I think I found the key to long-lasting marriages that last decades.
If you are looking to court an individual and make him or her into your long-term husband or wife for the next 50+ years, then I have the secret for you. Become the best friend first. The physical attraction and courting will come later. Recently, however, a man who traveled the world and interviewed the couples who had been together longest did a “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. He completely shattered this myth. He has interviewed dozens if not hundreds of successful couples and dispelled many myths that mass media and films have placed on us. Here was his answers to the question. It is pretty clear here that most of these long-lasting couples have become close through a slow-burn friendship that made them the best of friends first and sometimes the physical attraction was not there for one or both of the couples initially.
Question: Do you think that appearance (i.e. how you look) has significant factor in getting people together?
like “That woman/man ‘looks’ nice…I think I’ll go talk to her.”…
in most animal kingdom, looks are what attracts potential mates…like bigger feathers, larger manes, brighter colors, ect ect…
His answer: I think that’s absolutely the case, yes. Though there are those who don’t experience overwhelming physical attraction from the get-go. Their attraction builds as their friendship builds.
Question: Why do you think we focus on romantic couples as the definition and goal of love rather than platonic couples? Why is it that two lovers being together for 50 years is more interesting than two friends?
We model our lives and behavior off of the examples we’re given. For decades, Hollywood has glorified the romantic aspects of relationships. It’s definitely changed what people expect from a long-term relationship now… which is sad.
Ironically – after talking to literally scores of couples about their relationships – the partnerships with the most passion after years and years of togetherness are those who have a strong and undying friendship. It’s not about the sex so much as it is about the way their level of undying commitment, their endless support of each other, the way they laugh at each others jokes, and forgive each others wrongdoings.
The thing that makes an amazing best friend is what also makes an amazing partner… add in the romance and you take it to the next level. (We tend to do it backwards in our society, we start with the sex, then panic, and try to add in the friendship… which rarely works.)
Do you plan on continuing your travels and interviewing more couples or sticking with the hundred you have now? Also, how would you plan on financing this if you do plan on sticking to it? I wouldn’t be against backing something like this if that was ever an option
Edit: just thought of another question. How many of these couples were long term friends before being in a relationship? I’m talking childhood/grown up together levels of closeness
I’d love to do this for the rest of my foreseeable future. I’m working on securing sponsors for the podcast, and even potentially doing another trip that includes video. PM me if you want more details.
With regards to your other question, absolutely. Most couples established a solid, long-term friendship over time before adding in the romance. One of my favorite couples – MeiMei and Kiran – met , and then built a relationship over email for several years before getting involved in a serious relationship.
Question: The age old question “How did you meet”. Was there any trends on how healthy relationships start.
Answer: Almost 100% of the time they started with a slow burn. Friendship first… sometimes a platonic friendship that lasted years and years.
Obviously, there are dozens of other factors that help or hurt in the process. But this is one you can start on. Hope his answers provided some insights.
Source: IamA single guy who quit his job and spent the last year crossing the country, interviewing over 100 of America’s most amazing couples about what it’s like to be in love AMA! http://www.reddit.com/comments/1xpj77