Ponder the following:
1. Most people spend more time shopping for a new vehicle than finding a partner. Slow down and consider what you need and can offer before you commit.
2. Dating is way of determining whether you are compatible but does not guarantee long-term happiness, especially if you aren't being honest with yourself about what you need.
3. Going from dating to common-law in a short period of time is risky. Determine to date for a year without living together so that you can see how the other person deals with holidays, seasons and problems.
4. The "honeymoon" stage doesn't last long. What used to be "cute" can become "annoying", especially when the bills come in, the career is stressful and illness shows up.
5. Maturity and good mental health practices offer more stability for a partnership than physical attractiveness. Do good trumps look good!
6. People don't divorce because of conflict. They divorce because they don't know how to resolve the conflict. Learn how to deal with issues in a healthy manner.
7. Over fifty percent of married couples divorce. (Stats do not include those couples who are separated). Be thankful if you are happy and look forward to spending time with your partner.
8. Some couples are unhappy but stay together for a variety of reasons (children, finances, religion, shame). If you are both willing to seek professional help, learn some new skills and forgive, you can improve your situation.
9. Statistics for second marriages that end are higher than for first marriages. You can't just blame your first spouse for everything! Work on your weaknesses or you will marry and be the wrong person your second time around.
10. Better to be 80% happy on your own than 100% miserable with a partner.
This Valentine's Day instead of just focusing on romance, try thinking about and showing love to those around you. A paper heart for a child. Cookies for a shut-in. A smile for a stranger. Extra help for a co-worker. Donations for a charity. Encouragement for a neighbour.
And, if you have made a romantic commitment to someone, try using honest and well thought-out words to communicate how thankful you are to have him/her in your life! Because they are more powerful and longer lasting than cut flowers they will be treasured for years to come.
Love you to at Valentine's Day!