If you ever watched the 1997 Rodger's and Hammerstein's version of Cinderella with singer Brandy as lead character, you might be able to remember the above excerpt from one of the many songs in the movie.
My sister and I loved singing this among many of the other very catchy and lovely songs from the movie (we both love songs and are incurable romantics too! lol).
I was singing it a few days ago and the words hit me afresh. The questions asked in those lines are very valid in a relationship! (You can read again).. Permit me to rephrase:
Do you love him / her because he / she is wonderful or is your perspective coloured by the fact that your feelings for them are so deep that at the moment you are very blind to their shortcomings or to the fact that this person isn't good for you!
They say love is blind, I say marriage is too important for you to go into blindly! I consider romance and physical attraction very important ingredients of a great marriage, however it is important to be objective in a relationship and be realistic about your partner... Like really look and evaluate this person that you would potentially share your life, dreams and destiny with.
No human being is perfect, but there are some imperfections that you can live with and others that would drive you up the wall!
It's not enough to say with a dreamy look in your eyes "He's just *deep sigh* wonderful!" when really and truly there are a number of things not quite wonderful about him.. You get me?
Here are a few ways for you to check your relationship and partner objectively:
1. Your Loved Ones: Watch what they say and think about the person you're dating/courting. If they really love you, they want you to be happy! It's amazing how our close relatives and friends can spot a phony even when the person seems very perfect to us. Don't be quick to dismiss their opinions.
2. Their Loved Ones: In this case, you are the one who would do the observation. Watch how they treat and relate with their family. Does he/she respect them? Are they sacrificial with them? How do they view commitment to family? You see, if you do get married, you would become 'family' therefore, they might treat you like royalty while you're dating but when you become 'family' their idea of what it means to them is how they might interpret it with you.
3. Their Words: Listen, like really listen to what they say. Don't toss it away as just 'speaking in the moment' be careful to listen to comments they make, how they respond to situations and speak about the future. Are they negative, positive, aggressive, measured, critical or benevolent? The words that proceed out of someone's lips is a good indication of what's going on inside.. After all, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
4. Their Friends: Very simple - 'Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are'. If it seems to you that except your partner, all the their other friends are bad then you might want to check again. I don't know about you but I may have many acquaintances but most of my close friends are people I share certain values and norms with.
5. Strangers: By strangers, I mean strangers who serve them. You might have heard this before but please do not ignore - watch the way they talk to and treat people who are of no help to them. Are they courteous to waiters when you go out to dinner? How do they talk to people who serve them at stores? Are they brash, kind or dismissive?
The list above is in no way exhaustive so please feel free to add yours when you comment!
I must say though that when it comes to human behaviour and personality, one brush is insufficient to paint the lot. There might be exceptions to the rule but very importantly, know your man, know your woman! Don't be blinded by emotions and feelings. Ask questions, watch and above all pray for God-ly insight.
Thankfully, Cinderella was right about her Prince, it wasn't just a sweet invention of lovers' dream.. How do I know? Well, they lived happily ever after! :-D
May God give us the grace to open our eyes to really see the stuff that our partners are made of in Jesus name. May He also build and mould us to deal with our shortcomings and be excellent people ourselves.