My good friend Big Blue Blood has something to celebrate.
She's sporting a stunning engagement ring courtesy of her good friend, Mr. Brown. They started dating over a year ago and are now planning a wedding sometime next summer.
I hear the phrase, Love and Marriage, and I almost instantly think of that Married With Children theme song.
That sit-com certainly didn't glamorize marriage. All of those glossy magazines do. The ones with the massive 12-dollar-a-piece cakes and rocks the size of Gibraltar. Those two hundred page tomes perpetuate the myth that all weddings kick off a fantasy ride through future wedded bliss.
Hate to break it to you folks, but it doesn't always work out that way.
But a few key elements can help ensure the ride isn't as bumpy.
First: marry your best friend.
Here's to hoping your best friend is of the opposite sex. Now, I'm a novice where long term relationships are concerned, but I've witnessed several phenomenal examples of great marriages. The ones that appear to work well involve a commitment between two best friends.
Sure, you can marry somebody who you think is hot. You can marry someone who you think'll pay your bills. My impression is those marriages don't work so well.
Me? I wanna marry someone who I can sit next to in a rocker and still have something to laugh and talk about at 70.
And that brings me to my second point:
Looks go fast but a sense of humor never dies.
I think growing old can be beautiful. There's something stunning about a set of well earned smile lines and shiny, platinum hair. That said, there's no doubt I looked better at 25 than I will at 75. I don't expect to marry someone who wants a Trophy Wife.
I have more respect for relationships that are based on intelligence and similar interests. A good chuckle every day or so is a good thing, too.
And make sure you marry someone who trusts you as much as you trust them.
Trust is huge in my book. Doubt, suspicion, guilt, secrecy and a slew of other negative circumstances can rip apart a family. Church or not, I'm a fan of finding someone who has a similar moral compass as your own. That mutual, internal voice has a way of helping couples weather the rough stuff that always crops up in any relationship.
I'll admit - It's kind of insane to think of a single girl dispensing advice on how to establish a solid relationship.
But I've had a lot of great examples to analyse, appreciate and celebrate.
Like Big Blue Blood and Mr. Brown.