54 Comments
Dec 8, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

Love this! My grandmother always said: "marry later, marry wiser."

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Thanks! And...yup!

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Dec 9, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

I agree with this, and would add: Don't play games. Don't expect your partner to be a mindreader. None of this, "They should *know* what I'm upset about," or, "No, I'm not hurt/mad/whatever," expecting the other person to figure out otherwise. If you want/need something, just ask instead of turning it into a test.

Also, as you said, your partner is your friend and ally. Sometimes I see people online saying things like, "My partner did *this* that annoyed me so I'm doing *that* to get back at him," and I always want to say, "Wait, you're supposed to be on the same team!"

(I played some of those games in my 20s. By mid-30s I was able to forge the partnership I'm still in, and it's been wonderful to shed that baggage and just be real.)

Life throws enough challenges at us; why add unnecessary complications?

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Yeah the mind-reading thing is crazy. Yes, pick your battles but also: if something bothers you, just say it. Speak up, advocate for yourself! No mind games or tests.

I don't know how many of us manage relationships in our 20s. We have no experience! But at least we learn. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚

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You are so right both about not playing games/expecting partner to know what you're thinking, and life being challenging enough!

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Dec 8, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

I just saved $200 in therapist bills with my $5 subscription! Well done, great article.

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Hehehehe. I need to up my rate! ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ˜

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LOL LOL LOL! That's awesome!

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Dec 8, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

This is lovely. I got married at 22 and have been married nearly 25 years, but I think we just had sheer dumb luck with long-term compatibility. We were kids and we were idiots and have somehow stumbled through growing up together.

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yeah, with us, I think it was mostly sheer dumb luck too! Oh, well...

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We dated for four years. There was some luck, yes, but it was more than that I think.

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It's gotta happen sometimes, right?!

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hehe

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Dec 8, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

This is so wonderful! As someone who is divorced, I can definitely speak to choosing the wrong person early on and sticking together to try to make it work. There was definitely an "opposites attract" situation and no matter how you looked at it, it was doomed from the start because not enough of our values lined up.

This is all such wonderful advice and a lot of it I learned the hard way, haha

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Sorry you had to learn the hard way, but wiser now!

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Thank you! And, yes, I'm sorry...

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This is an excellent read. Choosing the right partner is the key. I had a few long-term relationships but none resulted in marriage until my last, I waited until I was 62 to do so. And I can say it has been magical. I'm the luckiest and happiest I've been in my life (relationship-wise). We are into our second year and going strong. Thank you for such great advice and your shares. Great and entertaining posts.

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Thank you very much! And as Michael says, congrats! ๐Ÿ˜

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Congratulations!

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Plenty of time. Good luck to you.

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Dec 8, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

GREAT advice. I also married young to the wrong person, but still would not change a thing. I have 2 wonderful kids from that marriage. And, I think I needed that time to become the person capable of finding my perfect match! Now happily married, also spending almost all of our time together!

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Great attitude. My philosophy has always been life is full of pluses and minuses...

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Lovely take!

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Dec 8, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

A couple of thoughts from a woman with a 26 year mostly bad marriage to someone who shared my values and a 11 years now successful marriage to someone who frequently votes for different candidates than I do. Better the latter than a Marxist alcoholic hypocrite who abused me verbally and didnโ€™t work for 10 of those 26 years. I actually went to therapy to ensure I would never be attracted to or by someone like my ex ever again. I succeeded!

My advice now? Marry a happy person. (The key, BTW, is respect and commitment to agree to disagree even about the most intense of issues--my guess is our level of civil debate is higher than many couples BECAUSE of our different political perspectives). I am an atheist, he is a C & E Catholic. So what? He is a Republican, I am primarily a Democrat, edging towards libertarian. Neither of us believe conspiracy theories or subscribe to the extremist rhetoric of political parties. We discuss IDEAS and the plusses and minuses of many candidates rationally. I vote for people I donโ€™t particularly like. So does he.

And, funny story. At a graduation keynote I delivered at University of Central Florida 14 years ago, I closed with advice from my grandmother, โ€œNo intelligent woman marries before she is 25 or 26.โ€ As the new grads streamed out, a woman dragged her child to the stage to thank me and then turned to her daughter. โ€œSee what SHE said about marriage?โ€ Made my day.

