Golf partners are most enjoyable when they are golfists. To make your marriage work, you have to be a marriage-ist.
This is advice I give to young, single women who are giddy about a blossoming romance. The half-life of human desire is about 2 years. This is if two people remain unchanged and exactly the way they are. It applies to just about anything that you get passionate about. When you start something new, a giant hourglass flips over. The sand is finite, and it is half empty in about two years, and a half again, furthermore in another two.
To keep a relationship going you have to evolve, break it off for a while (not cheap if you are already married), or have kids to completely distract yourself. Adding of more sand is not possible, but flipping different hourglasses that you discover between yourself and your mate is always a good rule. These are discovered often by means of meaningful conversations.
A second rule of thumb is that you can have about a hundred meaningful conversations with anyone before you have to quit. Most long-lasting couples understand this and keep conversation to a minimum or go on vacations -usually to the same place -how different is bermuda from palm beach from bali -trust me I’ve been to all of these places and if I were a primitive person, I would think that I enter a metal box with no airholes, sit cramped and bored for about 8 hours, and end up in the same crazy taxis, going to the same sandy, watery, blue skied place, eating the same food, and buying the same trinkets.
Don’t reduce your choices to someone’s basic body parts. In all the freedoms we think we have (free will being the top) we are shackled by the basic laws of neurotransmitter biochemistry. Romantic love is a neurobiological one-way spawning state – we’re all tricked into thinking it occurs naturally by our limbic system, but true love is a marathon of the higher brain centers.
You’re probably just as well off being given a mate on your appointed wedding day, someone you get to know in the Biblical sense on the wedding night in half darkness broken by the ululations of your women kinfolk holding up the bloody bedsheets to the village. And after your inaugural flying of the flag of Japan, you embark on a life of getting to know eachother, and if you’re lucky, falling in love, which only 5 percent of us really get. Be careful before you waste one of your 100 meaningful conversations over this post.
Thank you for this, Mike, really enjoyed it – ‘your inaugural flying of the flag of Japan’ Wonderful! It’s interesting you wrote about romantic love and being given a mate. The beauty of arranged marriages (often) is a gift to behold, and very much misunderstood. Sense of self is given over. (I had it explained to me in India once.) Very much a higher-brain activity, yes. Thanks again.
Life gives you a dance partner and you turn her away because of the promise of something better and twenty years and two or three failed marriages later, you’re probably living with no regrets because you’re a narcissist.