Look deep before you leap.

 This morning, I found myself hearing some wisdom from an unexpected source, Judge Mablean Ephriam (it was especially odd because I don’t watch court-based tv). She said, “Look deep before you leap.” I am a big believer in watching people carefully, and learning all one can about them, especially when one might be waking up next to them for the next 40 or so years.
This does not mean to come up with an impossible list of qualifications for a perspective spouse that don’t exist in the very person who created the list of qualifications (or anybody that list maker knows or has ever met). It means take a meaningful look at the life of the person one is considering building with. It means to get past economic circumstances and appearances. It means to make a careful, thorough, evaluation of what each party brings to the table.
When I was looking for a husband, back in the early days of the founding of this country (HA!), I met two men. One guy had considerable financial resources, awesome physical attributes, but questionable character. It was very subtle, which is why it’s a good idea to (say it with me now), look DEEP before you leap. The other dude was not as glamorous, made a little less money, was a little less pretty, but had solid character and more solid work ethic. I made the right choice, but it was not perfect. The looking deep didn’t end after the ceremony was over, either. My husband and I took a leap fifteen years ago and we still have to look deep so that we can be open to the other’s growth and evolution. It’s much harder to do that when people haven’t made the proper effort to get to know one another before their lives are intertwined.

4 thoughts on “Look deep before you leap.

  1. Great advice. For me, economic circumstances will always be a factor. He doesn’t have to make a lot of money but he has to be stable and responsible. I can take care of myself and I expect him to be able to do the same. I’ve dated (and married) broke before and it is not cute.

    • I think finances are important in life and relationships, but not to the extent that character is ignored. I’ve seen many women pass up solid, responsible men in pursuit of a man that had a certain status and pedigree, despite the fact that the man did not appear to have any positive character traits outside of that status and pedigree. It is also not a good look.

  2. The issue is that the wedding has been so glamorized. People think that a big ring and an incredible wedding make a great marriage. I wish someone would do research (if they haven’t already) showing how many City Hall weddings or small scale weddings fare against the huge elaborate weddings. Just the financial strain of financing a huge wedding sets the marriage off on the wrong foot. Also challenges whether bride and groom see eye to eye on financial issues.

    • That would be interesting research, because most of the people I know who have been long married had small or intimate weddings. I know a few people who had big productions, but I think the key to the success of their events (and their marriages) was that they planned carefully and were realistic about their budget.

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