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Author Topic: How to pick a marriage partner- any insight?
T_Smith
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For a psych class, the Professor is having us do an assignment in which I am to ask other people for ideas. I am to write a letter to myself on how to pick a marriage partner. I should talk to others to gain insight, advice, ideas, etc. It's going to be 2 pages long on my ideas and the advice of others and ladedadeda. (single spaced, 12 font [Wink] ).

I suppose most of the insight and advice mostly goes with what to look for in a person, which is totally going to be subjective on certain levels. Others is going to be what's helpful in a marriage, and what's hurtful.

I suppose I should say a few things on my ideas. First, I can't even imagine myself being married, which is going to be normal, so I'm not freaked out that I don't really care to be right now. Next, there is a lot of me that needs improving for any kind of relationship, mostly self esteem wise. People like people who like themselves.

Being able to say when their upset would be a positive thing. If she was upset at me, I would prefer her to tell me to work it out, instead of letting it sit and bug her, and vice versa for me.

When life gets tough, it does no good not to point out what your obstacles are. She'd have to be able to see things as goals and obstacles, other than failures and defeats.

For me, she'd have to be someone who knows how to enjoy herself, while still having limits on how to do that. In otherwords, she's gotta be colorful.

Expecting her to be perfect all the time would be wrong of me, and I don't expect her to be. And likewise, she can't expect me to be perfect.

Being LDS is a big part of who I am, and right now, I'd have to say that for me, she'd have to be LDS, too. I'm not saying I won't date/flirt with nonMormon girls, but in the long run, her having the same religion as me would work better.

I'd like to have at least one child in my future, and saying that, I'd be silly to say that her genetics aren't going to play a role. The thing is is I don't want to say that I can't marry her because of her genes. Again, I'd prefer to see it as an obstacle other than a failure.

The main problem with this assignment and me is that I can't comprehend yet the kind of love and relationship needed for marriage. Or perhaps it is that I do, and don't feel it. I don't know. I'm not going to claim either.

So, anyone have any insight to picking Mr./Mrs. right?

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katharina
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Ouiji board

When that fails, Magic 8 Ball.

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dkw
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Hatrack.
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Megachirops
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When I'm grading papers, I sometimes throw them all down the stairs. The ones that get farthest get the best grades.

Hope that helps.

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Elizabeth
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Haven't you people ever heard of getting really drunk at a college party, asking a guy what his sign is, and then arranging for a ride home from him?
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T_Smith
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::laughs::

So should I fold it in a paper airplane, or do crumpled balls get more distance?

Edit:
Seriously though, he specifically said to ask for insight.

[ April 25, 2004, 06:04 PM: Message edited by: T_Smith ]

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John L
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A psyche class teaching young adults (averaging 18-21) is asking them to put together a list describing their potential marriage partner?

This doesn't seem a little out of the league of a psyche class to anyone else? What are they gonna ask next? What names you plan on choosing for children?

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katharina
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You don't think asking young adults to think about their most important life decision is a good idea?
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celia60
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John, he got other options, that's just the one he's choosing to answer.
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Paul Goldner
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Well, when I think about this question for myself, I try to analyze myself first. What quirks do I have? How do these effect my relationships with other people? What is essential to my mental make up?

For example, I could never marry someone who doesnt understand my fascination with baseball. I LIVE red sox during the season, and I need someone willing to tolerate that, because its central to my personality.

On a deeper level, I have a lot of the typical jewish neuroses. Could I marry a non-jew? I don't know. She might not be able to deal with me.

I express love through mockage, oftentimes. If I don't mock you, I don't care about you enough to mock you. My sense of humor runs towards self belittlement. This extends to everyone important enough to have a place in my mental conception of myself. A lot of women love this about me, a lot hate it.

Just some examples.

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dkw
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I think a sense of humor, including the ability to laugh at yourself, is one of the most important ingredients in a relationship. (And I admit I never had it as a teenager or twenty-something.) I remember every conversation and every meeting with Bob as perfect, because when something goes other than we had planned we laugh at ourselves (and each other) instead of getting angry or frustrated. So even the mistakes are fun.
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John L
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quote:
You don't think asking young adults to think about their most important life decision is a good idea?
I don't think 18-21 year olds have the right frame of mind to make a suitable decision. I fully expect "likes the same bands" and "looks cute" to be high on such a list from that age group.
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punwit
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I'm sure that everyone has a shopping list of traits/ideals/philosophies that would be important to them. I would suggest that knowing yourself well is the first key to successful partnering.

