Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
This, I tell you brother
You can’t have one without the other
The most important decision of your life is who you choose as a partner. I have many friends who have chosen well. Their partners are supportive, assertive and tend to be have the same career orientation. I’m not saying that both members of the partnership need to be career oriented. Rather, successful people tend to have partners that share their values and ambitions. They are two people in the boat, rowing in the same direction. Well-chosen partnerships tend to serve as a force multiplier for future successes.
At the same time, I have other friends who chose poorly. They are in the same rowboat, but rowing in opposite directions. Poor choices can lead to domestic rancor and dissolution of the partnership. To me, the bad choices that lead to life complacency are even more frightening.
I always wanted a partner who would make me better. I’m pretty sure I did what I came to do.
Back in 2007, I sang “Love and Marriage” at a 400+ person Chinese wedding. I didn’t know a single person at the wedding ceremony – aside from my roommate. My roommate only knew one person there, the father of the bride – and only tangentially. As the foreign guests of honor, we sat at the family table up front near the brides brothers and sisters. As an aside, due to the one child policy, the brothers and sisters are technically cousins. The language is a term of endearment, rather than a technical familial designation.
About midway through the ceremony, my roommate and I headed to the stage for the talent show part of the wedding (don’t ask). Blind from the baijiu, we warbled about two topics – love and marriage – that neither of us much understood at the time. Arm in arm, we steadied one another in an absurd situation. In that moment, she was the perfect partner.
I often face unsteady moments with family, employees, bosses, and friends. In those times, I recognize how fortunate I am to have a partner to help steady me.
Seven years hence and now married myself, I admit that I still know little about love or marriage. In fact, I cannot profess expertise on many of the big things in life. But I am convinced that the most important decision a person makes is who s/he chooses in a partner.