Today’s Advice Column

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As you probably know, I write fiction set in the late 20th century and – soon to come, hopefully – the late 18th century. I think I can do so in part because I feel I’ve gleaned a few basic insights over the years about people and relationships. We all do learn more as we mature further simply because we have usually come to experience more over time.

Social media also allows us, of course, to share our own unpleasant life moments – such as this one I saw on Instagram last night:

Screen capture of Instagram.
Screen capture of Instagram.

And social media also makes it possible for us to offer a little advice and even some (hopefully) reassuring words. Which is what I am about to try to do. Here is some insider information from an “old” married guy, which may prove useful for you as a woman.

Years from now, you will bicker occasionally with your husband because that’s normal: no two humans ever see everything precisely the same way all the time. But you will so profoundly love each other and know each other so well by then that critiques (there’s a marked difference between a critique and a “criticism”), small spates, and minor disagreements between you are merely the reflections of years of intimacy. They are not indications of a fundamental incompatibility that has suddenly reared its head after you’ve been married “ten” years.

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a couple having a romantic dinner.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a couple having a romantic dinner.

However, such “closeness” with a spouse is down the marital road somewhat.

To even begin the process of getting there, on a *second* date – as that Twitter/Instagram friend (a Lebanese journalist and novel lover) separately noted it was – he should be tripping over himself holding doors open for YOU. (I’ve done that and hoped she didn’t notice.) YOU should sense he is self-consciously stumbling over his words as he tries to make conversation with YOU. (I consider myself reasonably articulate – I could lecture “100 students” smoothly – but had trouble forming complete sentences at times with her and felt everything I said sounded like some jerk was talking.) YOU should find yourself feeling a touch sorry for him as he tries to impress YOU. (I sensed she did.) Above all, YOU should LOVE being in his company, getting to know more about him, and should find yourself looking forward eagerly to the next time you are to see him. (After seventeen years together, I’m guessing that she did.)

If he is not accomplishing the likes of that for you on the *second* date, he’s not the right guy. Trust me. Don’t even try to talk yourself into thinking that somehow he could be.

Indeed if he is criticizing you on that *second* date and trying to change you (as she also wrote he was doing), forget it. Bid him goodbye as she did. Quickly move on with your life.

And that concludes today’s (unexpected) advice column. Have a good Thursday, wherever you are in the world. πŸ™‚

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