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Finding a life mate

Seeds of encouragement: Choosing one is a big deal and not many farmers want to talk about it

Over a decade ago I received a wedding invitation from a grateful reader. He had been wondering about how to find a wife, and he read my article on matchmakers. It worked. He wanted to share his joy as a farmer in finding a life mate.

There was a family farm case where the 25-year-old son was single, and his future choice of a life partner would have a great impact on the farm business team. The discussion around this human resource issue was lively as it was suggested that a single guy is not going to “troll the high school hallways” looking for a spouse.

Often when I meet with young leading-edge farmers they want to know more about my matchmaking friend, Diane Mowbray. Diane professionally matches farmers to spouses. Contact her at 204-343-2475.

One fellow was pleased that he had met someone by getting out more to golf, curl and play mixed baseball. He had made a conscious decision to get out and socialize at least once a week. Being intentional for this young farmer has paid off!

Finding and choosing a mate is a really big deal, and not many farmers want to talk that openly about it. My question, “How attractive are you?” You’ll spend lots of money on researching equipment, or crop inputs, but what time, energy and focus are you spending on making yourself a great person to be committed to?

Ponder my list :

1. Love and appreciation. Do you know what your love language is? Do you need verbal affirmation, gifts, time, acts of service, or meaningful touch? Gary Chapman calls these the five love languages.

2. Listens and shares. We all need space to talk, and feel like we are listened to. Would you consider personal counselling to improve your communication skills? Do you know your core passions and values? I have an online values indicator that I can set you up with for a small fee. Knowing what you value ensures that you are connected to another person with compatible values.

3. Cherishes the specialness of the relationship and celebrates. People don’t like to be taken for granted. Take time to celebrate special occasions.

4. Balances work and family time, and knows how to have fun. It doesn’t surprise me that my friend found new love when he decided to have some fun with friends and get off the farm for a bit. Workaholics are lazy with relationships, and not very attractive!

5. Strong self-esteem. People who have strong self-awareness and like themselves are attractive to others. Read the book Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Clifton and Buckingham to figure out your five strongest personality themes. It’s fun! Ken Keis of CRG also has some great self-esteem tools; go to www.crgleader.com. Call me if you’d like to do an online personal styles assessment. My style is “influential.”

6. Collaborates on conflict issues with healthy family boundaries. Most 25-year-olds don’t want to be bugged about the fact that they aren’t married. The average age of marriage in Manitoba is 30. Can you talk about tough or sensitive issues with good conflict skills? A farm family business team that knows how to handle disagreements is more attractive than a fighting, “toxic” family.

7. Business mindset — someone who manages well. Farming is a roller-coaster of challenges, and you better be prepared to work as a team, and stay for the ride, a long ride. How well does your date understand the farm business culture?

8. Lifelong learner. You are willing to grow, transition and change. You understand that the only person you can change is yourself. Embrace what Marilee Adams, author of Change Your Questions Change Your Life, calls “the learner mindset” not “judger.”

9. Support system beyond the marriage. It is a great day when a married person realizes that not all their needs can be met by their spouse. We all need supportive connections beyond the couple relationship. How’s your faith?

10. Knows money doesn’t buy happiness, good relationships do bring joy. You can have extensive business plans and strategies, but it is less meaningful if you struggle with finding committed lifelong relationships.

Finding a life mate can be a challenge if you think that living on a farm is not glamorous. There are lifestyle issues, but finding someone who shares the same heart for agriculture as you do may take some perseverance and determination. Check out www.eharmony.com and take the personality profile. (Parents can go to this site to buy gift certificates!) Commit to find ways to be an attractive life mate. Be intentional about solving your farm’s human resource problems.

I’m looking forward to receiving more wedding invitations! Work on your “ideal mate list” as you wait. And if your life path is to be single, that is OK, too.

About the author

Contributor

Elaine Froese is a certified farm family coach and farm partner. Seek her out at www. elainefroese.com or call 1-866-848-8311. Buy her books for your mom. Share your stories of how these phrases have impacted you. Elaine wants to hear from you on Facebook at “farm family coach” or Twitter @elainefroese.

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