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Peter and Patricia picked a peck of perfect partners
June 27, 2014 12:03 PM   Subscribe

How to Pick a Life Partner. From afar, a great marriage is a sweeping love story, like a marriage in a book or a movie. And that’s a nice, poetic way to look at a marriage as a whole. But human happiness doesn’t function in sweeping strokes, because we don’t live in broad summations—we’re stuck in the tiny unglamorous folds of the fabric of life, and that’s where our happiness is determined. So if we want to find a happy marriage, we need to think small—we need to look at marriage up close and see that it’s built not out of anything poetic, but out of 20,000 mundane Wednesdays. This is the second of two posts. The first one tells us why we suck at picking life partners.

I enjoy spending time with most of my friends—that’s why they’re my friends. But with certain friends, the time is so high-quality, so interesting, and so fun that they pass the Traffic Test.

The Traffic Test is passed when I’m finishing up a hangout with someone and one of us is driving the other back home or back to their car, and I find myself rooting for traffic. That’s how much I’m enjoying the time with the
m.
posted by storybored (46 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, you read these posts and his little categories of people and it's like this huge anxiety/neurotic trigger to think extremely poorly of all the choices you've made in your life

This and his post about Facebook personality styles are all pretty much harshing on people who aren't 10000% emotionally rational, who may have social anxiety or depression or whatever and are unfortunately not acting like hypernormal self-actualized supermen in their day-to-day lives. There's teaching mindfulness and then there's teaching you these rigid, socially normative rules and any straying beyond his detail-oriented structures apparently means you will and should be judged by society at large
posted by saucy_knave at 12:27 PM on June 27 [13 favorites]


> There's teaching mindfulness and then there's teaching you these rigid, socially normative rules and any straying beyond his detail-oriented structures apparently means you will and should be judged by society at large

The other way to look at it is to realize that everyone falls into one group or another, so “society at large” has little basis to judge you for your own neuroses.
posted by savetheclocktower at 12:32 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


I actually found this really relieving and refreshing,especially the "Part 1" about all the pressure to find someone, how single people are actually not at the bottom of the staircase, and the categories of various pressures and how different personality types respond to them.
posted by sweetkid at 12:35 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


20,000 mundane Wednesdays? Only if your marriage lasts for nearly 400 years...
posted by axiom at 12:40 PM on June 27 [20 favorites]


savetheclocktower, I was under the impression that the second post served as a self-help manual for how to not be any of his ridiculous caricatures like Shallow Sharon or Overly Romantic Ronald

I'm obviously just reacting to how terrible this piece and his previous pieces have made me feel about myself and the people I love so I suppose I shall take a nice relaxing break away from all of this
posted by saucy_knave at 12:41 PM on June 27


Only if your marriage lasts for nearly 400 years...

My first one sure seemed like it.
posted by Floydd at 12:53 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


I actually found this really relieving and refreshing, especially the "Part 1" about all the pressure to find someone, how single people are actually not at the bottom of the staircase, and the categories of various pressures and how different personality types respond to them.

Yeah, definitely. I've spent a lot of time baffled by my next-door neighbors, who make out drunkenly on the front porch whenever they're not screaming at each other and smashing dishes just one thin sheet of drywall away from my bedroom. Ironically, they argue most about getting married.

I see a lot of begrudging relationships (and sadly, many of these among my close friends), but I see a lot of happy ones too: Couples who fight fair, who listen, who could enjoy watching paint dry together. But even in these happy relationships, I haven't seen a model that I think would work for me. So I'm happy on my middle stair. I like the view.

I don't know if anyone's genuinely saying that being 1000% percent rational is the only way to make a relationship a success. I think it's more a goal to have personally, and to give your partner the benefit of the doubt in doing the same.
posted by mochapickle at 12:54 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


> I'm obviously just reacting to how terrible this piece and his previous pieces have made me feel about myself

That's fine, and I'm not going to argue about how this post should make you feel. I would venture that his intent is not to make you feel bad but to make you more aware of yourself and better equipped.

Most of modern psychotherapy is based on the idea that you become happier the more you know about yourself, since you're more able to realize the destructive behaviors and thought patterns before they happen. Of course, this is easier said than done, and one of those very thought patterns is anxiety over how broken you are, even though everyone is broken in their own special way. I've been there.
posted by savetheclocktower at 1:03 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


That's fine, and I'm not going to argue about how this post should make you feel.

