I am writing this from the airport on my way back home to Cincinnati, Ohio, where my parents live and where I grew up.
It’s amazing what kind of crazy airport experiences you can have when flying home during the holidays, and the interesting people you meet along the way. The airport experience can be incredibly frustrating, of course, but if you can breathe through it, you’ll be surprised at the relationships you can create amidst the chaos.
Right now I am sitting next to a couple trying to get back home after shopping in NYC before the holidays. Their son is a pilot and so they get free flights. A flight to Paris first-class for free… WHAT!?
As we were chatting, the husband kept getting up to walk around. The wife laughed about how he could never sit still. And I couldn’t resist it—I strike up a conversation about relationships. I asked her how long she and her husband had been married. “39 years,” she said. “WOW, that is rare and fantastic,” I responded. It was clear that they had some serious magic going on.
Then I was compelled to ask… “What is your secret?”
I literally sat on the edge of my seat waiting for her response, and she said something so simple and so great: “I married my BEST FRIEND.” They met when she was 14 and he was 18, and they got married when she was 18.
She said she fell in love with him because he was so kind. (She even admitted that he was kinder than her; he unabashedly agreed.)
I usually am not the fondest of the “I-married-my-best-friend” type because I believe a fulfilling relationship also includes good friends that provide a connection to the different parts of who you are.
However, I asked her what “best friends” means to her. She immediately replied, “I have never tried to change him and he has never tried to change me. We allow each other to be exactly how we are.” She went on to say that at the core they are the same people they were when they got married. Beautiful, I thought as she was telling me this.
So, as the New Year approaches I will be holding the intention—my gift to you—that you will enjoy friendship and teamwork with your partner. And for the singles out there, that you will find a man that is your friend FIRST, with no changing attached.