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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 01:18 PM   #41
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

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Originally Posted by SecondCor521
* Make a list of everything that is fundamentally important to you in life and don't marry anyone that doesn't match up on all of them. My list, in no particular order: fidelity, kids, religion, finances, in-laws. Yours might include sports, travel, sex, or whatever.
I honestly don't know enough to say if the above is a good idea. But I have seen first hand the following.

My closest friend had such a list and stuck to that list for a long time. He finally got married 2 years ago at age 48. From my close observation, his wife met at most 40% of his original requirements. When asked, he said: Well, compromises had to be made when the pool gets smaller and smaller as time goes by.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 01:29 PM   #42
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

The most interesting women I've met never would've matched any of a list I would've made.

On the other hand, I didn't marry any of them, so I can't say how it would've worked out.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 01:47 PM   #43
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Hmmm..."interesting women" have generally been the ones I was glad I didnt marry, years later.

Whats that curse? "May you live in 'interesting times'"?
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 01:47 PM   #44
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
I honestly don't know enough to say if the above is a good idea. But I have seen first hand the following.

My closest friend had such a list and stuck to that list for a long time. He finally got married 2 years ago at age 48. From my close observation, his wife met at most 40% of his original requirements. When asked, he said: Well, compromises had to be made when the pool gets smaller and smaller as time goes by.
Note the word "fundamentally" in my post. I think everyone has a short list of non-negotiables and I bet most of those short lists would probably include most of the ones I listed. I was trying to show some humility by admitting that what is important to me may not be what is important to others, but what is important is that you and a prospective spouse agree on the non-negotiables.

On my list, there are 40 criteria, of which my ex-wife meets 30. However, out of my fundamental must haves, she only (currently) meets 3 out of 6. But your point is very valid and I have seen similar things first hand as well.

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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 01:56 PM   #45
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

OK, you have a LIST...of 40 criteria? Man, I forgot how many engineering types there are here. Let's just say I'm glad I got married at 22, when it was like--do we have fun together and want to do the same things and has anything blown up in 4 years of dating? Okay, cool! Let's do it!

Do the ladies have such long lists of criteria? I sometimes thing that marrying young meant that I didn't spend so much time in the "pool" getting that bitter hand luggage so many friends had by the time they were in their 30s.

A list of 40 criteria <snort> ! Thanks for the visual!
Sarah
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 02:01 PM   #46
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Bill and Ted had the most comprehensive list.

Be excellent to each other.

I read a Vonnegut book many years ago where he suggested "“Please—a little less
love, and a little more common decency".
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 02:40 PM   #47
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Sarah,

Yes, I have a list now, and I know how dorky and unromantic it sounds, but I didn't the first time I got married and look what happened. Call my list a talisman against a bad outcome the second time around the merry-go-round.

But to give you a breakdown and an example from each category:

Musts: 6 ("Gets along well with my kids")
Very High Want: 20 ("Good sense of humor")
High Want: 7 ("No tattoos")
Want: 4 ("College degree")
Bonus: 3 ("Politically conservative")

I've tried very hard to limit the musts. Also lots of them are interrelated such that if someone has one of the characteristics, they would be likely to have several others.

I should add I've *compiled* the list but I haven't used it yet. I don't know how I'll use it. I certainly won't be taking it as a checklist on a first date, but I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't check someone against it carefully if I came across someone I liked and justified to myself any discrepancies.

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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 06:03 PM   #48
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
High Want: 7 ("No tattoos")
Aw, c'mon--not even tiny, discreet, normally-hidden ones of say butterflies, flowers, rainbows, or birds?

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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 06:10 PM   #49
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

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Aw, c'mon--not even tiny, discreet, normally-hidden ones of say butterflies, flowers, rainbows, or birds?
I'm glad i'm not the only one that thought that!

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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 06:34 PM   #50
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

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Originally Posted by Cute 'n Fuzzy Bunny
Bill and Ted had the most comprehensive list.

Be excellent to each other.

True. But Bill and Ted also note something that can be a metaphor for the disfunctional relationships that lead to the high divorce rate:

"Strange things are afoot at the Circle K."

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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 10:33 PM   #51
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Quote:
- Never forget that "love" is a verb.
Somehow it is appropriate today to mention MLK's short sermon:
"Love is not the answer. It is the assignment."
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-16-2007, 12:47 AM   #52
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

An old boyfriend absolutely stunned me once by saying he couldn't consider marrying me, because his "dream woman" was petite and blonde, and I was too tall and dark haired. So I said, "What am I, your stopgap woman?" and dumped him. Later I saw him with short blonde, so I hope he's very happy.

Another guy I knew had already picked out his future wife (well, her weight, figure, personality, etc.--he wasn't actually dating anyone). Not only that, but he had already decided how many kids he would have with her, precisely two boys and one girl, and how far apart to space the births. There's an engineer.

I will add to what every one else has said: Live with someone long enough to decide if you can deal with his (her) annoying little habits. You will NOT be able to change another person. You will NEVER find a perfect mate, You will eventually find someone whose good qualities outweigh the nutty stuff. That person will also, mercifully, overlook all of your baggage.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-16-2007, 08:21 AM   #53
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Darn girls, who could pass just the few requirements that 2Cor put out there? I got two out of five. Anybody score any higher than that?

These Engineers--so glad I married a Sagittarius dreamer (also a network grunt).

Haven't these guys heard the battle cry of single women in their 40s?
New Lower Standards!

