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How to Choose Your Life Partner

For Amna Ahmad, who asked tonight on Twitter whether Assume Love has anything for the "non-married and looking," here are a few tips.

  1. Don't try to sell anyone on commitment. Date people who are ready for it. If your date invents you (praising you for traits you may even possess but have not yet revealed), tells you in the first or second encounter he or she might move far away or take up a career or hobby that would leave little time for you, or is making an exception to date you in spite of not usually liking your type, run!

  2. Unless you're infertile and childless, don't date anyone you wouldn't want caring for your kids when you can't be there.

  3. Watch out for oxytocin. Skin-to-skin contact and orgasms make even frogs seem like princes and princesses. Get to know a person first.

  4. If your Love Language is quality time together, make sure you both like to do some of the same things. And watch out for folks whose time is tightly scheduled.

  5. You will need to Assume Love many times if you marry, so don't marry until you are sure of two things: this is a person of good character and he or she truly loves you.

  6. Whatever you expect about marriage, you are surely wrong. Everyone loves in his or her own unique way. You will miss out on a lot of love if you are expecting anything else from your wife or husband. Do not marry expecting anything but love.

  7. If you have any doubt about the value of taking a partner for life, read the Why Be Married section of this blog. (There is also an ebook version of Why Be Married.)

  8. Start practicing finding Third Alternatives while you are dating. Those who can't find them are doomed to fight or to compromise.

My thanks to Amna for the great question. She's running an 8-week writing workshop in Brooklyn that starts later this month and she's planning another online for the rest of us. She's also single and very smart.


Thanks to Amna for a question it didn't occur to me to ask. And thanks to Patty for concrete, sensible answers.

Thanks, Roodle!

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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