Is finding true love one of your 2014 New Year’s resolutions?

Anyone who has ever searched for the happy-ever-after knows that the process is anything but simple. Before you decide if you want to date someone, you should first learn who he or she is as a person, and what character traits he or she feels are important.

Here are some things to consider when searching for your ideal mate. Your partner should be someone who:

1. Shares Your Christian Beliefs

You are already aware that God is the center of your life, but does your potential new partner share the same belief? During the lifetime of every relationship, it will undoubtedly be tested countless times. As a couple, you will rely on your deep faith for strength during these difficult challenges. It is important that you are both open and honest about your feeling towards God.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

Before dating someone, you’ll want to get to know him as a friend. This enables each person to learn about one another’s personality, goals in life, interests, and hobbies. Take time to observe how she treats her friends, including you. If you discover traits that you don’t really like, then you know not to waste your time.

2. Is Respectful

A person should be respectful of others as well as himself. Step back and watch how he interacts with others. In addition to being courteous, does he show respect for people’s emotions? Is she respectful of our planet and nature? The answer to these questions can tell you a lot about the character of a person.

3. Honors His or Her Commitments

When this person makes a commitment to someone or something, does he honor it? If he does not take simple commitments seriously, this is a red flag that he will also not honor more complex commitments such as marriage.

4. Loves Unconditionally

Does love come with certain restrictions or requirements with this person? In the Bible we have learned the importance of unconditional love.

Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. —1 Corinthians 13:4-7

5. Has Ambitions

When we think of this trait, it is often related to work ethics and financial success. However, true ambition in life is far greater than anything materialistic.

6. Shows Integrity

Does this person show integrity when presented with a challenging situation? Does she choose the proper path when being tempted?

7. Is Slow to Anger

The way a person reacts when confrontation arises is a true test of character. If a potential future mate gets angry easily or shows any type of violent interaction, you will quickly realize that this is not the one for you. Life is filled with conflicts and having a partner that is a hot-head can make for a very dangerous future.

8. Is Trustworthy

In a relationship, trust is one of the most important building blocks. What value does this person place on honesty? Is he dependable? Can you rely on this person when you tell her something in confidence?

9. Is Compassionate

A person who is empathetic and considerate of others will also be kindhearted and caring towards his partner. Be sure to take this into consideration when choosing who you’d like to date.

10. Is Selfless

We are reminded in Scripture that we should be generous and unselfish to our fellow man. When evaluating the compatibility of one’s personality, take time to learn if that person put the needs of others before his or her own.

Once you’ve determined what characteristics are important in a mate, you’ll then be able to identify these traits when meeting new people. Exercising patience when dating will also help safeguard your heart until you meet the right person.

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life. —Proverbs 4:23 KJV

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