I'm genuinely curious why this article makes saucy_knave (or anyone) feel badly about themselves or thinks that is the intention of the piece. I mean not liking it or whatever, sure, but making you feel bad about yourself?
posted by sweetkid at 1:07 PM on June 27


I thought I was going to be single for my whole life, and I was okay with that. Then I met Husbunny. He added to my already great life, and we're happier together now, than we were when we first met (and we were pretty happy too!)

I never thought I'd get to have such a great marriage. But I'll tell you what. I'm glad I waited and didn't listen to people about how it was supposed to happen. It also helped a LOT that I didn't have a ticking biological clock.

There's a lot of truth in this I think, especially about respect and admiring each other's brains.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:22 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]


I bumped into his procrastination pieces (previously) and found them both interesting and actually mildly useful. Look forward to reading these as well.
posted by emmet at 1:25 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


The Traffic Test is passed when I’m finishing up a hangout with someone and one of us is driving the other back home or back to their car, and I find myself rooting for traffic.

If this is the test of friendship, there are several podcasts I listen to that qualify as my "friends."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:41 PM on June 27 [21 favorites]


Apparently this guy is planning on marrying a plate of beans.

I can't give any insight on relationships because I'm still as clueless as ever but I can offer an old guy anecdote (old guy, as in on Social Security and married for 3.5 decades old). My wife and I were once both bartenders so we have an abnormal fondness for unpretentious dives with a good cry-in-your-beer jukebox. Randy is sort of the unofficial master of ceremonies at one such watering hole we visit occasionally. Karen and I were discussing something or the other one night when Randy came over, put his arms around our shoulders and announced to the bar, "See these two? Every one of us in here, including the bartender, could leave and they'd still be sitting here talking and enjoying themselves and would never even notice we were gone."

Yep, that pretty much sums it up since 1978...
posted by jim in austin at 1:42 PM on June 27 [37 favorites]


Uh oh! Guess what day it is?

Guess what day it is?

Huh? Anybody?

Julie! Hey..guess what day it is.

Ah come on, I know you can hear me

Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike, What day is it Mike?

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Leslie, guess what today it is.

It's hump day

Whoot Whoot!
posted by srboisvert at 1:52 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Conversation I had just after I got engaged to my husband at 35 with my 20 year old cousin.

Her: God! Everyone's married!! I have to get married soon!
Me: Why?
Her: LOOK AROUND! You're getting married, [Brother] is married! Everyone is married! Mom and Dad were married 3 years by the time they were my age!
Me: *glancing at Aunt and Uncle arguing ferociously* And?
Her: URGH! I will DIE ALONE!
Me: Sweetie. Your mom and dad only talk when they're fighting. Your brother is on his second marriage at 24, and I'm just now getting married. At 36.
Her: But! DIE ALONE!
Me: Why do you think I waited this long? You remember [Boyfriend1]? We were together 8 1/2 years.
Her: Yeah, we all thought you'd marry him.
Me: And I would have divorced him too.
Her: Yeah, he was kinda useless. Cute, but useless.
Me: I know. What about [Boyfriend2]? 5 years there.
Her: Your mom and I prayed you wouldn't marry him. He was lame.
Me: Again. I know. What about [HusbandToBe]?
Her: HE'S AWESOME! He makes you happy! You guys get along great and that's why I want to get married! To have what you have!
Me: *eyeroll*

She got a boyfriend and got married in the year it took me to go from engaged to married. Some people just can't bear the idea that they'll miss the boat. Even if it's the boat to hell.
posted by teleri025 at 2:11 PM on June 27 [21 favorites]


Then there's the Indian way to pick a life partner, have your Dad do the job for you.


so you know whom to blame, later
posted by infini at 2:40 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


If this is the test of friendship, there are several podcasts I listen to that qualify as my "friends."

There's some podcasts that I've listened to more than probably everybody but my parents and my wife.
posted by kmz at 2:56 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


This article stresses me out the same way that article whose summary was "you have to send out 30,000 online dating messages to find a workable partner" did.
posted by MillMan at 2:57 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


This provides me with self-satisfaction and therefore I think it's a good article.
posted by michaelh at 2:59 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


>> If this is the test of friendship, there are several podcasts I listen to that qualify as my "friends."

