Many years ago, before wanderlust and family became my occupation, I studied engineering. After graduation, I had the unique opportunity to work for a small business co-owned by two dynamic women. They were both mothers and wives, and their juggle to balance personal and professional life was evident. One valuable lesson that I learned from them is that engineering is about problem solving. Whether practiced in the field, at a desk, or in the home, engineering is the science and art of analyzing a problem, evaluating possible solutions, and finding the most efficient way to meet a goal. These same tools can be useful in a variety of life’s conundrums, including courting.
Start with a Feasibility Study
Every project begins with a thorough look at the objective and the various paths to attaining it. The resource expenditures of time, labor, and cost are balanced against each of those alternatives, and in the end the most feasible of the options is further considered, then executed. When it comes to courting, you must first be certain that there are resources available for such a goal. Considering marriage before having the very real financial, emotional, and intellectual resources to pursue it is mere wishful thinking. This includes the nuts and bolts of income and a place to live, as well as the maturity and emotional availability to have a meaningful connection with another. While love and compatibility is important, it may not be enough to support this lofty ambition. If marriage is not feasible for any of the abovementioned reasons, it’s probably not time to even think about courting.
Building a Team
A successful project has a team of members that share a common aim and have the various skills and means to realize it. Most project managers are especially keen to select partners that can compensate for what they lack and strengthen where they are weak. The same is true when finding your teammate, partner or spouse. Do we share the same objective? Do we have a composite of traits that can make our team successful? Can we work together effectively? Even beyond our immediate spouse selection, we must consider if the “team” of our families and friends can be supportive of our success as well. This same spirit of solidarity will serve you well even after marriage to avoid splintering into two separate teams and to remain fused as one. The divisive acts of blaming, lying, and concealing can disassemble even the strongest members and cause everyone to lose in the end.
Know the Critical Path
Before a project commences, a detailed timeline must be scheduled in advance. Sequencing of the events, as well as itemizing the needed resources have to be calculated to avoid the project being delayed or cancelled due to poor planning. This is especially helpful in courting. Naturally everyone wants to really know the person they want to marry. Some believe this is achieved by living together, sharing a bank account, or traveling as a pair; but even with the aforementioned, there is still so much more to discover about another individual. It takes life experiences to observe the true nature of another human being, which is hard to know with certainty before marriage. Getting to know someone should be a gradual and progressive process, not one so quickly intense that you can hardly think straight. So, instead of lengthy and long epic relationships, instead focus on the most critical path to success. What is the entire project dependent on? What are the most critical steps or elements that will make or break the goal? What are the most essential negotiable and non-negotiable conditions to be met before walking down the aisle confidently and securely?
Engineers may not be regarded as romantic as artists, but hopefully these tips can help you translate the very real feelings of admiration and attraction into a level-headed, efficient process towards your pursuit of marriage.
This article originally appeared on Ethos International.