Things to think about if you're considering getting married someday

(Or cohabitate peacefully πŸ˜‰) Inspired by @hels & @hannatalonen These are my truths with some support backup thrown in for credibility. I am not a licensed therapist but have learned a few things being divorced once, married twice. Do I follow them all the time? No, cause I'm human, lose my temper, am petty sometimes and often expect too much.
  1. β€’
    Stop searching for your soulmate.
    Soulmates are created not found. There are tons of people in the world you can be happy with and have a long, satisfying life.
  2. β€’
    Figure out what each of you needs to feel loved.
    In the book, The 5 Love Languages, author Gary Chapman says it's either WORDS, TIME, ACTS OF KINDNESS, SEX or GIFTS. If the other person knows how to show love in a way meaningful to YOU (and vise versa) it will save a lot of wasted time.
  3. β€’
    Sex at LEAST once a week.
    Barring illness, recently giving birth and occasionally being too pissed off to do it, once a week will make you & you marriage happier.
  4. β€’
    Married people are healthier.
    Studies show the happily married are less likely to have stokes, heart disease and depression. Even unhappy married guys with diabetes are healthier.
  5. β€’
    Make a commitment to spend time together, away from home and obligations.
  6. β€’
    Waiting until you're 26 or older.
    Statistically, they tend to stay married longer.
  7. β€’
    Get a college degree.
    Statistically, they tend to stay married.
  8. β€’
    Be employed with salary capable of maintaining a basic lifestyle.
    Easier said than done, agreed. But again, statistically, they tend to stay married.
  9. β€’
    βœ… Beware of any contempt you're feeling about your significant other BEFORE you get hitched.
    Making derogatory comments, ESPECIALLY in front of others is a death sentence. Ever heard of those studies where they film a couple completing a task? They're watching for facial expressions and snarky comments that put down the other person. The researchers could accurately predict who would get divorced. If you are doing this or its being done to you, do yourselves a favor and end it.
  10. β€’
    Opposites don't really attract.
    Studies also show those with similar values, education, sense of humor, religious ideology and political leanings are happier with less conflict. James Carville & Mary Matalin not withstanding.
  11. β€’
    Find shared interests.
    You've heard this a million times but if you hate going outside and your other likes the beach, the mountains, sports, travel etc. it's going to be a constant battle.
  12. β€’
    I'll leave the issue of children out of this list.
    I was gonna mention something here but I won't. You can google happiness after children.
  13. β€’
    You're not going to change them.
    I can say from experience. Sometimes there's movement toward 'your' ideal but remember, that's your ideal not theirs.
  14. β€’
    I (partially) remember a story Paul McCartney told about his first date with Linda Eastman.
    He was late or cancelled or hung over or something. When Linda said to him, "It's allowed", he knew she was the one. As hard as it is sometimes, we have to allow our partner to be themselves. πŸ’–
  15. β€’
    Controlling for variables-Maybe you don't need to.
    You might still have a wonderful marriage even if you do everything completely opposite of what the 'experts' recommend. All generalizations are false, including this one. In other words, there are always exceptions, outliers and variability. One size does not fit all. Some parts are edible. And what you see isn't always what you get. One more cliche for the road - Love is not just about finding the right person, but about BEING the right person as well. Mazel tov.