> There's some podcasts that I've listened to more than probably everybody but my parents and my wife.


Yeah please lets not make this the test of friendship - I spend hours every week listening to prolonged self-indulgent tech nerdery on my podcasts while I mow the lawn and do dishes.
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:09 PM on June 27


This seems to boil down to, we should filter down to candidates that will have reasonably predictable arcs in behavior and lifestyle in the next 40 or 50 years (length of marriage), then select the one that will provide the most utility for that period of time.

The other stuff is kind of typical relationship stuff, and also gets more difficult to predict as time goes on. I mean, how does getting laid off or dealing with loss affect someone's sense of humor? How does trust work, when one partner has a mental disorder?

I think this approach probably results in getting married when someone is older, as things have settled down and a candidate becomes more predictable. At the same time, it's easier to see the future at 40 than 20, simply because you're older and closer to the future.
posted by FJT at 3:30 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


At the same time, it's easier to see the future at 40 than 20, simply because you're older and closer to the future.

*squeaks* my nose is pressed up against the glass already...
posted by infini at 4:09 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


we should filter down to candidates that will have reasonably predictable arcs in behavior and lifestyle in the next 40 or 50 years (length of marriage), then select the one that will provide the most utility for that period of time

I suspect I'm not the only one reading this who suddenly felt awfully lonely.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:09 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


, "See these two? Every one of us in here, including the bartender, could leave and they'd still be sitting here talking and enjoying themselves and would never even notice we were gone."

You're lucky. Not everyone is that lucky, and some people are younger and figuring things out and I think being able to discuss the pressures that people feel to decide this or that re: relationships is really helpful.

But hey you got to tell that story again! That's probably great for you.
posted by sweetkid at 6:21 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


As sweetkid said, I liked the perspective of the middle stair--made me feel a lot better.And sometimes there is nothing like watching your friend in a crappy relationship to do that as well. Or this week when a married friend of mine came back from vacation (she was seeing a visiting relative out of town) and basically said it sucked because her husband was all grumpypants the whole time, which she knew was going to happen. She didn't want to bring him along in a situation he'd be miserable in, but you can't NOT invite your husband to go on vacation with you and he wouldn't take the "you don't HAVE to go if you don't wanna" hints. Normally those two are all schmoopy-poo, so that level of cranky was surprising.

I can't argue with the stereotypes because god knows I've done most of 'em. But what I sorta quibble about is this:

"But if someone went to school to learn about how to pick a life partner and take part in a healthy relationship, if they charted out a detailed plan of action to find one, and if they kept their progress organized rigorously in a spreadsheet, society says they’re A) an over-rational robot, B) way too concerned about this, and C) a huge weirdo."

The problem with this is that dating isn't much of a spreadsheet. You may go to a class on dating (or take Family Living in home ec, whatever), but you can only learn so much about it without an SO to practice one. And spreadsheeting your dating isn't necessarily going to make you find The One any better or easier--The One shows up or doesn't. I guess the spreadsheet can remind you that you already dated that guy on match.com already, but beyond that? Probably not gonna help too much.

Just because you know what you're looking for doesn't necessarily mean that you'll find it, though, or that you find someone with all or almost all of those traits. Much as I love those "I made a list of everything I wanted in a guy and then found him!" stories, god knows I never got it to work.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:30 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


My sister was furious when I got married, because I was breaking up our act. Within a year she got married too, and then spent the next twenty years MISERABLE. I, on the other hand, periodically (every other day?) wish my husband was dead, but on the whole I'm pretty damn happy because we did #3. Well, part of #3. The part about determining to be good at marriage, not the how to be good at it. We don't fight, because we're seriously bad at it, and we don't always communicate well. But mostly we decided that we'll do whatever it takes. #2 is sort of amorphous. And #1 is ridiculous. He's not my best friend. He's my partner.