The bigger unanswered question for nomad couples is how to pack the sex toys in ways that donโ€™t attract the attention of airport scanners.

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hahaha. airport scanners are evil? who knew? Yeah, I agree with this: marry someone happy.

Glad you make it work. Perhaps I should redefine "shared values" to mean a commitment to debate, tolerance, openness, etc. It's a good point.

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Dec 8, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

Great read, but as a straight guy I do find it hard finding that lady who wants to settle down with a nomad. I have no issues meeting woman, but itโ€™s always for a short time and on a purely friendship basis. Tinder is a nice networking app, met so many wonderful friends, but not the app for finding that longtime relationship. Dom

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Yup. Nomading either forces you to move too quickly (traveling together with a fellow nomad or expat) or you can't really commit with a local, because you will soon be moving on. I'm sure it's very tough.

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Oh, yeah, finding a partner as a nomad definitely sounds like a challenge.

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Don't give up. There are women nomads out there. I actually initiated the nomad conversation with my husband and he agreed to go for it. I can see how it could be really difficult, though, to start a relationship in nomad mode. I wonder if most nomad couples were couples first and nomads later??? Hmmmm?

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I think that's true: couples to nomads. But I don't think finding love on the road is impossible!

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To the contrary, I'm a nomad using Tinder to find a relationship, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. You may want to consider if you're doing something to prevent women from falling for you.

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Dec 11, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger

Wow. Really great relationship advice delivered in a very thoughtful non-โ€œadvice- yโ€ way. Thanks!

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Thank you!

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Dec 10, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

My wife and I have been married for coming up on nine years. I was 34 and she was 30 when we got married, and we agree/are compatible on the big topics (e.g., kids, religion, politics, money). Still going strong and heeding your sage advice!

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(I should have mentioned kids. That's a big one, isn't it?!)

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Minor consideration. ๐Ÿคฃ

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Thank you! And congrats! You guys are doing it right.

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This could have been self-righteous, but it wasn't at all. I found a lot of value in this article, and I'm not even straight or in a long-term relationship. ๐Ÿ˜ I'm so happy for you two!

To add to the penultimate paragraph, you know what's also not "cheating"? Dating someone else when the couple has not had a conversation about whether they want to be monogamous. (I am so sick of people assuming that every couple is monogamous from their first date until their divorce or death).

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Thank you!

Yeah, interesting comment about "cheating." Communication is everything, isn't it?

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Absolutely, communication is everything. But to go off on a tangent about your point regarding cheating, our culture has a real double standard when it comes to monogamy vs. polyamory. I would argue this double standard harms everyone's relationships.

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Dec 9, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger

Married 42 years here and I agree with everything you said. I especially agree with your statement of giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. I think that's been one of our biggest secrets to our happy marriage and also our parenting (3 great grown kids) and I don't think it's emphasized enough. Of course we're lucky that we are compatible and really enjoy being together, all those points you write about. And whoever said try to marry a happy person, I couldn't agree more. Thanks for a superb post. I loved it!

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Thanks! And congrats on all those years. Marrying Michael was the best choice I ever made...

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Dec 9, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

I just wanted to say I totally agree With you. I never but all of those beliefs in a statement before, but pretty much everything you said about relationships rang true to me. So thank you for putting the actual words out there and making me feel like I am not the only one who feels that way and wants to remain feeling that way. I am well aware that things don't go that way no matter how hard you try, but NEVER GIVE UP! Love and Best Wishes to You Both! :-)

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Thank you -- and you're welcome! ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž

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And best wishes to you as well!

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Dec 8, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger, Michael Jensen

What a great post! I think you're advice on not marrying too young is spot on as well. Probably a little early in legality to have good stats, but I'd love to know the numbers on divorce rates differences between straight and gay couples. As well the average age of the betrothed and correlations there.

I'll be sure to show this post to my wife and see where we stand on your list!

N

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Thanks! Yes, I'm curious about divorce rates too, etc. I do think that, at first, gay couples were marrying for different reasons than (traditionally) straight couples did/do, but I suspect that will change too as the years go by. (In Europe, of course, many fewer people marry, and I suspect America will be increasingly like that too, for better or for worse.)

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Dec 14, 2022Liked by Brent Hartinger

Lovely. Thanks for these excellent reminders. <3

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Thank you!

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