Identify the areas you and your potential mate are least likely to compromise on and work those out ahead of time.

Realize you are going to fight occaisionally. You aren't going to win every time and compromise never feels good but is essential.

Personally, a sense of humor, compassion, and the ability to communicate effectively are qualities that I find very helpful.

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T_Smith
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Thanks for the vote of confidence in my judgement, John. [Smile]
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katharina
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Maybe not all of them are as immature now as you were then.

*grins at John*

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Kasie H
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quote:
I fully expect "likes the same bands" and "looks cute" to be high on such a list from that age group.
Oh, John. Don't even get me started.

[Wink]

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John L
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You know, despite the obvious exceptions to the rule, it doesn't justify having such a subject be part of a general education class.

T, why don't you take a short survey of 100 students in your school? I'll do the same of 100 youngsters at my local community college. I'm pretty confident that I'm not projecting here (like Kate is assuming).

It ain't a personal lack of confidence, T. It's a general surprise that a class would be asking students to explain such decisions, where they have little to draw from for an accurate answer. That is, unless you prefer basing a marriage off of adolescent high-school romances.

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Kasie H
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John, maybe it's an exercise in self-exploration. He's not asking them to be *right*, he's just asking them to consider the idea.

Maybe he'll tell them to save the letters and read them ten years down the road.

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John L
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Or maybe it's another example of rushing kids into thinking about getting married.
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T_Smith
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"Maybe he'll tell them to save the letters and read them ten years down the road. " -- Well, that is the concept of writing yourself a letter.

And as far as answers like "he's cute" is involved, why do you think he said to ask other people for insight and advice on what to look for. Asking people of course is going to be honor system based, but I'm pretty sure he'd be able to spot a letter that was based off those high school romances.

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celia60
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quote:
T, why don't you take a short survey of 100 students in your school? I'll do the same of 100 youngsters at my local community college. I'm pretty confident that I'm not projecting here (like Kate is assuming).

Um, I think the wiser course here is what he's trying to do in this thread you keep trying to derail. Why would he want to base his thoughts on the idiot mass of college kids that have no idea when he has ready access to all of us? I'm not going to say your assesment is wrong, but this approach is neither what the question asked for nor the smartest solution.

quote:
Or maybe it's another example of rushing kids into thinking about getting married.
*looks up*

Oh, I actually did make a post already! He picked the question.

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Paul Goldner
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John-
I think its a great assignment. If people actually THINK about marriage partners, ask others about it, etc. I'll bet that over half the papers are reasonable attempts to describe what should go into that decision making process.

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Alexa
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It is a valid question. In psych classes that focus on marriage counciling, "fighting" is always stressed. You want to look for someone you can fight "well" with.

The definition of "good fighting" is more then what a 2 page paper could cover.

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punwit
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Students study sex education. Do you feel that is inappropriate?

Asking students to consider what areas of importance they would assign in choosing a potential life partner makes sense. This (to me) is no different than careers courses that many schools offer. We aren't expecting these 9th graders to rush out and get a job right away but they should be thinking about what is important to them and what areas fit their strengths.

[ April 25, 2004, 06:49 PM: Message edited by: punwit ]

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T_Smith
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Not to be rude, but take it to another thread if you're not going to be giving any advice or insight.
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Scott R
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1. Date lots of women who have the same general beliefs as you.

Hmm. From this point out, it kind of depends on the person.

But hey, that's a starting point!

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Jaiden
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No personal advice, but this is the advice my religion teacher gave my class one year (I think in grade 10- could be wrong).

Pick someone you can talk to about anything at anytime.

Pick someone that you don't need to talk to all the time- just being with them is enough to make you feel content.

Pick someone that you can be comfortable being you around... (I think he oh so eloquently put it "if you need to fart, fart. Don't be embarrassed by it")

Pick someone who makes you smile.

Pick someone who's "annoying" habits are livable annoyances.

Don't expect the person to be perfect, expect them to be human.

