Too many of us don’t give our heart a proper sanity check before getting married, often with really painful consequences…

It’s not easy to be practical when you are in love. It’s such a sweeping, warm, happy feeling… won’t shining the bright light of common sense ruin it? Quite the opposite. Because if light is capable of ruining it, well… it has a limited lifespan anyway, probably not suited to marriage. Too many of us don’t give our hearts a proper sanity check before getting married, often with really painful consequences.

These six questions, answered honestly, could save you a lot of long-term heartache:

1. Is this person kind?

If I were to pick one essential character trait in a life partner, it would be kindness. Kindness just makes everything better. Living with a kind person also tends to rub your own harder corners off, which is never a bad thing.

2. Is this person smart enough?

If my friends’ broken marriages are anything to go by, this is a corker and a common mistake. Marrying someone who is not as smart as you are can lead to resentment mushrooming slowly in your relationship, until it’s made you bitter and disliking of yourself… and your partner. This is a hard call to make, but be honest with yourself when making it. If you need to, get your best friend’s opinion too.

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When you make an awkward joke in public that no-one laughs at… does your partner laugh alone or at least look at you affectionately?

3. Does this person ‘get’ me?

I have a test for this: When you make an awkward joke in public that no-one laughs at… does your partner laugh alone or at least look at you affectionately? That’s how it should be. Or does he or she look slightly embarrassed or annoyed to be with you? That, in my opinion, is a deal-breaker. There’s just not enough love there.

4. And do I ‘get’ them?

And how do you do in the same test? Feeling embarrassed or annoyed by being with someone is a bad way to start a marriage, even if it’s only a telltale twinge.

5. What’s this person like when stressed?

A huge tell. The way someone behaves in a crisis, is the way they behave in life. No exceptions. Add that to the fact that you are planning to have this person as your crisis partner for the rest of your life – and the warning becomes more serious.

6. Is the sex good?

And finally… no-one deserves a lifetime of bad or mediocre sex. And truthfully? There are few who won’t stray in order to get better sex. (As you can tell, I highly advocate sex before marriage. But to each their own.)

Good Luck!

By Sam Wilson for Change Exchange.