Love, Romance, and Marriage



            The initial part of a relationship is like a private showing of an artwork.  Sometimes the artwork is so beautifully framed that one confuses the frame with the quality of the art itself.

            The beginning and end of our love relationships will be amongst the most intense and dramatic times in our lives.  The potential for euphoria, delirious happiness, titillation, dejection, sadness, and depression is incredible.  This range of emotions is a tribute to the social bonding capacity of our species.  One of the most crucial aspects of love relationships can be understood by paying attention to the interesting phrase “falling in love.”  Why the use of the “falling” metaphor?  The reason is the universal subconscious awareness that at some point, the process of attraction and bonding is out of our control.  With this reality comes love’s greatest pleasure and greatest danger.  At some level we covet the opportunity to surrender to a greater force.  At another level, it is terrifying because control has always been our lever against psychological pain.  There is, however, an important lesson that can be learned from looking more closely at the metaphor of “falling.”  When standing at the edge of a cliff, before you step or jump off, there is a moment when you can step back and step-away.  There is a temporal instant where rationality can dictate your fate, a decisional nodal point.  There is a point where you can decide if it is a delightful ocean below, or dangerous rocks.  A moment later, after the fatal step, choice is lost and gravity (love) takes on a life of its own.  The lesson is that you must exercise your rationality, your self-protective choice, before you take that step that surrenders to love.  You do, must, and can choose, at some point, to step back from love.  Use this decisional nodal point to protect yourself and you shall gain access to one of life’s greatest joys.

            Reminder:  As you read the advice below, you may be tempted to respond to any particular directive by thinking that you know people who have violated the directive and had great marriages and mates.  Exceptions are not exceptional.  If there are a 100 million long term relationships in the United States, then even if a directive were wrong only one percent of the time, it would mean that there are a million exceptions.  Accordingly, these directives, like all of the directives in Sage Advisor, are simply calculated to put the “odds” on your side.



1.  Don’t date a man or woman who is living with another woman (man).

2.  A woman on a date should take along enough money, in cash, to come home by taxi from anywhere in the city.

3.  Don’t go out with someone whose conception of the future of your relationship is substantially different than yours. Your goals and intentions should match.  Be straight-forward in your intent, you’ll save a lot of time and pain.

4.  Don’t engage in any sexual activity that you are not comfortable with and don’t allow yourself to be in a situation where you’ll lose your choice in this matter, e.g. his/her house, a mountain top, etc., etc.

5.  Don’t go out a forth time with someone who you didn’t like and enjoy in the first three encounters.

6.  Don’t continue in a relationship with someone who wants to control the details of your dress, speech, eating behavior, religious beliefs, political beliefs, make-up, etc.  Avoid very controlling people.  Avoid people who are repeatedly suspicious of your commitment.  Seek people who like you as you are.

7.  If your intent in dating is to establish a long-term relationship, then date within your socio-economic class, or at least be close to the same socio-economic class.

8.  Assume that another person’s faults and imperfections will remain and will not improve, and therefore decide if you can live with those imperfections.  If not, discontinue the relationship immediately.  Don’t try to change adults to conform to your needs and desires.

9.  Sexual chemistry is very important in a relationship.  If the chemistry is not there by the fifth time you have had intercourse, then it probably won’t be there ever; end the relationship.

10.  Sex is not a game or a gift.  If you care for someone, respect them, and are physically attracted to them, and if they share your intent with regard to the relationship, then have sex and enjoy it.

11.  Don’t date or marry any of the following:

(a) alcoholic; (b) drug abuser: (c) policeman (unless he works regular hours); (d) medical interns; (e) recently divorced (1 month); (f) mentally ill/disturbed (definition is a person who has been hospitalized more than one time); (g) homosexuals (unless you are homosexual); (h) unemployed adults; (i) employers or your teacher or professor or any other inherently unequal relation; (j) people more or less than 8 years from your age; (k) people who need to travel a lot for work purposes; (l) people who would stop loving you if you were poorer or less physically attractive.

