NOTE: I’m knee-deep in baby love…and poop…and I couldn’t be happier. I earned the right to get peed on by my 15-day-old son by never settling, rather, I stumbled upon these 5 rules when I stumbled upon the love of my life.
NOTE: Thick into the weeds, things get gender-specific, but the big 5 bullet points are universal. Enjoy! -JER
For the past year or so on the show, I’ve repeated something over, and over…and over…and maybe I should put it in writing.
The Top 5 things to look for in a Long-Term Relationship
The short version is:
5) Physical attraction
4) Things in Common/Values in Common & No Deal Breakers
3) They’re Smart
2) They’re Kind
1) They’re Sane
5) Physical Attraction
As men and women go, this varies a bit; men tend to, “fall in love,” with their eyes, while women tend to do so with their ears. That said, it doesn’t matter that the value of looks follows the law of finishing returns. And it also doesn’t matter that this one goes without saying.
4) Things in Common/Values in Common & No Deal Breakers
Hear me loud and clear:
If you have a deep-seeded belief and your love interest does not, or has the opposite belief, walk away.
There is no getting around this, and many divorces could have been avoided if people followed this rule (as well as the other ones!). Other articles will get into why a desperation-mind set is a recipe for disaster, why you cannot tell if you love someone for at least six months, and many other picadillos that drive me up the wall (because I did them myself back when I didn’t know any better). But for now, this rule is an attempt to quantify the unquantifable, to put words to that special, “thing,” that made you decide not to call that guy back after two decent dates.
Things in Common
Yes, fellas, she has huge boobs, red lips and you visit Valhalla every time you make sweet love down by the fire. But your conversations just..go..nowhere. She talks about her stupid friend Becky and how she can’t stand her. Read this over and over, fellas; you will get bored of sleeping with her. AGAIN. You will get bored having sex with her.
So many dumbass bros are so happy to have a hottie on their arm that they put a ring on it.
Ladies, you aren’t immune to this either. You got the high school quarterback, and…
No amount of monkey business from barely-employed losers at your high school reunion are going to change the fact that you married the wrong person because you thought you knew him, and you didn’t. You will not run out of things to talk about as long as your values stay the same and your relationship has a solid foundation of friendship. If you don’t have both of those, use birth control. Please.
My wife and I love Disneyland, love most of the same television shows (but not all), love Las Vegas, wine country and golf. We love old-timey jazz and get giddy about the new Star Wars movie every year in equal amounts of enthusiasm. We get equal joy out of staying in and cooking and the occasional quiet night out. We adore our dog, love each other’s friends (mostly), and most of all, gain the greatest pleasure holding our newborn son.
Let’s talk age; although my wife is 7 years younger than me, we are both on the same page of life, and that one is crucial too. People who think age is a state off mind as a reason to date someone three times their age in order to exercise the Parental-Abandonment demons are hopelessly misguided, and they miss the point; it’s not so much age, but what age tends to correlate with (but not cause) is station in life. You want the same things at the same time.
If you are a religious Christian, stay off of J-Date. If you are an pro-life activist, you aren’t going to talk a left-wing feminist into seeing things your way over martinis. If you think the Earth is 6,000 years old, stick to someone who shares your sincere beliefs that the Grand Canyon was formed by Noah’s flood.
While we’re at it, if you’re dating online (and if you aren’t, guess what? YOU’RE THE FREAK NOW!) put your values and deal-breakers up front. Don’t swipe right if you hate guns and the dude has a hunting rifle in his hands (though, if his finger is on the trigger, swipe right, message him, “FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER,” then delete him).
You are not James Carville and Mary Matalin, and besides, they are the exception to the rule that proves it (they are both Catholic, they have that in common, plus they love to argue. Do you? Really?). Everyone thinks that they are the exception to the rule. You must operate under the the (correct) notion that you are not special. You will not win the lottery. The house always wins in Vegas; they don’t build those giant (awesome) monstrosities on the strip because they might win. The same principle applies. Reality on realities terms.
My wife and I are both non-religious and share similar and comparable political thought. We follow the golden rule and treat each other as we would want the other to treat us. Her dreams of life and mine are compatible, but they are not always the same; I strive to be a writer, voice-over actor and podcast host; she wants to start a business and someday raise horses. We both want to build a house that we will some day die in. We disagree on some matter of divorce law and culture, but respect each other, agree to disagree where we must, and change the conversation.
3) They’re Smart
Perhaps a better way of putting this is that they share your level of intelligence. I have dated dumb girls, and I have dated high-IQ brainiacs. Neither of them worked. The former meant I had nothing in common with them except for bedroom antics, and the latter? Well, full disclosure; I’m rolling the dice that my wife is smarter than I am. Not only am I okay with that, I love it, as a matter of fact. But fellas, you will not have a long-term happy relationship if she’s a do-do-head. I don’t care if she looks like Angelina Jolie. And ladies, he may look like Brad Pitt, but…stop it you will get bored. Even the two of them got bored with each other eventually. You do not want to breed with a dummy. You won’t be happy, and Mike Judge’s, “Idiocracy,” will happen:
2) They’re Kind
You know what sucks, fellas? Having the woman you married and once loved call you a, “f—king loser,” even though all you wanted to do was spend some time with your best friend Dave who you haven’t seen in over a year because your witch of a wife demands all of your time and either doesn’t give a damn about your feelings, or worse, can’t.
You know what also sucks, ladies? When that silverback gorilla that you couldn’t resist 3 year years ago is beating the ever-loving-crap out of out of you while cheating on you and you just sink further and further into denial and escalation of commitment (I can’t quit now, I have so much invested!).
