Your Ideal Partner: The One Who Puts Up With You

Your Ideal Partner - The One Who Puts Up With You

I’d like to call Alain de Botton the highbrow European Evan Marc Katz, but that would be too flattering to myself. He’s a Swiss-born, British based-philospher who has been publishing books since he was 23. Now, at 46, his fifteenth book is called The Course of Love.

The New York Times just excerpted a passage and I thought it was worth sharing with you for its insightfulness. It’s called Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person. Once again, the reason I give so much free advice and created Love U is to ensure that you DON’T marry the wrong person. But de Botton’s premise sure does have a basis in truth.

“The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into our complexities. Whenever casual relationships threaten to reveal our flaws, we blame our partners and call it a day. As for our friends, they don’t care enough to do the hard work of enlightening us. One of the privileges of being on our own is therefore the sincere impression that we are really quite easy to live with.”

de Botton points out that our partners are equally blind to how they come across, and because we have traded out convenience-based marriage (your parents are educated and think you should be together) with feeling-based marriage, some serious complications have ensued.

Whether you know it or not, your ideal partner is the one who puts up with you.

“What matters in the marriage of feeling is that two people are drawn to each other by an overwhelming instinct and know in their hearts that it is right. Indeed, the more imprudent a marriage appears (perhaps it’s been only six months since they met; one of them has no job or both are barely out of their teens), the safer it can feel. Recklessness is taken as a counterweight to all the errors of reason, that catalyst of misery, that accountant’s demand. The prestige of instinct is the traumatized reaction against too many centuries of unreasonable reason.”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

“But though we believe ourselves to be seeking happiness in marriage, it isn’t that simple. What we really seek is familiarity — which may well complicate any plans we might have had for happiness. We are looking to recreate, within our adult relationships, the feelings we knew so well in childhood. The love most of us will have tasted early on was often confused with other, more destructive dynamics: feelings of wanting to help an adult who was out of control, of being deprived of a parent’s warmth or scared of his anger, of not feeling secure enough to communicate our wishes. How logical, then, that we should as grown-ups find ourselves rejecting certain candidates for marriage not because they are wrong but because they are too right — too balanced, mature, understanding and reliable — given that in our hearts, such rightness feels foreign. We marry the wrong people because we don’t associate being loved with feeling happy.”

There you have it. A terse, logical, powerful explanation as to why men choose hot and crazy women and women choose selfish, abusive, unavailable men – as opposed to healthy partners who treat you consistently well. Concludes the author:

“The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person. Compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition.”

I’d swear to God if I believed in one; THIS is the secret to a happy marriage.

Beautiful sentences; same sentiment you’ve been reading here for nearly a decade. 🙂

Whether you know it or not, your ideal partner is the one who puts up with you. After years of arrogantly looking for a woman just like me, that’s exactly what I discovered in my wife.

I’d swear to God if I believed in one; THIS is the secret to a happy marriage.

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