Have a Long and Happy Marriage
The best piece of advice on love and relationships I was ever given was this:
“It is very easy to love someone for their good qualities. It’s very easy to love someone for how smart or good-looking or wealthy or funny they are. The trick really is to find someone whose flaws you are okay with. We all have our idiosyncrasies, and it is important in a long-term relationship to be able to live easily with your partner’s imperfections—not just barely putting up with them, but genuinely having a lot of room in your heart and mind for them too. When you have room and acceptance of one another’s weaknesses, that allows for you to live and love together for a long time.”
This advice was told to me by an 80-year-old man who has been married 60 years! It’s great relationship advice, but it is also the secret to a long and happy marriage.
Talking to this man about his marriage made me realize that humans are multidimensional and that what is more interesting and important in a long-term relationship is what lies behind the first things we see, like looks and income and other material or superficial things. It has taught me some patience as well, because it does take a while to really get to know someone. And I also think it has made me understand that we are made up of our strengths and weaknesses, and I learned to not be hard on myself, or those I love and care for.
Compatibility depends on what you can tolerate and on what doesn’t annoy you, and that is all right too. I have learned to look very honestly at someone whom I might want to become involved with, and try to project less of my needs onto them, so I can see where we might not be compatible in a long-term situation. It has also allowed me to be more honest with who I am and with my own faults, because I want someone who loves me for my imperfections as well as my strengths.