Posted by: Debbie Loyd | August 4, 2011

Be the Right Mate

“Success in marriage does not come merely through FINDING the right mate, but through BEING the right mate.” (Rabbi Barnett R. Brickner). After searching so hard for the right person, one can get stuck on this focus. The searching process has been about finding the person with the right personality, interests, and values. If one has chosen well, some very important other elements like good communication, but especially character traits can be developed. Character traits are not biologically or environmentally determined. Barbara DeAngelis, in her book entitled Are You the One?, describes six character qualities that result in better marriages:

  • Commitment to personal growth
  • Emotional openness
  • Integrity
  • Maturity and responsibility
  • Self-esteem
  • Positive attitude toward life

I use these six qualities with premarital couples to help them reflect, not only on their partner, but themselves and to help them identify areas in which their own personal growth will benefit the relationship. Commitment to personal growth involves having specific goals, being able to receive feedback and help. One who is committed to personal growth is changing over time. Emotional openness has to do with being generous with feelings. This kind of a person can identify their feelings and can share them. Integrity is about morals but also about actions matching words and expressions matching feelings. They are true to themselves, to their partner, and to others. Maturity is reflected in being able to earn money, keep their space clean, and eat healthily. It is also about follow-through and respect of others’ possessions, feelings, time, and boundaries. People with high self-esteem are less defensive in times of conflict. They don’t let others abuse them, and they don’t abuse themselves.  People with a positive attitude focus on solutions, not problems. They are not ruled by fear and worry.


  1. So rightly said..its more important to be the right mate, than finding the right one..thats the advice my mum gave me when I got married….and sure enough it helped, slowly and steadily the relationship grew and so did the bonding….Most important, is our positive attitude to life that helped..we discovered we were two coins of a coin…but the same coin…lovely post am following it.

    • Thanks for your kind comments. I’m going to try to do these blogs more frequently.

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