Friday, February 6, 2009

How To Land A Wife

This post was supposed to be about the relationship between God and music, at least from my perspective. Fascinating topic, I know. I've changed my mind, however, because it's my blog and I can do what I want.

Instead, this blog will be a tutorial on how to land yourself a wife.

Relationships between human beings fascinate me. I spend a lot of time listening to peoples relationship woe's, looking for cues, red flags, and reading their specific dynamics. I've seen people fail time and again, exasperated, wondering what they've done wrong. I've also seen and studied the characteristics of successful relationships, deciphering what they've done right. I've been lucky enough be in a serious and loving relationship for ten years. Our relationship isn't perfect, but its one thats extremely rewarding. We've been through very difficult things together and come out stronger on the other side. People always ask us how we met, how we fell in love and what it took to go the distance. I've put some thought into this, and I've simplified it down into these three major guidelines:

Rule #1: Honesty

It doesn't matter how ugly the truth is, if it comes out sooner rather than later, it always hurts less. Everyone screws up, big or small, and even the small stuff is important because it could become something big if you make a habit of lying about it. Always have full disclosure with your partner, even if its uncomfortable in the short run, because she will respect you more in the long run. The adverse is true as well, if you lie or hide things in the short run, your relationship will suffer in the long run. Honesty builds trust, and trust is the key to any successful relationship. You won't get very far without it. 

Rule #2: Keep Sex Expensive

In our culture you are encouraged to have sex with someone to see if you are "compatible." Sex is not a tandem sport, and you are not puzzle pieces trying to "fit." Sex is the most intimate thing one person can do with another person. If you have sex too soon, you not only can cheapen it (because it didn't require much work to get it) but you can cheapen the entire relationship. Sex should be reserved for people who have committed their lives to each other. It should be the expensive reward of a committed relationship, and the more you have it without commitment, the cheaper it gets. I believe that our diligence in this area is one of the major reasons why Kristie and I are happily married today. We were friends for years, slowly nurturing our trust and love for each other, and in the end our abstinence paid off. I've seen relationship after relationship fail this way. People go out drinking, come home with a girl, they have sex, then wake up and grab coffee and start dating. This is backwards as hell, and it will almost never work. Your whole relationship is founded on drinking and promiscuous sex, so you can throw trust out the window immediately. If you like a girl, do not have sex with her. Keep sex expensive between you, and you just might find true love. Otherwise, you cheapen yourself, your relationship, and the intimacy of sex. Ultimately, you're just setting yourself up for disaster. 

Rule #3: Balance and Compromise

Growing up I learned little about humility. There were no "I love you's" or "I was wrong's" in my family. It was rare to see someone bow out of a fight. Humility was seen as a weakness that the competition could exploit. So you can imagine that when Kristie and I started dating I wasn't exactly the complete package. I had some holes that needed filling in. I had to learn the act of love, and it didn't come easy. It meant serving my girlfriend, even when I didn't want to. I had to quickly learn the art of apology, especially with her, because she didn't let things slide like my family did. I had to compromise, I was challenged to grow as a person, and over the years I've met that challenge. Because of her, I'm a completely different and better person than I was back then. I'm sure if you asked her she'd say the same, that I have challenged her in ways beyond what was natural to her. In that way, we've helped fill in each other's holes, and our personalities balance each other out... not just naturally, but because we are willing to compromise with each other. Admitting wrong doing and acting to make it right is one of the most important things you can do in a relationship. Compromise is key to any successful relationship, and its a two way street. Both have to be willing to submit to the other. The metaphor I use is what I call "The Tepee Metaphor". A tepee wont stand up if one side is leaning too hard on the other side. Both sides have to lean on each other an equal amount to produce something sturdy that you can live in. When one person is compromising more than the other for too long, the tepee will fall over, and the relationship will be in crisis.