Sarah
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-16-2007, 08:38 AM   #54
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

How about "litmus tests" that ruled out potential partners. I can think of two off the top that stopped me cold:

Women who expected the guy to pay for everything and evaluated you on the dollar value of gifts (ran into a few of those - very short lived relations);
Women who incessantly trashed their exes. Those dates ended early. I remember one woman who hatefully described how she took the SOB for every penny he had, left him bleeding, etc - I literally ran from that encounter.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-16-2007, 10:41 AM   #55
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
How about "litmus tests" that ruled out potential partners. I can think of two off the top that stopped me cold:

Women who expected the guy to pay for everything and evaluated you on the dollar value of gifts (ran into a few of those - very short lived relations);
Women who incessantly trashed their exes. Those dates ended early. I remember one woman who hatefully described how she took the SOB for every penny he had, left him bleeding, etc - I literally ran from that encounter.
So what are you saying.........a manhater with stalker tendencies isn't sexy??
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-16-2007, 10:50 AM   #56
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

want2retire,

Excellent points.

Society conditions people to marry.

However, when you think about it, other than the reason you already stated (having children), why would you want to introduce the state and legal issues into your relationship with another person?

John
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-16-2007, 11:27 AM   #57
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

flipstress and CFB, I think at one point I included the qualifier "large" on the tattoo thing. I'm just not into people with big tattoos (think Miami Ink here). A discreet one would be OK. This is the kind of thing that I mean when I say I'd check the person against the list and see if what I wrote in my list is actually what I meant and what I really want. I am all up for editing the list as time goes by as I figure out what truly is necessary and what truly isn't.

Tawny Dangle, I struggle with how many of the items on my list are physical attributes and how shallow that makes me. I did go through my list when I realized that and pushed the physical attributes as low as I possibly could, and thought about why those are important to me. Some are just personal preference and are way down on the list. For example, I would prefer someone who is within a particular height range, but it's not a "must have". Listing this kind of criteria is more to help me understand why I am attracted to particular women, and helps me put it in it's proper place -- lower on the list and not in the "Musts". Others are higher because they signify something to me about the person, which is probably my real criteria. For example, a woman who wears a bunch of makeup is not my preference because it indicates to me that the person could be insecure or could be too influenced by cultural marketing. If a woman wore heavy makeup because she had facial surgery, that would be a different thing. So it's sometimes the underlying reasons, you see?

Women, how many of you would or have married someone who you love on the inside but is not physically attractive to you on the outside? I think this issue is much more a "guy" issue anyway.

Also, my ex is really gorgeous -- model level beautiful if you ask me -- but we were also good friends at one point and she was a great person and we really liked each other, which was what hooked me.

Sarah, how did you grade yourself on getting along with my kids? You seem like a nice person ;-) It seems like you have a sense of humor, too. Besides, I only need to find one woman, right? But I hear you on the lower standards thing...I have a vague idea of who is available at 37 vs. who was available at 21, and the pool is obviously quite different. Shoot, I'm not saying I'm any great catch either.

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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-16-2007, 12:36 PM   #58
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Well, the two I gave myself credit for were the sense of humor and conservative politics. Sorry, NO kids! But no tats, either!

The pool at 37 is certainly more shallow, but I can say that a nice dad-type with a divorce under his belt, good with his kids, doesn't obsess about his ex, and is attentive and kind would be a real catch among my single and divorced friends. They'd snap you up in a minute!

Sarah

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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-16-2007, 02:52 PM   #59
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Sarah,

Thanks for the kind words...

2Cor521
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-16-2007, 03:32 PM   #60
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

This is my first post in several months. I have been distracted with "real life" with my DW and her health issues. But, this thread struck a chord with me and I felt the need to respond.

First of all, I have been married three times. Divorced once; widowed once. Rmarried at age 53 two and a half years ago.

My first marriage was to my High School sweatheart. It lasted through two kids, several job moves, 5 houses, and 15 years. It left me in deep debt with no credit and a single parent. It also was a wake-up call on what is really important in life and in love.

Wife #2 was a close friend for many years (not like you think) and a few years after my divorce and yet another job move we ended up in the same location and started dating. Marriage soon followed. We were compatible in many ways yet very different in others. But, like so many others have said here, we were compatible in the major areas of lifestyle, financial beliefs, religious beliefs, and our dream of FIRE. We worked towards fire for the almost 10 years we were married. She made it there first but it was shortlived. 7 months after her retirement from a 34 year career she passed away.

Wife #3 was discovered after I started dating again. I met many nice and not so nice women during that time but she was clearly the one I wanted to share the rest of my life with. I asked her on bended knee on the beach in Maui at sunset. That was how I felt (and continue to feel) about her. It was not an analytical decision, it was an emotional one but not a blind one.

Since then our lives have been turned upside down. She had major back surgery last summer; followed by another and then a long and very painful "recovery" period. The short of it is that she is now disabled and requires large doses of very potent pain killers to get through the day. The changes in her physically, mentally and emotionally have been horrific and she is clearly a different person than the one I married not so long ago. However, while our future may now be on a different path and our relationship has changed in many ways; we still share the love we had before all this happened and that is what allows the relationship to bend without breaking.

No one knows what will happen in the future. No one can predict how you or your spouse will change over time. No one knows if or when your love might fade or when you or your spouse will die. All we can do is make an informed decision and then live with the eventual outcome.

If and when you truly fall in love (and are not just in heat) you will now it. What you choose to do with those feelings will depend on your view of your future and your desire to share a binding future with your SO. As someone here already stated, if you have to ask....you're not in love.
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