Ladies, Gentlemen, it’s not men vs women. It’s all of us decent human beings against the abusers, physical and otherwise.
I have dated some truly horrible human beings and all I can tell you is that they make me grateful to be married to the SNGal and even more grateful that I didn’t knock any of them up. Sweet beautiful Jesus, thank God for birth control.
Kindness means that they will stand up for themselves and not take any of your crap when you screw up, but show compassion and love when you are emotionally vulnerable.
They don’t hit you, and for the love of god, their default setting in conflict isn’t to f—king yell at you. There’s no violence, and yelling, if at all, is a rare occurrence. If yelling occurs, there are consequences; you teach people how to treat you and you must always teach people how not to treat you as well.
1) They’re Sane
Finally, the most important quality in a human being that towers above all the others: Sanity.
My wife will march into a room and say, “Jordan, I need praise for all the housework I did today.” She says this calmly and gently. She doesn’t do the following:
Me: “Honey, what’s wrong?”
Her: (turns away), “Nothing.”
Ladies we f—king hate that.
John Mulaney agrees re: dating jewish women, for example. This goyem here agrees, and thinks our jewish sisters are on to something that the rest of us should take on!
Oh my god you have no idea of the happy daze I walked in after I realized that the SNGal (a shiksa, but no matter)was the most sane individual I had ever had the pleasure of dating. Ladies, your relationship stock will SKY-ROCKET in your late 20’s (right when you should be thinking about long-term prospects anyway, how about that?) and attract the right man for you who will appreciate it.
If you are NOT sane…I can’t help you. But if you are sane, and you are reading this, oh my lord, if you knowingly marry a crazy person, I will personally come to your house and throw you into a volcano. I’ll be doing you a favor. It’ll be less painful and heaven awaits.
They don’t go through your phone assuming that you cheated on them because their last 3 boyfriends cheated on them and therefor you will too. They trust you. They know that if you cheat on them, that’s not a reflection of them.
They don’t isolate you from your friends and family.
Everything is not, “a fight,” if there is disagreement.
If you want to go home instead of stay at their apartment, they don’t threaten to kill you or boil your bunny.
They don’t actually try to kill you.
Yeah, that last one is pretty important.
So, to sum up, never settle for anyone who isn’t attractive, doesn’t share crucial values, isn’t smart, nice, and sane. You must have all five, especially the last part.
And this is all about them. What about YOU?
We’ll get to that.
ONE LAST THING:
I use my marriage as an example because, for no other reason, so far, so good. Married for 4, together for 7 and change, we both understand that there is no resting on laurels in a relationship. Beyond the amount of time that has passed since November 18, 2010, I have no idea what I’m talking about. I do not mean to suggest otherwise.
Every day is a choice to make. Every moment is one to improve upon the last. As we go forward every day, I don’t win, she doesn’t win, the marriage wins.
Good evening! Tonight, I ramble from a boys trip in Sin City (last one before I hunker down with the SNGal and commence, “Operation Nesting,” for the arrival of our son) of how you should actually hope for difficulty in life, in relationships, and in life. Enjoy!
The following exchange happened, oh, I dunno, 45 bah-jillions times before I met my wife:
Me: Honey, what’s wrong?
Her: (shuffles) Nothing.
Me: Are you sure?
Her: Yes, I’m sure. (looks away). Nothing is wrong.
Her: Yes really.
That goes on for an hour. Sometimes longer. I spin in circles while she does something passive-aggressive. Calls an ex-boyfriend. Eats ice cream, then throws it up. Poops with the door open, whatever.
Then, an argument occurs that, on the surface, appears to be about who didn’t do the dishes, but is actually about her jealousy of me having female friends.
I would estimate that 99.9999999999% of my relationships festered into a cluster-f–k demise in no small part due to this kind of behavior. No, I was not perfect (far from it) but I’m just giving you my point of view, ladies, from the other side.
However, I was about 6 months into dating the woman I am now married to when the following occurred:
Julie (marches into living room): Jordan, can I talk to you for a second? I know you’re watching the game…oh, I’ll wait for Chris Tillman to blow it again.
Jordan: Thanks (Tillman gives up 6 runs at the bottom of the 2nd, and the inning mercifully ends). What’s up, babe?”
Julie: Well, the thing is, we are having a party tonight and I did all the shopping, and did all the dishes…I just feel like I didn’t get enough praise for that.
Jordan: Oh. You’re absolutely right, babe. I’m sorry. I really appreciate you doing all the hard work. I apologize.
This went on for a year and a half. We would have a problem of some kind that I wasn’t aware of, and Julie would calmly explain it to me. Then, one day, it dawned on me…no woman I have ever met has done this before.
No passive-aggressive nonsense. No playing of games. Straight talk. To the point.
She will actually march into a room and tell me in clear and concise language what is on her mind. No yelling. NO YELLING.
Whether she is correct in seeking praise is irrelevant (she is). What matters is that she is a black belt at communication. And, “miscommunication,” is uttered as a reason for divorce just as much as, “irreconcilable differences.”
Ladies, do you have any idea of how awesome this is??? I almost married her on the spot. Of course, she already had an engagement ring on that I had given her, so I was covered.
If you have a problem, but you can’t find the words, take a breather. Go for a walk. Better yet, if he asks you what’s wrong, say, “I can’t quite find the words yet, I need to think about it, and I will get back to you, okay?”
It is so nice to be married to a woman who is nice as well as sane.