Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Nod to Valentine's Day: True Love

In a nod to the season, a comment on True Love:

I don't have a huge data sample but I've been fortunate to observe what I think is "true love".

I don't have to look much farther than my own marriage, but I see it in others' marriages, too, so I don't think I'm alone in what I'm about to write.

My lovely wife and I have been married almost 30 years (this coming June). That statistic is pretty cool, but not terribly unusual among my circle of friends (many of whom are not LDS). And there are lots of reasons for people to stay together through thick and thin, but the biggest reason we do, I think, is that we love each other.

When my wife and I were dating (we met at age 17 and started dating, saw one another every day from the time we met through our freshman year at BYU, wrote (but not every week) through my mission, and married when I came home. I had known her for about three weeks when I started to feel like she was "the one" for me. (In fairness, my lovely wife, more conservative than I was, took longer to be convinced. And even so, we didn't ever discuss long term commitments before my mission – not that we said we wouldn't, it just didn't come up.)

How did I know? Well, aside from just having a great time whenever she was around, I think it was that she made me want to be better than I would have been without her. I guess that might sound kind of sappy in a 1940's Hollywood Love Story kind of way, but it's true. (I used to joke with youth when I was in a position to do so that I married my wife because she was a seminary graduate. Though that wasn't strictly my thought process, the principle was right. I knew she was good and kind and she had graduated seminary (and I hadn't; maybe that's why she took longer to decide whether to take a chance on me…). I could tell that she was going where I wanted to go, and fortunately she let me come along with her.)

When my son got married last year, we sat in the kitchen of his bride's parents the day before the wedding, and I was telling the bride's dad that one of the reasons we were so happy about this wedding is that our son is just a better person when he's around his bride. Her dad looked at me and said, "We were just talking yesterday and observed the same thing about B."

So with my sample of two, I've counseled my other kids to look for someone who makes them better than they are. And someone for whom they do the same thing.

- Paul

PS: Feb 14 is also Chinese New Year. Xin nian kuai le!)

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