of his amazing presentations taught us more about psychology and human behavior than we learned from any other professional!

Dr. Banks has been so important and significant to our success as helping professionals over the years, we thought that on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the first time we heard him speak, we would highlight for you the important and simple lessons he taught us. His insights about human wants and needs and about mental health are important to all of us. We hope you will enjoy his legacy and his wisdom as we share it with you today. Saving the important history of Dr. Murray Banks for future generations is highly important to us as we come near the end of our own careers in the field of psychology. So, here we go.

As you know, human beings as a general rule think and act based on their basic wants and needs. There is no equivocation in the psychological literature about this.  Dr. Banks articulated four important wants and needs and they follow:

1.  I want to live. 

2.  I want a feeling of importance. 

3.  I want someone to love me. 

4.  I want a little variety, something knew, something different.

We think you would agree. Dr. Banks has it right! Can you think of any basic human wants and needs that are not included in his list? It should be clear to the professional and to the layperson alike—our wants and needs as human beings predict our behaviors now and in the future. Carefully review his list, write down your personal answers to each question, including how your behaviors are influenced by your answers, and then answer this question, "Am I ready to get married?"

Moreover, in addition to the aforementioned "wants and needs" survey consider this—like most adults you probably have an annual physical exam, but do you have an annual mental health exam? 

Following is Dr. Banks completely free psychological exam. These ten questions will show whether or not you can live with yourself—the necessary prerequisite to living with someone else. Your answers to these questions will determine the state of your mental hygiene. The appropriate answers for someone with a high level of mental health are surely obvious. If you can't answer these questions correctly, you are not ready for marriage or a long-term relationship!

1.  Are you happy? 

2.  Do you have a zest for living? 

3.  Are you socially adjusted? Do you like being and sharing with others? 

4.  Do you have unity and balance in your life? 

5.  Can you live with each problem in your life as it arises? 

6.  Do you have insight into your own conduct? 

7.  Do you have a confidential relationship with some other person? 

8.  Do you have a sense of the ridiculous? Can you laugh at yourself? 

9.  Are you engaged in satisfying work?

10.  Do you know how to worry effectively?

You see, understanding your wants and needs as well as passing the Dr. Banks' "Psychological Exam" are important prerequisites to consider when marrying the right person. Do you pass these tests? Don't enter into an intimate and highly personal relationship until you have. Trust us on this. That's why the entire first section of our new book, How to Marry the Right Guy, is devoted to "The Right You."

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