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The best time to work on your marriage is before it even begins. (Yes, really!) If you are single, here are 10 things you can do in the present to prepare for a strong future.

Stop Falling In Love With Potential

Having a healthy relationship with your partner means loving them for who stands before you today, not the hope of who they will become tomorrow. Falling in love with potential is a mistake.

Love Yourself More

This isn’t looking in the mirror and saying, “I look good.” Loving yourself is about respecting what you put in your mind, your body and your spirit. The more you love yourself, the more emotionally healthy people you will attract.

Get Some Identity Capital

“Identity capital” is something that adds value to who you are. It could be an internship, getting your start-up launched, going for that trek around the world — any initiative that builds character will later be desired.

Work On Your Vulnerability

The bottom line is, you can’t love without first being vulnerable. Putting yourself in positions of vulnerability in other areas of your life will help exercise this “muscle.”

Be Intentional

Approach your love life as intentionally as you do your work. Choose who and what you want in a relationship rather than just making it work with whoever chooses you.

Understand Your Personality

The top reason blamed for divorce is money, but that’s incorrect, it’s actually the inability to problem-solve. Working through issues is solely based on communication skills. Effective communication stems from our personality.

Know Your Values

Creating your “values list’ is the most important exercise you can do when thinking about compatibility in a partner. Your values are your guiding principles, akin to your personal rulebook. If you try to live with someone who has a different set of rules, it’s not going to work. Spend time fully understanding what you value most (and why.)

Expand Your Social Circle

Adding what is called “weak ties” (friends of friends of friends) to your social circle is documented as the most effective way to realize new life opportunities, including jobs and a significant other. Focus on expanding your circle now.

Strengthen Your Belief System

 If you know your belief system (about marriage) needs support, begin with monitoring what content you intake (via TV, blogs, etc.) and whom you surround yourself with.

Get a Mentor

You can experience tremendous growth from a mentorship, whether it’s for romance, business or just life in general.

Source: Essence