It's been 38 years. Because seriously, a successful marriage is, you know, whatever. There aren't any formulas. It's like those people who live past 100 who say what they did was drink a jar of pickle juice every day. Well, they're 100, and they drank a jar of pickle juice once a day, but probably it was the living to be 100 that led to the pickle juice, not the other way around.
posted by Peach at 6:48 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


That's fine, and I'm not going to argue about how this post should make you feel.

I'm genuinely curious why this article makes saucy_knave (or anyone) feel badly about themselves


I can see where they'd be coming from. An example:

The types of fear our society (and parents, and friends) inflict upon us—fear of being the last single friend, fear of being an older parent, sometimes just fear of being judged or talked about—are the types that lead us to settle for a not-so-great partnership.

The implication here is I think an invalidation of those fears - 'you are silly/weak/inadequate to let those fears affect your decision-making'. I don't think the writer even has to intend to mean this (I don't think he/she is), but it interfaces with a certain social register that I call Rationality Fetishism: the belief that logic/rationality is not just a very useful tool but an end itself. We've all known people like this, and this sort of mindset is very common in um certain parts of the internet, so I can see why some people jump to the association.

There's some teeth behind each of those fears, were each viewed in a vacuum. But in an actual context the more germane question would probably be whether any of those fears are/should be worse than the fear of remaining in a terrible relationship for most of your life - the author would clearly say no, and I'm inclined to agree. So the problem I think isn't that people are having these fears of singledom/older parentage, but rather that they're overweighing these concerns relative to the actual importance of being in a healthy, stable relationship. And that is a pretty hard thing to do, as part 1 itself implies.

I figure this must just be the style/preference of the writer, but tone has a bit of glib certainty, which I don't think gives proper shrift to how heavily luck can lean on such considerations (might also be part of what's giving some folks a reaction of Being Judged). I think there are lots of good observations in this piece, but it really undersells the power of Circumstances to make or unmake all our plans.
posted by obliterati at 7:00 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


You can choose self-actualization, or you can choose marriage (and a family). You can't have both, but unfortunately our culture prizes self-actualization about all else.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:34 PM on June 27


You're lucky. Not everyone is that lucky, and some people are younger and figuring things out and I think being able to discuss the pressures that people feel to decide this or that re: relationships is really helpful.

Yeah, I was lucky but there was nothing to figure out. I tried everything I could think of for a decade and it all failed. And then it suddenly clicked and I had no idea why. But in retrospect I may have some tidbit of insight. If you are attracted to how sexy, attractive, successful, intelligent or a host of other superficial characteristics someone is then you are likely to be disappointed in the long run. But if you are attracted to the actual person irregardless of the superficial crap, then you might have something workable. But only if they have the same approach to you as well. And that was where I got lucky...
posted by jim in austin at 7:36 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


One of the things to "figure out" is "I'm on the middle stair and not horribly crap at relationships after all" which makes it easier to relax generally and possibly find or not find the right person but be OK anyway.

There is actually a lot to figure out. Given how many threads we have about how we're just supposed to not be superficial in relationships and be incredibly lucky and have kids very young because that's easy it's kind of a relief to have an article that breaks things down a little.

But people from the top of the staircase who have it all figured out are always willing to come remind everyone about that.
posted by sweetkid at 7:43 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


sweetkid, I don't think that's fair. I feel like you are reading a lot more into this than is intended. Sometimes people are just coming in to say, you know what? It's possible, and I've done it, and if I can, pretty much anyone else can, so here's some encouragement for you to remind you of that. I certainly don't begrudge anyone in a happy relationship. Good for them!

I just celebrated my 25th anniversary. Believe me, I do NOT have it all figured out. We have our problems, but we are committed to working them out, and that's what works for us.
posted by misha at 8:07 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


sweetkid, I don't think that's fair. I feel like you are reading a lot more into this than is intended. Sometimes people are just coming in to say, you know what? It's possible, and I've done it, and if I can, pretty much anyone else can, so here's some encouragement for you to remind you of that.

I think the article is reminding people these things are possible. But I think people coming into be like "this guy thinks too much, listen to my story of how everything was easy" are just furthering the idea that if finding a relationship is confusing or hard or something you have to work at, you're "overthinking" because you are putting work into your search and didn't find love 35 years ago before these internets and spreadsheets and doodads.

