There isn’t one right person to date.

Actively choosing to love someone, and hard work, leads to lasting relationships more often than fate and fortune. Finding someone who you would like to spend the rest of your life with might take some time and some heartbreak.

As a Christian, a big part of dating for me is trying to find someone who shares my religion and values. When thinking about having a family, it’s important for me to find someone who is willing to do things like attend church, hold family scripture study and have daily prayer.

Dating for marriage is important to different religious people. It might influence the way that a person looks for a potential partner.

If you’re in this situation, these suggestions might help you. Here’s my guide for figuring out the type of person you would like to date if you are a religious person who is dating for marriage.

A Christian guide to dealing with heartbreak

Don’t be afraid of saying no

I know this is a weird piece of advice to start out with, but I think it matters. If you would like to date for marriage, it might not make sense to spend prolonged periods of time dating someone whom you won’t marry. Saying no to relationships that you know, for one reason or another, can’t lead to marriage or aren’t what you are looking for ultimately can help you figure out what you do want.

Look for someone who shares your values

Dating someone who shares your values is important. While you don’t need to agree on everything, it’s important to agree on moral values, as that will make it easier to navigate having a family in the future. For example, as a religious person, I only want to marry someone who is part of my religion because it matters to me that someone share my worldview and live in a similar way to me. Thinking about values when dating can help you find a good partner.

Become the person you want to date

I always think this is the best advice. If you’re looking for someone who is kind, compassionate, thoughtful and dedicated to God, then becoming that type of person will help you find someone like that.

Look for someone who makes you a better person

It’s important to become the type of person who would be a good partner as well as waking up every day and trying to be a better person. Finding someone who helps you become a better person is important.

Date someone who encourages you in your goals

If you have goals that are important to you, it’s important to find someone whose goals are compatible with yours. Finding someone who will encourage you positively to achieve your goals and advance as a person is an important element of a relationship.

Be flexible

The person who might make a great partner might be someone you don’t expect. Having granular expectations about them having to be a specific type of way could prevent you from meeting the right person. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have any standards at all — it’s important to have some general principles to work off of, but also to be flexible.