We had a date night last night. At home. Our daughter had a sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa. We fired up the grill and had steak, baked potato and fresh okra from our garden.
A nice evening alone on our back porch. A cool breeze coming through. Quiet. Always enjoy the quiet.
And I thought to myself,
Someday, our daughter will be gone. And I’m still just fine spending my time with this guy.
So, today’s post, 7 ways you can know you’ve found the perfect mate... for you.
1. You share everyday moments
Richard Gere starred in a movie, Shall We Dance. In it, he decided to take ballroom dance lessons. Kind of a mid-life crisis moment. He ended up really liking it. He also ended up not telling his wife. By the time she did finally found out, her mind had formed all sorts of suspicions.
In the midst of that tension, they had an exchange I have thought of often over the years. And I quote:
John: Beverly, dance with me.
Beverly: I don’t know how.
John: Yeah, you do. You’ve been dancing with me for nineteen years.
These moments, the dance moves if you will, are the good stuff in our marriages. Organizing the kids’ schedule with your work schedules. Planning date nights with some kind of regularity. The familiar affectionate touch as he passes through the kitchen. The everyday routine of taking turns in the bathroom, scheduling appointments, fixing dinner.
2. He supports your interests
My husband somehow ended up with a sports fanatic although he could take or leave them. And he isn’t always sure about this blogging thing. Not to mention my presence on social media. He likes his privacy and takes his role as protector of our family very seriously.
But he sees it’s important to me. I enjoy sharing our stories and consider my writing to be a next step in the ministry efforts God calls me to. We went on vacation in July. A weeklong camping trip in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. So much natural beauty! Ryan took a lot of pictures specifically for the blog. He knew it would mean a lot to me. In fact, he provides the majority of my online photos.
Further, he’s a great publicist. A few months back, a coworker of his went to Israel. He asked her if I could use her pictures for the blog. He shares my blog with his friends at work. He’s even worked on a few folks to share their story on my page.
His support shows me that what I consider important, he does too. I try to return the favor.
3. What’s cooking in the kitchen
Every couple needs common interests. You can certainly also have things you do separately. Please make that a priority as well. But what do you have in common?
One of the places where we find common ground is in the kitchen. He will grill any time night or day. Sun or rain or snow.
Our garden doubled in size from last year. How did that happen?! I enjoy picking something fresh and preparing it to go along with his grilling masterpieces.
Homemade pizza, canning fruits and vegetables, fine dining at our favorite restaurant. We love sharing all of this... together. It connects us.
4. You enjoy knowing and being known
Families are complex. Often messy. Your spouse, they signed up to navigate the family tree with you. And there’s comfort in having that one person always choose to be on your side. To learn about your family and theirs with all their angles.
Further, someone who knows your past. Who wants to know about what you dream of for your future.
We read an article early on that encouraged someone to pick a mate who they could see themselves rocking beside in the nursing home someday. If there’s a cribbage board on the table between us, Ryan and I would be comfortable for days.
5. Disagreements are about the situation, not the person
No couple reaches perfection. We are no exception. We do strive for perfect moments. Even when we aren’t on the same page. Our voices can elevate, we can agree to disagree. But thankfully, we have never developed a habit of verbally attacking each other when the discussion gets heated. Our disagreements are short-lived and healthy.
I’ve had some newly married friends ask me what advice I would give a couple just starting out in their lives together. I have given the same answer for years. Communicate. Give yourself time apart if the talk isn’t going to be healthy. But when the time is right, and you’re somewhat level headed, communicate. Honest. Open.
The relationship is always more important than the disagreement.
6. Together, you share your faith
My dad never went to church. I used to think I didn’t really have an example of a Christian couple since my parents didn’t share that. God showed me I did have plenty of role models. Couple mentors at church. Relationships in God’s Word who give us examples of how to live a life of faith together.
Together, Ryan and I have forged a way to share our faith with one another. It can always use some work. But what a blessing to have someone with whom you can share what God is doing in your life. Someone you can pray with during good and bad times. These relationships are rare. I encourage you to find ways to trace your faith walk with your spouse. God can be found there too.
7. You know you’re beautiful
He doesn’t always say it. Not every day. But I know my husband thinks I’m beautiful. He compliments outfits. Hair cuts. There’s a fondness in his glances. Life gets busy. We can take our other half for granted. I am never more confident than when I know Ryan loves me, finds me attractive and takes pride in calling me his.