When you’re in your 20s and just starting out, money and fame may seem the key to a happy life. But as you age, that viewpoint changes considerably. The real secret, according to a Harvard study that’s been going on since the 1930s, has nothing to do with your bank account or your career.
My grandmother told me, “It’s as easy to date a rich man as it is to date a poor man.” Or was that marry a rich man? Anyway, I’ve dated both indiscriminately.
We heard through the grapevine about a boomer couple upset because their son, who graduated from a prestigious college and professional school without loans, was marrying a young lawyer with tens of thousands in educational debt. The parents feared that paying off this financial burden would delay the couple in buying a house and starting a family. Wisely, they chose to say nothing.
It was my nephew’s wedding about six years ago. He and his bride had asked me to officiate at the ceremony. The irony was probably lost on many, but not on me: Here I was, “marrying” my nephew, yet I was not able to marry my partner of over 30 years.
I have to confess: I am a glass-half-full-pollyannish-romantic-type person. Still, when I hear skepticism and concern about my decision for a new adventure in online dating, I get the point. I will be cautious with my expectations, and how I approach this experience.
Valentine’s Day this past weekend brought sweets and other treats for loved ones, and for some couples, an engagement. A hard-to-believe 6 million people told American Express that they were either expecting or planning a marriage proposal on the national love holiday.
Remember this jump rope ditty? “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Sally with the baby carriage. How many babies will she have?” Then we’d madly jump, getting to 20 or 30 babies before pooping out.
A recent TV commercial shows a young man lounging at a pool party and vowing, “I am never getting married.” Next scene: an engagement ring. Then he and his wife are on a plane seated near a bawling baby. “We are never having children,” he says. Next scene: the delivery room. The commercial proceeds through his protests against — and then acceptance — of a suburban home, a minivan and baby number two.
Engagements peak around the holidays, so for some parents — maybe you — 2015 will bring a daughter- or son-in-law. That means other new family members as well; maybe you'll be meeting them for the first time.
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