The Big Wedding Test: Acceptance, Love & Kindness

A friend of mine is getting married soon, and it reminds me how much I learned about relationships in the days between dating and “I Do.” And I think it can help you to think about one particular element of this as you seek your half-orange.

I consider myself a really laid back girl. The only time that my laidbackness stood up and screamed was when I was planning my wedding.

It started off so chill, it really did. We booked our barefoot-on-the-beach-in-Mexico locations over the internet, signed up a mariachi band and hoped the tequila would blur any parts of the event that went wrong. (And, oh, did it.) But part way through the wedding planning process, “it” hit. The “it” that makes Bridezillas a ratings baby hit me, too. And I’ll tell you what that “it” is: pressure. A whole big pile of pressure sitting on one person’s shoulders.

As embarrassed as I am to say so, I found myself more than a few times curled up and sobbing in the fetal position. Not because I cared what color flowers we had or what brand of tequila (duh, the best!), but because I was overwhelmed by having to plan an event for the strangest audience ever: I mean, what food, music and drinks do a 7o-year-old from Florida, a 32-year-old fashionista from NYC and an 8-year-old kid from Connecticut really have in common?

Here's me and the hubby on the Playa del Carmen beach. Will he hold your hand through tough choices?

What saved me was my now-husband. He was a gift through it all. He affirmed that we were making the right choices. He said he was grateful for the hard work I was putting into planning. And he pitched in and gently made decisions I couldn’t make myself. That’s when I figured out the secret point of a wedding: If you can survive the wedding planning with acceptance, love and kindness toward each other, you have a great chance of surviving the marriage itself.

Now, I know not everyone necessarily wants to get married, but I think a future event or big life decision like this is worth thinking about as you meet and date: When you look at the person sitting across from you, ask yourself: “How would he or she be through those big decisions? In planning a commitment with each other, creating a home together, building a family, getting the flat tire fixed on a road trip through Italy?” Can you picture this partner at your side, offering acceptance, love and kindness?

Tune into your orange seed on your dates, and see if you feel that acceptance, that love, that kindness. That’s what really counts. Oh, and so does good tequila:

We double-fist beers for the one we love!

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Big love,