Like really, this article/FPP isn't for people who've been in happy relationships for 20, 30+ years. Of course you will think it is pointless. That's ok, there's other stuff out there for you.
posted by sweetkid at 8:12 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


[Maybe let's nudge this back toward talking about the articles, rather than who can or can't comment here?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:17 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


But people from the top of the staircase who have it all figured out are always willing to come remind everyone about that.

Ouch!

Sorry, no intent to stand on the top step and pee down on the heads of the little people. Gloating is not really my style (possibly because I have so little practice at it). More wanted to say that if an inept emotional and relational doofus like me can stumble blindly into a lasting relationship, then THERE MUST STILL BE HOPE FOR EVERYONE. Simply meant as a little ray of sunshine. Take it as you will...
posted by jim in austin at 8:19 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


This is the same guy who did the Fermi paradox post? Jesus fucking Christ.
posted by valrus at 8:32 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


It strikes me as really bad form -- and shockingly hateful, actually -- to jump down someone's throat for telling a happy story in a thread about relationships. I get that the article is triggering for folks, and that sucks, but this seems like a bit much.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:59 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


Yeah, no kidding. And suggesting one doesn't belong in this thread based on their relationship status, blugh. But maybe it's a grumpy day, eh.

I do agree there's tons of luck involved, but I'm reminded of a comment a long time ago on the green, from taz IIRC (and a comment upthread sort of getting at the same), about how by the time the poster found herself in a good marriage it was because both people had sorted through their own identity/soul searching and that whole mess and approached each other as fairly settled, whole entities and it made everything go so much more smoothly. A friend of mine just got out of a relationship (he's been in a short string of them since a major, divorce-like fallout a couple years back) and he always talks about the goal of one for him now as representing he's "made it", still has it, hasn't lost his "real adult on the right path" status and can buy a house (he doesn't believe that's an attainable life goal without a partner) and have a social and financial safety net and won't be that weird single dude everyone he knows pities (total bullshit, all of it, but he's convinced it works that way) and while I sympathize I think he's putting the cart before the horse. Reminds me a little of the tricky situation a woman in her late 30s who wants to have a baby can be in, screening first dates with that stressful weighty expectation making for pressure that keeps things from developing at a breathing room type pace. I get it, those desires, but it seems like it'd make choosing a life partner who you also just love being around, where it's relatively easy, harder (and harder to find).
posted by ifjuly at 10:39 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Expecting a strong relationship without treating it like a rigorous part-time job

as someone who can barely keep his shit together with his one actual job, looks like it's a good time to buy "giving up and moving to a monastery"
posted by en forme de poire at 10:45 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


wait except if there's no broadband there
posted by en forme de poire at 10:50 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


how by the time the poster found herself in a good marriage it was because both people had sorted through their own identity/soul searching and that whole mess and approached each other as fairly settled, whole entities and it made everything go so much more smoothly.

The single folks hear that all the time, especially from people who found love later than in their 20's. And they're probably right. But I do find it depressing to think that I have to be totally self-actualized and adult and all perfect before it can happen to me at all. Hell, multiple people have told me that I have to get a new career before I can (current one has several aspects that drive me nuts, but I can't find anything else I qualify to do). Really?! Then how come I know happy couples who met at age 15 or 18 who have been schmoopily happy for over a decade or decades and got lucky on their very first date? Were they self-actualized and in a great career first? No, they were proto-humans, but somehow they were better than me enough to deserve lasting love and get it early on, I must have been Hitler in a past life....

Okay, so my brain goes to the ugly place on that one at times. But it still riles me that I can think of one happily evil couple that has found true love with each other in their teen years, and I know darned well they think something is wrong with me because one of 'em sat me down and told me so.

Oh well, that's probably one of those things like the 100-year-olds drinking pickle juice. Some people get lucky and some don't and that's probably all there is to it.

"if an inept emotional and relational doofus like me can stumble blindly into a lasting relationship, then THERE MUST STILL BE HOPE FOR EVERYONE."

True...I seem to recall Harlan Ellison saying something like that in A Curmudgeon's Garden of Love. Seems to have worked out well with the last wife!

