Dating only one person your whole life
Often, the key to succeeding at something big is to break it into its tiniest pieces and focus on how to succeed at just one piece.
When we examined procrastination, we talked about how a great achievement is just what a long series of unremarkable tasks looks like from far away.
But human happiness doesn’t function in sweeping strokes, because we don’t live in broad summations—we’re stuck in the tiny unglamorous folds of the fabric of life, and that’s where our happiness is determined.
So if we want to find a happy marriage, we need to think small—we need to look at marriage up close and see that it’s built not out of anything poetic, but out of 20,000 mundane Wednesdays. So I’ll leave the butterflies and the kisses in the rain and the twice-a-day sex to you—you’ll work that part out I’m sure—and spend this post trying to figure out the best way to make Forgettable Wednesday as happy as possible.
(Yes, I typed that into multiple search engines, yielding many lists, but not much help.) So I sought the counsel of committed friends (and some acquaintances, and a few strangers) and asked: HOW DID YOU KNOW? I feel like knowing who’s ‘the one’ is just as much a life choice as a love choice.” — Colby It felt inevitable. I am normally SO shy about talking to strangers, so I had my earbuds in and my face turned to the window and my work in my lap — a wall around me.
We were each other’s ideal audience.” — Gemma It was a choice.
But unlike death and the universe’s size, picking a life partner is fully in your control, so it’s critical to make yourself entirely clear on how big a deal the decision really is and to thoroughly analyze the most important factors in making it. I’m pretty sure no one over 80 reads Wait But Why, so no matter who you are, that’s a of time—and almost the entirety of the rest of your one existence.
(Sure, people get divorced, but you don’t think you will.
All the research on how vastly happiness varies between happy and unhappy marriages makes perfect sense, of course. Thinking about how overwhelmingly important it is to pick the right life partner is like thinking about how huge the universe really is or how terrifying death really is—it’s too intense to internalize the reality of it, so we just don’t think about it that hard and remain in slight denial about the magnitude of the situation. If you live a long life, that’s about the number of years you’re going to spend with your current or future life partner, give or take a few.
Marriage isn’t the honeymoon in Thailand—it’s day four of vacation #56 that you take together. To endure 20,000 days with another human being and do so happily, there are three key ingredients necessary: I enjoy spending time with most of my friends—that’s why they’re my friends.
Marriage is not celebrating the closing of the deal on the first house—it’s having dinner in that house for the 4,386th time. But with certain friends, the time is so high-quality, so interesting, and so fun that they pass the Traffic Test. It means I’m lost in the interaction, invigorated by it, and that I’m the complete opposite of bored.
Every suitor is a potential husband, and every woman is a possible wife — not to mention father or mother of your future children. It's no exaggeration to say that outside of following Christ, who you choose to marry is the of your life.
More than anything else, it will dictate your future happiness and success.
Search for dating only one person your whole life:
One study found that speed daters questioned about their relationship preferences usually prove themselves wrong just minutes later with what they show to prefer in the actual event.