Give advice to a 22-year old? I don’t think they’ll listen to me. My 22-year old son certainly doesn’t want to listen to me. I’ve got great advice! Maybe we just all need to live our own lives, make our own mistakes and mature at our own rate.
But let’s imagine for just one minute that I did have an audience waiting to hear what I’d advise. I’m a relationship expert and couples therapist, so I’d say something about falling in love, getting married, and building a life with someone.
Trust me, I have a lot of experience in this area. I’ve been consulting with couples for over 25 years. And I’ve been married, sadly divorced, and happily remarried.
Shocking, isn’t it? Do you believe that a marriage therapist with a graduate degree and years of experience with couples could have ended up sadly divorced? Well, it’s true and it’s made me really, really good at what I do. I certainly know what not to do!
So, if you’re in you’re 20’s, here are 4 pieces of marriage advice that you need to know:
- Attraction is not love
When I was young, I thought that falling in love meant that I was supposed to get married and live happily ever after. I imagined that being in love was the same as loving.
I didn’t know that there are powerful chemicals and hormones that get stimulated in our brains when we are falling in love and that they are designed to wear off within the first couple of years.
My advice to you is to take your time. Slow down. Really get to know the other person over a variety of experiences and don’t confuse sexual attraction with the real deal.
- Love is more than an emotion.
Love is just the beginning. It takes a lot more than that to make a marriage. It takes commitment, and kindness and, generosity. Mostly, it requires really good communication tools.
Before, I didn’t know how to make my partner feel emotionally safe enough to truly connect with me. Without deep connection, marriage gets painful, or possibly just boring. I didn’t know how much attention this intimate relationship requires and deserves. Read more