4 Things You Should Know About Yourself, Before Even Thinking About Marriage

A couple of week’s ago, I had the honor of speaking at a relationship workshop for single women called “Relationships Unplugged!”, created and hosted by Terry D, a well-known relationship coach in Chicago.

From left to right: Atiba Buchanan (radio host), Linal Harris (founder, Inspirational Perspective), Terry Connor (relationship coach), Okera Hollis (author), Nyatu Marvel. See bottom of blog for more details on each person.
From left to right: Atiba Buchanan (Radio Host), Linal Harris (Life Coach & Founder, Inspirational Perspective), Terry Connor (Relationship Coach), Okera Hollis (Author), and Nyatu Marvel. See bottom of blog for more details on each person.

The purpose of this workshop was to address the taboo subjects and scenarios that single women face when dating.

To conclude the workshop, Terry brought in an all male speaker panel, on which I participated.

During this portion of the workshop, the panel received a question from one of the female participants, that I opted to answer.

Upon answering, I realized that I had shared my perspective before in similar workshop scenarios, but I had not shared this perspective with my Inspirational Perspective family on this blog.

To rectify that truth, I decided to share the four things you should know about yourself, before even thinking about getting into a committed, romantic relationship.

…but first let me provide a bit more context.

The question that prompted my answer, and consequently this post was as follows:

  • What are a few questions every woman should ask a man to determine whether or not that man is commitment material?

Now while this question was asked by a woman, from a woman’s point of view, I want to be clear that my answer, and what I will share in this post, actually applies to both men and women seeking a serious, committed relationship.

Here are the four questions you should ask yourself, and any man or woman, before considering a serious commitment:

1. What’s your life’s purpose?

Yeah, I know! This is a deep question, but the last time I checked, committed, romantic relationships have depth.

A man or woman who has clarity on their purpose, also has clarity on who they are as a human being. I find it hard to believe that we can truly get to know someone else, if we haven’t taken the time to get to know ourselves.

To know your purpose means that you know your reason for living and being. I believe this is an absolute must, if you plan on living and being with someone else.

Our purpose provides our identity.
Two people who decide to venture into a relationship without this individual knowledge are bound to encounter grave difficulties.

If you or your boo don’t know your purpose, start doing the work necessary by going to www.murdermediocrity.com and registering for the next Purpose. Power. Possibility. Workshop, where you take on the work to identify your purpose on the planet.
(Yes! That was a shameless plug for my workshop…unless you’re registering, don’t get distracted. Keep reading.)

2. What’s your vision for your future?

A person’s vision typically includes what they see or imagine for their future. A vision is the mind’s screenplay for what’s possible.

Ask a person about their vision and their answer will reveal a lot about what they see for themselves in their future.

Hint: If a wife/husband/family isn’t in that vision, don’t think that you can magically insert this for them. Remember, it’s THEIR vision.

A person’s vision will also reveal compatibility.

If your latest crush has a vision to travel the world as a missionary, and you hate to travel, why set yourself up for the eventual disappointment of a failed or difficult relationship.

A huge part of my initial attraction to my wife, was her vision for her life. Her vision aligned with mine. I could actually see us building our lives and visions together! (The other part that initially attracted me, is that I think she’s gorgeous. Not all of this is rocket science…LOL! #ijs)

3. What are your strengths?

Believe it or not, this isn’t a trick question. Let’s face it…if you’re going to partner up with someone for life, it might be good to know their strengths.

The only way for you to know their strengths in a short period of time, is to ask.

Here’s why asking is important.

First and foremost, you probably don’t want to start something with someone who doesn’t know their strengths or doesn’t believe they have any. That has insecure, unhappy and lack of confidence written all over it! Suggest they get some therapy and keep it moving! (No…I’m kidding. Be nice!)

Second, it’s likely that if you’re anything like me, you’re not perfect. This probably means that there are some things you don’t do so well.

I can tell you from experience that it’s nice to have a spouse that compliments your opportunities with their strengths and vice versa!

Now to be clear, I’m not saying that if your sweetie can answer questions one and two satisfactorily, and you both have similar strengths and opportunities, that you should abandon the ship.

What I’m saying is that you should know.
That way, there are no surprises.
For example, if you both struggle with managing your finances, you all may just need to solicit some outside coaching and support immediately.

4. What are your weaknesses?

Like I just said, I’m not perfect.
Guess what?
You’re not perfect either.

The fact of the matter is that we all have weaknesses.
What’s important is that we know them.

Back when I was an executive and hiring leader in Corporate America, one of my final interview questions for a potential leader was always, “Tell me about your weakness and how you’ve learned to compensate for them?”

Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?

Most of my interviewees would typically stare back at me in shock.

They had only prepared and practiced clearly articulating their strengths.

If a potential leader couldn’t articulate or acknowledge a weakness, I didn’t hire them. It didn’t matter how well they did on the rest of the interview.

I only wanted leaders who had the fortitude to acknowledge their weaknesses!

I’ve always believed that the ability to acknowledge weakness is a sign of emotional intelligence.

I think we can all agree that choosing a life partner is much more important than hiring the right person for a job.

In my opinion, there is no better way to identify if a person will actually be able to hear your relationship feedback a year from now, than by experiencing their willingness to admit the things they know they don’t do so well right now.

A person with no weaknesses isn’t a person I want to work with or be with, because they would never be able to understand me and my weaknesses.

There’s no silver bullet for relationships. Nonetheless, I do hope these four questions help get you started on the right foot with your future bae.

My motto for life is:
Love hard, work hard, play harder.

I share this because some say love is hard.
I disagree.
Love is love.
Thus, I choose to love hard.

I suggest you do the same.
So, love hard, know thyself and stay inspired; it’s a lifestyle choice!

To learn more about Terry Connor:
Website/Blog: www.lovechapters.net
Facebook, Twitter: iamterryd

To learn more about Atiba Buchanan:
Listen to We Hear Ya! (Where we find the humanity in the headlines)
The show airs live on Sundays from 5-6 pm on www.blogtalkradio.com
The website is: www.blogtalkradio.com/wehearya

To learn more about Okera Hollis:
Go to www.okerahollis.com
Check out his book “Be His Priority, Not His Option”

About the Author:

Linal Harris
Global Entrepreneur – Certified Life Coach – Media Personality – Speaker

Linal Harris is a global entrepreneur, certified life coach, author, and media personality. As the founder of Inspirational Perspective® Publishing, LLC and Insights 4 Life™ Coaching, LLC, Harris challenges his global audience and coaching clients to Murder Mediocrity® and live their best life possible. Harris concentrates his work as an ontological coach with clients on what he calls the 4 pillars of life; the relationship we have to ourselves, the relationships we have with others, our relationship to work and money, and the connection we have to our spirit and life’s purpose. Harris coaches CEO’s, executives, entrepreneurs, athletes and celebrities. Harris is the author of “Slay Your Goals”, where he provides his readers with scientific and research backed tips for achieving their goals. Harris is an expert goal-setter and has been called upon by Fortune 500 companies to assist with setting their strategic priorities, facilitate goal-setting sessions and provide inspirational talks.

To stay connected, be sure to follow me on the following social media outlets by hitting the links below:

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