I’m not a therapist (shocker), and I don’t have very much real world experience at 22 unless you count all the times I’ve been able to find people on social media with only a first name. I don’t feel strongly compelled to marry anyone. Like ever. I’ve never even lived with a boy (SOUNDS AWFUL) and my parents aren’t married, so I didn’t grow up seeing it firsthand. The only marriage I’d ever want to be involved in is Jim and Pam’s from The Office. Nevertheless, I obsessively read about marriage and relationships. Countless relationship-y cosmo articles, short documentaries, and podcasts have accumulated in my nosey, neurotic brain over the years, and I think I’m starting to understand the fundamentals here.
Marriage isn’t exactly an end goal for me. But I’ve made about 8 ‘if we’re not married by [insert age]’ promises, so it’ll probably happen one way or another. None of this is in chronological order, and I’m probably leaving out a lot, but here is my unsolicited advice.
Accept the other person even if they turn out to be a murderer
If you find out your wife is the female version of Dexter, pick up a shovel and start digging. You don’t get to choose which parts of another person you accept and which parts you’d rather not deal with. So, channel your inner Patrick Bateman, buy some bleach and save your judgments for their taste in reality television.
‘These percentages are way off’
Before I started writing this, I consulted my mom who was married for a few years and my grandpa who has been married for 2000 years. Both her and my grandpa stressed that marriages are not 50/50. They’re 90/10. Similar to every group project you’ve ever been a part of. At certain times, one of you will only be able to give 10% effort, while the other has to give 90%. Easier said than done, but you signed up for this shit.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me
I read this article about marriage in the Atlantic that was as long as Trump’s presidency is gonna feel. The author sent out a survey to a bunch of people at different stages of marriage. Some had been married for 3000 years, and others had been married for 2. Some had been married multiple times. And so on and so forth. The most consistent and number one ingredient for a healthy marriage was having respect for your partner. This makes perfect sense to me. You want a partner, not an intern.
Don’t bang other people
Should be common sense, but alas, it is not. So I’ve phrased it as a command for you: do not sleep with other people. Unless you have one of those arrangements. (Dear future hub: I do not want one of these arrangements).
Do fun shit together
Netflix makes it too easy to “stay in, order some Chinese food and watch Bloodline” together. And man, oh man, as sexy as that is it invites a certain level of complacency. Take some yoga classes, take a road trip or get drunk and paint things.
…but also have your own side projects
So, along with doing things together, you should also be able to have your own hobbies. Annoyance is subjective (I guess), but not being able to enjoy things on your own individual terms is ‘sad!’ as Presdient Trump would tweet. It’s cool to have stuff you guys do together but find a hobby you can enjoy on your own too. As long as it’s not taxidermy – that shit is creepy and it should not have been invented.