"You don't meet someone when you first meet them," joked Chris Rock. "You meet their representative!" Given that we've all been fooled by "appearances," here's five signs to help us along.
1. Trusted family and friends introduced you.
Most everyone wears their best face when they first meet people. But here, your trusted friends and family know the person well and can vouch for their character.
Before the 1920's, in most parts of the world, we had grown up with the people we ended up marrying. Our grandparents knew each other. Our parents knew each other. We knew exactly who they were before we dated or "courted."
Though that's not the world we live in now, knowing the person's history and where they came from is key in helping prevent us from future disasters.
2. They're honest.
They say what they mean and mean what they say. And when you ask them a question, they'll tell you.
This quality, along with selflessness, is what creates and solidifies a secure foundation in relationships.
3. They're reliable.
When you ask for something, they strive to provide. If they aren't able to provide, you know they gave it their all.
4. They're patient.
They understand plans may change and hiccups arise.
They recognize they are part of a global community, a universe, and that the universe doesn't revolve around their wishes or ideology.
5. They apologize when they know they're wrong.
Some don't. But the partner we're looking for will not only apologize but strive to repair the problem.
Check out The Mason Jar, a coming of age love story told from the male perspective by James Russell Lingerfelt. The novel helps readers find healing after severed relationships.
The Mason Jar movie is scheduled for pre-production in 2015, and will be directed in the same dramatic and romantic tones as The Notebook (2004) and Pride & Prejudice (2005). Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or subscribe to his email list for updates.