Maybe love isn’t actually all you need

How do you know when you’ve found “the one”? Whether you believe in soulmates or not, this is arguably one of life’s biggest questions, and one that most people have asked themselves at one point in their lives.

Committing to spend your life with one person isn’t a decision most people make lightly, so understandably want to make sure they’re not making a mistake.

With 42% of marriages ending in divorce, it would appear lots of us may make the wrong choice of spouse, but what are the most common reasons?

In an enlightening and at times depressing discussion on Reddit, people have been sharing what they believe to be the biggest mistakes we make when choosing someone with whom to settle down.

The top reason?  “Marrying for love and love alone.”

As much as we may want to believe love is all you need, one person explained their view that marriage is a business arrangement more than anything else: “90% of life isn’t fun. It’s about coordinating chores, dealing with finances, caring for children and working. It’s more like the relationship between business partners than the relationship between lovers.”

And as unromantic as that view may seem, many people agreed: “Marriage is a commitment and love becomes a choice. You have to choose to love your spouse through the tough times and commit to working things out,” wrote one.

Another common mistake appears to be choosing someone who ticks all their boxes on paper – the best-looking, smartest or most talented rather than the most compatible. One person summed it up succinctly, writing: “Marrying a profession: a lawyer, doctor, pilot, entrepreneur etc instead of the person.”

We’ve all heard the age-old adage that opposites attract, and for a lot of people, it’s considered justification for staying with someone so different to them. However according to one marriage counselor, you’re setting yourself up to fail: “Some variation is obviously good but the most successful marriages I’ve seen are the ones where the people were as similar as possible,” she revealed.

Along the same lines, it seems many of us perhaps naively believe we can change our significant others. “I’ve read that men marry women expecting them to stay the same and women marry men expecting they can change them. Marrying with either of those goals in mind is probably a recipe for disaster,” shared one person.

A lot of people agreed that it’s so hard to commit to one person forever because as time goes on, we all change, and maybe not in the way your spouse would like.

Unsurprisingly, many people in the discussion cited common mistakes like settling for looks, staying with someone because you’re too afraid to be alone, and not agreeing on whether you want children or not.

And on a somewhat sad note, one person said they believe “many people end up in relationships just because the other person is really persistent.”

But it’s not worth forgetting about love completely – one person summed it all up in a sentence: “Follow your heart, but make sure your brain does a sanity check too.”