TIP: Marry Someone You Actually Like

Today I find myself celebrating 16 years of happily wedded bliss.  I suppose I feel like this entitles me to a few moments on the soap box. 

I could rant on for days about the reasons why marriage has become a disposable and mocked entity in our disillusioned era and self-centered society.  But I won’t.  I could point to a million statistics that document the fact that marriage is good for your health, financial well-being, and overall life satisfaction.  I shall refrain.  I could attempt to list a compendium of ancient wisdom to help those marriages that are plunging into a hopeless nose dive, but I don’t want to do that either.  My advice is for the rookie.  For the person who has yet to cross the marriage threshold or be carried over it.  For the not yet disillusioned.  Simple words to carry with you on the shore that will take the belly flop sting out of the nuptial plunge:

Marry.  Someone.  You.  Actually.   Like.

I am not sure how this gets overlooked in many situations, but quite frankly, it does.  “But I love my shmoopsy honey pie sugar love stud muffin sweetie cakes and nothing shall ever tarnish my tooth enamel eroding saccharin affections.”  O.K.  First of all, loving someone and liking them is not the same thing.  We all dutifully love our blood born relatives, but we often don’t like them and wouldn’t choose to spend time hanging out with them were it not for the guilt bound social traditions of obligatory holiday visitations.

You don’t want to find yourself sharing a life with a spouse eight years down the road out of the same sense of obligation that you feel to listen to Aunt Edna tell funny cat stories after Thanksgiving dinner. 

Passion, convenience, this might be the only hot chick who ever likes me, money, social expectations, you found a great fixer upper, your parents made a business deal, fear of ending up alone and obsessed with cats like Aunt Edna, your biological alarm clock is exploding, anything is better than the life you have now, it’s what people do after they graduate from college, you feel sorry for someone who loves you and can’t tell them no….. all of these are horrible reasons to tie the knot.  “True Love”, as noble as the concept seems, is not a good enough reason to clasp on the ball and chain.   Listen closely and I will tell you the #1 reason why you forsake all others.  (sending me 3 easy payments of 99.99$ would be totally appropriate at this juncture, but is by no means a requirement 😀 )

Here it is plain and simple.  You actually like who your mate is as a person.  You want to hear their ideas and opinions, you want to go places together and share new experiences because you just LIKE this person so much.  You want to accept them in all their shining and not so shining humanity.  You couldn’t bear the thought of not being in close proximity because you truly, madly, deeply LIKE being around this person and enjoy exploring the nuances of their being.  Your spouse should be the person you prefer to be around because they should be the person who you know and want to be known by.  Who can be their most open and true self to a person they don’t actually like?  Nobody. Forget about it.

We are over complicating this whole marriage issue.  16 years into this deal, I could croon a ditty to rival Lionel Richie about how I found my soul mate and my everlasting love.  But what I find most worthy of swagger and the right to bust out a bull horn is the fact that I liked this man from day one and he liked me and we still enjoy each others company and share an intense desire to fathom life together.  Our mushy love story would never be possible if we didn’t actually like each other on a fundamental level.  Some of the best advice you’ll ever get is right here, yours, free for the taking.  Boo-yah.  Call me on your 16th anniversary.


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