This past week, a very close friend of mine, Amy, announced the engagement of her only daughter, Aubree. Those of us who know this mother/daughter duo have been eagerly awaiting the official union of this couple. He is the perfect addition to this fun, close-knit family.
As Amy and I walked our fur-kids, I peppered her with questions. I was eager to learn the details of the Hawaiian proposal. I was quite curious to learn if Lucas, the future son-in-law, had talked to her and her husband before he proposed. I asked with baited breath, “What did he say to you?”
“I’ve stopped looking.”
The romantic in me swooned.
The mom in me cheered.
The educator in me decided to write about it.
He said in three words what took me an entire paragraph to explain to my youngest daughter: You know you have met someone special when you no longer see any other romantic interests in your line of vision. It is as if all the others disappear before your eyes. In other words, you become love-blind. You stop looking.
Certainly, puppy love, adolescent crushes, and new relationships all have an element of being love-blind. Yet when the next charming option presents itself, this infatuation dissipates quickly. Real love is different; it is somehow more … grown up.
Five clues you may have found “the one” to marry.
Parents can offer guidance when their child asks the age old question, “How do I know they are the one?”
- Communication. Can you respectfully discuss concerns with one another? Do you actively listen to one another and acknowledge each other’s feelings? Are you both willing to work on communication skills – because communication is a skill! Are you equally vested in this relationship?
- Shared values and world perspective. Do your spiritual and political values align? Do you share financial and family aspirations?
- Respect individuality. Do you respect one another’s career and encourage each other? Do you allow one another to spend time with friends and family apart from each other? Do you have a balance of shared and independent hobbies and interests?
- Sexual compatibility. Are you comfortable discussing mutual pleasure? Often we prefer to sweep this little detail under the rug – too embarrassing and personal to talk about. Sexual intimacy is the bond that cements a deep, committed and exclusive relationship.
- You’ve stopped looking. If after dating for a while you only have eyes for one another, perhaps this is the person you can voyage through life with.
Marriage: Magic – or Miracle?
“She said yes” is the beginning of a magical journey of blissful marriage that many adolescents and young adults daydream about. Many people are eager to meet their “perfect” partner who will accompany them through life, someone they can share the ups and downs of life with. Some choose to marry, some choose to live together. Sometimes it lasts a lifetime, sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, the relationship with our chosen one will become part the complex tapestry of our life story.
Communication and compromise are part of the commitment involved in a successful marriage. We choose that one person out of the entire world, not for the magic of happily-ever-after–that is merely a fairy tale–we choose that one person to do life with. The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful; these shared experiences are what truly bring the magic into a marriage.*
Certainly, those of us who have been married for a long time may claim it is a mix of miracles and magic to make it the long haul. Whether we describe marriage as magical, a miracle or a magical miracle – it is (usually) pretty great to have a partner to navigate through life.
So to Aubree and Lucas and all the other lovebirds out there, I wish you a magical, miraculous journey of life together.
Take it away, Art…..
*(It is never okay to stay in an abusive marriage. Physical, verbal, emotional abuse should never be tolerated. Go to the hotline for help.)