Last week my flight through Chicago was canceled due to ‘Snomaggeden’ (as the media called it), which left me stranded three extra days in Palm Desert, California (not a bad place to be stranded!) I considered this a perfect opportunity to finish a book I had brought along for my research to help young people find a compatible marriage partner. ‘Falling In Love For All The Right Reasons’ by Dr. Neil Clark Warren.
Like Dr. Warren had experienced in his private counseling practice before he founded eHarmony.com, I’ve often wondered if the couples I counsel pre-maritally have what it takes to stay in love for the rest of their life.
“The state of marriage is downright alarming in the United States. Nine out of every ten people in the U.S. will marry at least once during their lifetime. But out of the 90 percent who marry, nearly 50 percent will divorce. Another 20 to 25 percent will remain married though miserable. Did you catch that awful statistic? Putting it bluntly, nearly 75 percent of the marriages that take place this year will eventually turn sour.”
Although this statistical quote from his book is not news, it certainly reinforces the need for greater premarital preparation. And….in my mind, preparation for marriage should start long before the first date. That’s why I’m developing a course for young people called ‘Smart Decisions in Dating’. The course is intended to help young people understand what I call ‘personal value characteristics’ unpacked in these three ways.
1) Core Characteristics – The values that drive me.
2) Life Characteristics – The values that I pursue.
3) Incompatible Characteristics – The values I must avoid.
If our young people have a clearer idea of their own personal values, I’m guessing they’ll make better dating choices which will hopefully lead to more happily-ever-after marital unions. The bottom line is, this course is my attempt at changing a statistic.