The recent re-release of the Disney classic, “Beauty and the Beast,” illustrates one of the long-standing myths that our culture has about relationships. By that I mean, the arrival of a Prince Charming to lift us off our feet and sweep us away.

There is actually a good message in this particular movie – sometimes, those who we think are the beast (because they may not look like a-hunk-of-burning-love) are actually those who are best suited for us. They’re usually the best person for us because they align with what we need; In essence, they are the life-long worthy partner we’ve always been searching for. What I mean is that we, as women, are not always opening ourselves up to the right person because we put emphasis on the wrong things.

Here’s what you need to do to make sure you don’t simply settle for less. Remember, just because the guy is kind of cute and you melt when you’re around him…even if you feel the biological clock is ticking… follow the path of wisdom. If you dream about your next blind date as marriage material before you even meet him, then you know you’ve gone overboard.

Before you jump into something you assume will last forever, check off some important factors that will impact your future relationship sustainability:

  1. You are compatible. This means you fit together in terms of your morals and values so that you are focused on the same ideals when it comes to decisions you will have to make together, like children, how to raise them, how to handle money, religion and church… etc. Make sure you are on the same road and traveling in the same direction.
  2. Your temperaments balance one another. You don’t have to be the same. That kind of relationship would be boring. However, you do want to make sure you balance each other rather than spend most of your time together butting heads. You want to be like two pieces of puzzle that fit together despite representing different colors and dimensions.
  3. You are both committed to do the work. Make sure your partner wants to put in the same effort as you when it comes to making the relationship work. You don’t want to be stuck with someone who dials it in, or simply bolts at the first sign something needs to be fixed. This also means that during crisis you can work together to find resolution and move forward as a couple.
  4. You are attracted to them. Chemistry is important, and it’s not superficial to consider this as one of the important factors. Think about Belle and the Beast. He wasn’t the handsomest fellow on the outside, yet it was his inner character that she fell in love with. The fact that the spell wore off and he cleaned up pretty well afterwards was just a bonus.

These factors can help you decide what type of investment you want to make. Is it time to diversify and move on or is it worth buying and holding that relationship for the long term? These signs are the indicators you need to make that decision.