Hmmm... I know there was more to that "sermon" then that, but I'm feeling brain dead (exams coming up- been studying my butt off [Smile] )

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Shigosei
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My class was once told by a teacher that a couple can get over any difference--race, socioeconomic background, interests, political leanings, even religion--except one: differences in level of intelligence. I have no idea if that's true or not.
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Paul Goldner
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Its not true. Seen too many relationships work where one partner is significantly less intelligent then the other.
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Scott R
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:shutting up:

:biting tongue:

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rivka
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Find someone who has similar or complementary goals. Marriage is less about looking deep into each others' eyes, and more about looking in the same direction, toward something important to you both.

Choose someone who sticks with their commitments. Every marriage will have unforeseen (and unforeseeable) challenges. You want someone who will stick with it, even when times get hard. Even when it's hard to remember why you got married.

Choose someone who's not afraid of change -- in you or themselves; but DON'T choose someone on the condition that they WILL change. Growth should be allowed and encouraged, but not forced.

Choose someone who you enjoy being around. You're going to be looking at this person every morning over your orange juice (as one teacher of mine once put it) -- make it someone whose company you find enjoyable.

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celia60
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Confirmation class was a decade ago, but I remember it involving a similar lecture.

Along with, you guys aren't ready to get married until you're ready to go out and buy tampons. I think the specific example he used for little annoyances was toothpaste. He asked us all where we squeezed the tube from and what if our spouse squeezed it from a different place every day.

I don't know that I can add much to this for you, Nate. You already know that I have a list of "no." My list of "yes" has sense of humor, patience, loyalty, ability to take criticism, ability to give criticism, and must be an asshole. I think I did pretty well, and I think we continue to do well.

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Belle
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I think opposites may attract, but you must have some common ground before entering into a marriage. You MUST be in agreement on whether or not to have kids. I personally think religion is something you need to be compatible on, but that's because religion is so central to my life. It may not be as big a deal to others.

I think you should look for someone that you can enjoy talking with. Sexual attraction and the ability to do fun things together is not enough. YOu also need to just enjoy being with that person. You need to think sitting on the couch beside them reading is better than sitting on the couch reading alone. Even if you're not talking, not interacting, a good mate is someone that makes you better just by being near you.

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mr_porteiro_head
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For me, a very important trait is that you have similar views on money/finances. Very few things can create strife in a marriage faster than the couple not agreeing on how to handle money.

If one person is frugal and likes to save, while the other one thinks that they "deserve" to go out and buy nice things because they feel like it or for whatever reason, that will cause all sorts of problems.

A related story:

My roommates and I were pretty close. Whenever one of us started dating a girl, she would eventually be subjected to "the test" by the roommates. We would pull out a credit card, and ask a yes-or-no question.

"Is this money?"

The correct answer, of course is "No. That is debt." One girl said that of course it was money. When we tried to explain that it's not money, she didn't understand. Her daddy had always paid her credit card payments. If she wanted to buy something, she just had to go to the store and get it. *shudder*

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Hobbes
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I'd like to point out that in addition to the (very good [Smile] ) suggestions that have been made before, physical attraction on some level is a must. You'll be (hopefuly) living with this person for years and years to come and if you don't even like looking at them... well you get the point. Marriage is about loving each other, and part of everyone is their body if they like it or not. Of course I think other things are far more important but msot of them have been mentioned.

I think it's key how you handle stress. Not how each person individually handles stress, I'm of the opinion that it can be helpful if you handle it in the same way, but not necessary. The important part is how your relationship handles stress. If you have to make a tough desicion or get in a fight, how do you react to each other? It's important that even when you're mad at each other or worried or have to make a tough choice you can still live in the same house and sleep in the same bed, not to mention come out making a good desicion.

Hobbes [Smile]

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AvidReader
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Compatibility. The more important a part of yourself is, the more compatible it needs to be.

Example, if you go to church every Sunday and base your life decisions around prayer, you better get someone with the same commitment to God you have. If you were more raised in a religion than actually following it, you may not care if your partner has a different belief system.

I second the money rule. Ask your potential mate if they round their checkbook or keep it to the penny. Whichever you do, the other will drive you nuts. I love the credit card test, mph.

I think it mainly comes down to knowing yourself. What will you compromise on? What is too vital to your sense of self? Knowing when to compromise is just as important as being willing to compromise.

