I am reading a marvelous book right now:  30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice From The Wisest Americans.  The first chapter, called “GREAT TOGETHER,” is advice from our elders about choosing the best life partner for yourself.

 Lesson one is choose a partner with similar core values.   Lesson two is the importance of genuine friendship between life partners.

This lesson is simple.   Look for a partner you would choose as a friend, a BEST friend!  As one elder put it: Think back to the playground when you were a kid.  Your spouse should be that kid you wanted most to play with.

They suggest you consider what you would like in a lifelong friend and look for that in a potential spouse.   Ask yourself, if we weren’t in love, would we still be friends?   When the excitement and passion we all experience when we first fall in love wears off, what will there be to keep us together?

Romantic love is short lived and generally insufficient to maintain a long successful marriage.   The love you think you feel when you first meet is often a mirage, for deep love develops slowly and continues throughout a lifetime.

After the intense physical attraction wears off, will you share similar activities and interests?  Will there be the joy that comes from sharing a similar sense of humor about how silly life can be at times?   What will you be sharing for a lifetime with this person you care so much about now?