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Saturday, July 09, 2011

what besties can teach us

I was reading Jenn's post about a group of bitter divorcees who were handing out advice to their kids on how to avoid a bad marriage: wait until you're at least 30 years old to marry.

I replied that I thought it was ridiculous to pick an arbitrary age and think that is the magic bullet.

I married around the age of 30 and I think I have a pretty good marriage so you might think the bitter divorcee advice holds true. But I dont' think it was just our age that made it so. I think it was the fact that he was available as often as I wanted him to be. He didn't weasel out of dates or show up late or not show up at all. He cared about my well being (in the bedroom, even). He valued me as a friend and as a person with thoughts and opinions that mattered.

Not exactly advice on marriage but a good parallel, I read an article by a therapist who suggested we teach our daughters to only have sex with someone who feels like a best friend, who acts like a best friend. Someone who you can talk to about anything, who you trust will stand by your side, who helps you when you need it, who is reliable, who shows up, who is kind in words and actions. Most of our kids know what a best friend looks like so it's tapping knowledge and feelings they're already familiar with.

What kind of advice would you give someone who wants to know the secret to choosing a healthy mate?



16 comments:

Coffeypot said...

I think a good combination of standing your ground and compromise.

smalltownmom said...

You just described my husband. I guess that's why it works.

Another Day of Crazy said...

The best place to find friends (and potential mates) is out doing the things that you love to do. Not at a bar.

Vodka Mom said...

I say... marry the person that treats you with love, respect and is honest.

I agree with you that no AGE should be thrown out there, but waiting is a good thing. I feel that it gives you a better sense about following your heart.


And me? I'm still hoping to find my true love.

Mary said...

I am tucking away that advice to a daughter and handing it out when she is of the right age.

Whatever that might be these days.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Best friends--I agree that's the key. My husband and I started dating at 18 and married at 23, but were best friends from when I was 16 to 18.

Aunt Snow said...

I married late, too; I met my husband when I was about 32, I think. In my case, I really needed to mature before I could become a good partner to anyone.

Kathleen Scott said...

I vote for your best-friend advice. Worked for us and enhanced the sizzle.

Susan said...

I have to admit that we are not a best friends couple. We have even talked about it. We have been together almost 30 years and mutual respect and admiration for each other's qualities is the key for us.

Accidental Euphoria said...

My friends think I'm crazy for holding out for what you describe. I watched my parents go through a bitter divorce after almost 30 years of marriage. Neither of them was ready for marriage and neither of them treated each other the way they should have. I'm not settling for some guy because he's there and showing interest. I want a best friend.

Mental P Mama said...

Wonderful advice...from all....

K said...

Mmmm...I married pretty young (at 24), but I don't feel like it was too early. I've been married for 7years, we've shared 2 kids, a mortgage, the death of a parent and a whole bunch of milestones. He's still my best friend and he still treats me with respect.

I think you should definitely only marry somebody who treats you really well and cares for you. I also think there is some truth to the old - watch the way he treats waitresses and his mother saying.

blogbehave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Cotterill said...

I agree with you about arbitrary ages. I don't know what advice I'd give; I consider myself to be in a happy marriage but I don't think I have a magic secret to share!

Jan Holt said...

I was 22 when I married and this year we are very happily celebrating our 20 years together. He proposed on our 2nd date and we were only together for 6 weeks before we got married.

The secret for making a good match is to discover ahead of time what you DO NOT WANT in a marriage. Then pick someone who has the qualities that are opposite.

The secret for longevity is not taking one moment together for granted. Celebrate each triumph and support each other through each tragedy together and always keep your partner in your heart when making decisions that could alter the relationship. That's all I've got. Very interesting topic.

Lisa said...

I have boys. I guess in reality that shouldn't make a difference. But in many arenas, they get a bad rap. They get hurt too, get cheated on, deal with "drama". So, I DO try to tell them that they need to find mates who won't compromise their own value system, whatever that is. However, I need them to know that IF there is a pregnancy, their own rights, desires, wishes are low on the totem pole to what the female wants. So they need to make sure they are protecting their genitals as well as their hearts! Respect should be a two way street. Sadly, though, often times, biology still trumps reason!!