People in our culture in general can be selfish. They look at marriage to see what they can get out of it. They see security and support, love and attention, children, financial gains or their dreams coming true. If you enter into a relationship with the intention of receiving something out of it, you will fail. The only way to a successful relationship is to enter in with the intention of serving the other person. Only when two people join lives with the intention of loving and serving the other that the needs of both are met fully. You can not take and give at the same time, you can only give, and in your mutual giving, you will receive the desires of your heart.


  1. Solid stuff Matt, I have to agree. I would also add that you only get about 80% of what you need from a long term relationship make sure you don't go looking elsewhere for the missing 20%. Give it to your spouse in love and you wont even miss it. Just think, you give 20% you get 80% your still coming out way ahead :)

  2. I love Rule #2. It's just so true and to the point of what you said. :D

  3. Balance, compromise, honesty, all good points, all requiring selflessness, all effort.

    I must agree and disagree with you on some aspects of sex. Yes sex has been cheapened. It's everywhere internet, music, movies, TV, magazines, malls. Humans love sex and have always been promiscuous. We're getting it faster and in greater quantity than ever, making it all the more important for parents to educate there children about sex within a loving relationship.

    I must however disagree with the following excerpt.

    "Sex should be reserved for people who have committed their lives to each other. It is the expensive reward of a committed relationship, and the more you have it early on, the cheaper it gets, until it means next to nothing anymore."

    I started dating a girl a year ago. Approx. 1 month later we began having sex. It was and still is great. I have never loved someone the way I love her. We are still together. Never have I felt our early sex has cheapened our relationship. I know many others who are in the same boat.

    In my opinion it has more to do with a persons intent and attitude toward sex than when in the relationship the "act" is committed. If sex is kept exclusive and genuine it can make a relationship strong. If sex is casual, often the first act committed in a relationship and held in low regard, then yes it has the opportunity to be cheapened, but not always.

    I am in no way criticizing the abstinence that you and Kristy practiced, it worked! Just opening up the conversation for relationships involving sex early on that WORK.

  4. Mike! Great comment. Yeah reading back through that phrase it does sound a bit harsh. My intent was not to offend or chastise anyone, Lord knows I have had my own shortcomings in the area of "purity." You must agree that without commitment sex can be dangerous in that it can lead to deep emotional wounds and insecurities... especially if the commitment never follows.

    My friend once described sex as a river. On one hand it can be recreational, enjoyable, relaxing and awe-inspiring... if it stays within its boundaries. But if that river goes over its boundaries and floods it's banks, it can be disastrous. It can destroy homes and lives, leaving only brokenness in its wake.
    Think of the fatherless children and all the lifelong consequences of uncommitted sex. It CAN destroy, it might not all the time, but it can. That should be enough to deter people from "casual sex," because frankly, there is no such thing. The potential consequences are too great. I am happy that in your circumstance you avoided any major consequences (like a child with someone you barely know). And I am glad that you have found someone you truly love. But I must conclude that the risk is too great to endorse it. I've just seen too many failures.

  5. In the last line: "But I must conclude that the risk is too great to endorse it. "

    "It" being uncommitted casual sex.

    You're right, there will always be objections to rule #2 based on the moral standards of each party. As well I suppose some drunken one night stands may succeed in fruitful relationships, but probably not without a ton of work.

    I do think by following rule #2 you increase your CHANCES of a meaningful relationship and a fruitful marriage though... and thats just based on my experience with couples. I'm no real expert :)

  6. Matt, i'm bipolar and have been through some tough stuff. [cutting, bulimia, suicide attempts, psychiatric hospital stays] but through God and the gift of your amazingly inspiring music i've gotten through it and been put on meds. I want to thank you for making your music for people like me, it's such a godsend to just relax and let it take you away from reality sometimes. Oh, and AWESOME advice on how to land a spouse. ;) Especially #2!

  7. No offense or chastisement taken, just trying to get some debate going. What's the fun of a blog if everyone always agrees! ;)

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  9. It's really hard to see how relationship's talks always turns to sex... We always forget other subjects to find the reason why it didn’t worked out and try to blame sex that didn’t match. Perhaps this is the cause of most "failures" in relationships. All the "rules" should complete each other...

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