Kent was my best pal for 8 years before he confessed his undying love for me and begged me to make him the happiest man on earth. It was kind of a shot gun wedding in that my family threatened to shoot me if I was idiot enough to pass up the chance to marry The Kent Kemeny. I was not idiot enough.
I remember when we got engaged and all my Harvard friends called up to tell me how lucky I was and that they were all secretly planning to marry Kent. That was weird. One of them who was already married told me, “Okay, now you’re going to be in the club, so I can tell you the secret. Marriage is awesome. Being married is the best! It’s so much better than being single. We married people try not to talk about it too much because we don’t want to make you single people feel bad, but we are totally happier than you. You will love it!”
I thought that was great since too many people had told me marriage was all about hard work and compromise. I find it possible to avoid both of those things through a combination of manipulation and always being right. So whatever.
Now Kent has been my best friend for almost two decades. EGADS! After all that time, it’s nice have the New York Times tell you you made the right choice.
Getting married makes you happier (in most parts of the world including the US). Your life satisfaction will get twice the boost from marriage if you consider your spouse your best friend. Okay, so the actual marrying part doesn’t seem to be an absolute prerequisite. You can get the same uplift in your life satisfaction by living with/being partnered up with your best friend. The point is all that sage advice people gave you about waiting out or seeing through the infatuation stage and making sure you were long-term-compatible in a friendship-based way with your amour turns out to hold a lot of water.
As Alex mentioned in her comment on the U-curve post, the midlife frumpashlump is shallower for married friends, i.e. those who are married tend to rate their life satisfaction higher during their late 30’s through 40’s than those who aren’t married. So you’re saying I’d become way more disappointed in my life if I didn’t have Kent here cheering me on? Phew! Thanks everybody who made me marry Kent. We all did the right thing. And not least of all because of these sleeping beauties.