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Alexa
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It's alot about how well you argue. Everyone will have disagreements, if you have poor conflict resolution skills, enmity will build.
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ak
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There was a course called "Mate Selection" at my uni. It was one of those very easy electives. Mostly full of girls. Taught in some girly part of campus like the home ec building or something. Three of my guy friends took it and had a great time letting their hair down and talking girl talk with the chicks. [Smile]
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Coccinelle
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When I think about choosing the person I want to marry, I have to ask myself the following question:
De we have the same goals? Are we headed in the same direction financially, spiritually, socially, intellectually and emotionally?

I think it's important to look at not only where you have been, but what are your plans? What are his/her plans?

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Hobbes
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If you ask mph's question, be sure to be willing to explain before juding. The answer to that question can stem from a lot of different things. For instance I have my credit card set up so that it autmatically gets paid back from my checking acount unless there isn't enough. And I never spend more than there is in my checking account (or even close to it). So for me, the credit card acts exactly like the debit card I have that also accesess that checking account. In other words, I may fail your test until you explained to me what you meant and then I'd see your point and agree. [Smile]

Hobbes [Smile]

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mr_porteiro_head
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Every succesful marriage I know of has one thing in common -- one member is hot-blooded, the other cold. They cannot be comfortable at the same temperature. [Big Grin]
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mr_porteiro_head
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Hobbes, of course. The question is a springboard to see what their attitudes on money is.
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blacwolve
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I agree with a lot of the other things that have been said. These are personal musts for me:

quote:
Realize you are going to fight occaisionally. You aren't going to win every time and compromise never feels good but is essential.
quote:
Pick someone that you can be comfortable being you around... (I think he oh so eloquently put it "if you need to fart, fart. Don't be embarrassed by it")

quote:

Choose someone who sticks with their commitments. Every marriage will have unforeseen (and unforeseeable) challenges. You want someone who will stick with it, even when times get hard. Even when it's hard to remember why you got married.

quote:
YOu also need to just enjoy being with that person. You need to think sitting on the couch beside them reading is better than sitting on the couch reading alone. Even if you're not talking, not interacting, a good mate is someone that makes you better just by being near you.

Also, pick someone you're willing to sacrifice for. You need to be able to say, "I've always wanted to do this, but you're more important."
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Hobbes
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[Cool]

Hobbes [Smile]

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BannaOj
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Ditto on the money thing, more divorces happen over money management than I think just about anythinge else. Even if your spending habits aren't identical you have to be comfortable with the other persons as well as bill-paying etc.

AJ

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Hobbes
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The statistic I heard (no link, this was a year ago in a psych class) was that the number one cause of divorce was just plain drifting away. I guess that measn that after a while the couple just didn't feel any connection to each other after a while. I guessed money would be first two but it was second.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Ben
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i'm going to choose my marriage partner based strictly on breast size. is that bad?
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Shan
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rivka said:
quote:
Choose someone who's not afraid of change -- in you or themselves; but DON'T choose someone on the condition that they WILL change .
Bold, underline, capitalize - this is critical! I think it's one thing to be in a marriage where a problem emerges and needs to be resolved. But if it's a problem during the dating/engagement period, GET OUT! (Fast)

And by all means, treat yourself and your fiance-to-be to one of those pre-marriage encounters (months in advance of the actual wedding) where you can explore all the other areas that are involved in a relationship (finances, religion, childrearing, household duties, etc.)

And definitely check the list/letter in 10 years. You'll either get a good laugh or you'll cry!

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Dead_Horse
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Pick someone who is LDS, has a temple recommend, and still smells good to you even after working in the yard all day without perfume or deodorant. Date long enough to find out what is important to her without having to ask. See how she treats her siblings and parents (and maybe yours, too) when she thinks you're not looking. Everything else can be worked out.
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Belle
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Dead Horse is wrong. Not only about the LDS and temple thing - but the smelling issue.

There is nothing wrong with telling the person you love that he needs to take a shower before there will be any cuddling together under the covers.

Nothing at all. In fact, you'd better have a good enough relationship and be comfortable enough together to be able to say "Ya know, you need a shower. Badly" and know that person won't be offended.

[Wink]

Although, I will say that when Wes leaves on the weekends to go to the fire station, and I have an hour or so to sleep in, I always roll over to his side of the bed, so I can sleep on his pillow. Smells like him. [Smile]

Smells like a clean him though, not a nasty yard work him. There is a difference.

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