12.  Don’t go out with anyone who insists on keeping any part of their life secret from you.

13.  On a date, wear clothes that are consistent with your usual comfortable dress and likewise, women, use your regular make-up.

14.  Go out with people who are warm, who appear to want and need physical non-sexual contact.  Judge warmth by how they treat others, not you.

15.  Don’t go out with anyone who is cruel to animals.  Don’t go out with a man that actively hates his mother, and don’t go out with a woman who actively hates her father.

16.  Follow the twice and you're out rule.  If in the course of a relationship a person strikes you more than once, terminate the relationship immediately and irrevocably.  (Many would suggest the rule should be “once and you're out.”  However, sometimes intense emotions can bring about inappropriate behavior in an otherwise good person.)  Don’t be cajoled into violating this rule by apologies and promises.

17.  If, after one month of “dating,” your relationship is not clearly intensifying then end it and find another opportunity.

18.  Look nice for a date and take care of basic hygiene; teeth, hair and bodily cleanliness.  Don’t let these degrade over the course of the dating relationship.  Don’t take your present mate for granted.

19.  Use dates as a time to try new fun activities, purposely explore new forms of pleasure and entertainment.  Alternate this approach with dates where you go places and do things which you reliably enjoy.  This will create a harmonic balance between stability and exploration.  Play together and stay together.

20.  If you find that your mind is often wandering when your mate is talking, or that you are bored, end the relationship.

21.  A date is a joint activity; both persons should share and participate in the planning and costs whenever possible.  Your date is not there to entertain you, actively work together (talk) about ways to spend your time.  Say what you want.  It’s hard to please a silent partner.

22.  If you are dating a person who has had prior serious relationships or marriages, learn what problems ended those relationships and ask yourself if there are seeds of that problem in your present relationship.

23.  Establish preferred patterns of habits you want in a relationship as early as possible.

24.  If you like, care, love, etc. a dating partner then tell them in no uncertain terms.  If they cannot respond in kind within 10 days get out of the relationship.  But if they don’t respond in kind don’t let that stop you from telling the next partner your liking, etc.  Don’t play games with expressing your feelings.

25.  Don’t go out with someone who is substantially less or more intelligent than you; but don’t confuse education with intelligence.

26.  It is imperative that you mate with someone that shares an interest in some joint activities other than sex.  Sex is very important in a relationship, but it is insufficient to sustain the relationship.

27.  Don’t go out with a friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend without their prior approval.

28.  Don’t lie to a date unless you don’t want to go out with this person again.

29.  Plan the time on initial dates such that 60-80% is engaged in clearly planned and structured activity and 20-40% is unstructured and free, increase the free time during the course of dating.

30.  Involve yourself with someone that shares your basic values in the areas of religion, politics, child bearing, the importance of wealth, and the geography of your home and work.  Explore these issues early in your encounters so that you can avoid falling in love with someone who will be, in the long run, a bad match.

31.  You are going to disagree and you are going to argue.  Don’t require perfect harmony as a condition for continuing the relationship.  But do follow these rules: Don’t shout; don’t hit; don’t blame; don’t tell your mate that they are mentally ill or defective, or otherwise engage in name-calling; and don’t interrupt.  Do listen and try to understand your mate’s view of the disagreement.  Do tell your mate what you understand is their position and make sure that they agree before you describe your position.  (This is not a suggestion to agree with their position, this is a suggestion that you make sure you understand their position.)  Do tell your mate the exact behaviors that are the problem (i.e., focus on the behavior not your inferences and conclusions).  Do tell your mate how their behavior makes you feel.  Do tell your mate exactly what you want in behavioral terms. 

32.   Don’t try to make people love you.  Don’t struggle to be loved.  Don’t change yourself to be loved.  If they don’t love you, end the relationship.

33.  Don’t marry someone unless you have lived with them for at least six months.

34.   Don’t get married before the age of 23.  It is preferable to get married after age 25.