I sort of feel conflicted on those stories though. Mostly I am all "great, there's hope!" but sometimes I am all, "goddammit, you seriously never found true love until your sixties, Gloria Steinem?" (or whoever) and get depressed thinking that I may very well have to wait that long. Or longer. And the indefinite, no-hope-on-the-horizon waiting can drive you mad.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:49 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


The whole concept of "picking" a partner implies a level of control and influence I have certainly never experienced.
posted by Decani at 3:41 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


Oh my gosh, jenfullmoon, I hear you. I hate all that "when you're complete/happy alone you'll find love" drivel. I hated hated hated that.

I got married old (37) when I supposedly was complete/happy alone and it was a disaster that ended in divorce (divorce is NOT for the faint of heart). I agree with the article in the aspect that afterward I got on a dating site, read profiles, found someone who matched my "stuff" and have been delighted for over a year with this guy.

I never, ever would have met him without the dating site. We both had over a thousand friends on FB, none of whom overlapped. (This is just an example, not that FB is important at all. Which it is not).

I agree with jim in austin that so much is just LUCK. You meet that right person at 15 or 35 or 50 years old and - bam - it works. You almost can't engineer that! But I'd say reading the profiles people create on dating sites, feeling a click with the profile, and exploring that gets you closer.

Closer, but not there. It's still so much luck.

I will say I didn't believe in "soulmates" until I met my partner (via OKC). Then I did think that there's one person for me, and he is it. Seriously. And I'm a rational, scientist person.

This was at age 41.

You young things won't believe me, but everything I went through made finding him worth it. So I do think the article is right in that "we do it wrong," but I'm not sure what the better approach is.

Caveat: I'm an XX, and I never had kids. I let life circumstance guide that, I guess because I didn't care that much, but others don't have that freedom. I really sympathize with women who want bio kids desperately. Perhaps we should all accept people's choices to procreate independently of a relationship? My good friend who was successful, home-owning, and SELF-ACTUALIZED (gag) didn't find the right partner by 39 and got a sperm donor. Her beautiful daughter is three and she's happy as a clam.
posted by Punctual at 3:47 AM on June 28 [6 favorites]


I sometimes wonder if it's easier to get married very young and grow old together, just because people are more malleable in their late teens. The expectation, at least in my circles now, is that people should become their own persons first and then find a partner to match. But it's a lot harder to find a partner that suits one or two or three decades of adult experience.

I know a few couples who met in high school. They've definitely changed since I knew them in high school, but from what I can see from outside the relationship I get the sense they've changed together. Like they're growing into each other's persons as well as their own.

Of course, I imagine this is easier for people who don't move far away to attend college. It's sort of a stock joke that freshmen doing long-distance relationships with people from high school will be single come summer.
posted by d. z. wang at 9:02 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


d.z. wang, that's exactly the argument that was posed to me when I was being told what was wrong with me for being single. That I was getting too old to be able to settle down because I was getting set in my ways. Which...is true. But again, what can I do about it now? Nobody I dated while I was young wanted to marry me, so I'm fucked, I guess :P
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:07 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Oh my gosh, jenfullmoon, I hear you. I hate all that "when you're complete/happy alone you'll find love" drivel. I hated hated hated that.

Absolutely. This is the kind of smug drivel spouted by people whose brains work like Hallmark Valentine cards. This actually happened to me once. Once. I was happy being alone, and then I found love. Against which I set the years and years and years when I was complete/happy alone and couldn't get laid to save my life. And the years when I was miserable as sin and had some wild love. And the times when I was kinda eh, okay, y'know and I both did and didn't find love.

Bottom line is it's down to luck. Some people have certain advantages and disadvantages in the initial-attraction stakes, but meeting Mr/Ms Amazing and The Relationship That Lasts 4 Evar will either happen to you or it won't, and there are no magic platitudes, life hacks or nostrums that will make it happen.
posted by Decani at 6:16 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


I'm in the middle of a divorce, and it's fairly wretched and horrible even for the species. However I do feel as though I've gone up a couple of steps. I actually know what I want in a woman, besides my penis. It's not a checklist situation exactly, but there are a few things, like I want someone active, someone funny, someone smart, that are darn near non-negotiable. I also think smart is a prerequisite for funny but that's beside the point. Finally, something that really helps is not really thinking about a life partner at all, as I've already tried that bit to mixed success, at best.
posted by Mister_A at 6:52 AM on June 30


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