Several years ago, Partner Steve at my law firm inquired about the current status of my latest relationship. My response, cautiously optimistic, “Well, I’m reserving judgment and waiting for the Four Seasons”. Steve ridiculed, “What, the Ritz isn’t good enough??…” At the time, I held steadfast to my “Four Seasons” Theory, explaining how I felt it was important to see your (potential) life partner in different scenarios over time…winter, summer, holidays, weddings, funerals, etc., to get a complete picture of compatibility. Steve’s response: “GET OVER IT.” Steve’s point resonates with me today, more and more.
Last month two friends contacted me to announce their separate engagements. My first response, “Mazel Tov” and secondly, “To Whom??” Both couples in their late thirties had dated their fiancé’s less than 4 months before becoming engaged. Holy maracas?!?! Reflecting upon Steve’s advice and talking with my newly-engaged friends, I concluded their decision was not so crazy after all. By the time you are in your mid-thirties hopefully you have had more than enough dating and relationship experience to have the knowledge and self awareness of your desires and needs in a partner. As hopeless of a romantic as I am, I’m convinced the majority of relationships that succeed is largely due to the critical component of timing (there will always be someone more attractive or more compatible). But two individuals who “truly” are over being singletons and are ready to be part of a couple, that is a requisite. Once the proverbial green light is on, then the challenge is simply finding someone you are mentally, emotionally and physically attracted to who has similar visions, goals and compatible values. Easy enough, right???
With timing, experience and knowledge in hand, I’m no longer convinced that the Four Seasons Theory is the best determinant of a successful relationship. As Billy Crystal so eloquently stated, “I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”. Granted they were friends for awhile before – that is a whole different topic, but the point remains the same.