Dumb Love AdviceShane Nickerson

August 16, 2011 will mark fourteen years that I have been married to the same person.  Shocking, really, since most days I still feel like a stupid 19-year-old.  Add the four years that we knew each other before we were married and it’s been almost TWENTY YEARS that my wife and I have been together.  Wow.  Never wrote that out before.  20 years.

In that time, we’ve lived in college dorms, in off campus (nearly condemned) housing, in a van, in various seedy motels, in an apartment across from a noisy fire station in Hollywood, in a third story, single bedroom apartment near Century City, in a two bedroom beach cottage rental in Manhattan Beach and most recently, in our house in Sherman Oaks.  In that same time, we’ve also had three children, three dogs, eleven different cars and two AAA cards that say we’ve been members for 23 years.  It feels like we’ve lived several lives in the years we’ve been living this one.

I got married at 25.  People say 25 is too young to get married but I don’t think age has much to do with it.  If you find the right person, you grab the ball and you run with it.  Is that a good place for a sports analogy?  Seems like it.  Perhaps not.   Anyway, I knew early that I found someone very special.  “How did you know?” people that aren’t you ask me sometimes.  “I got lucky,” I tell them.  I tend to believe that most people don’t really want advice.  It’s like giving people performance notes on their lives.  Nobody wants to hear that maybe they’re chasing the wrong path or that they have mixed up priorities or that they might be trying to find an impossible ideal that doesn’t correlate to a person who will actually make them happy.  Plus, advice from friends often sounds an awful lot like bragging.

“Yeah yeah yeah, Nickerson… but if you had to bottom line it for us…”

Really?  But I just told you that advice is bulls**t.  Seriously?  All right, fine.  Here’s how I knew I found the right person:

She made me happy.  I missed her when we weren’t together.  I loved her voice and her smile.  I trusted her immediately. She made me feel safe. Neither of us ever pretended not to take it seriously or not call each other because it might be too soon or second guessed our connection.  We liked each other’s friends.  I enjoyed making her laugh.  She made me laugh.  We both hated the same stupid things.  She was not the person I had always dreamed of; she was much more.  I thought about her all the time.  She’s beautiful.  Most of all, I really liked being around her.  I still do.

Happiness is simple, I think.  Stay around the people who make you happy, get away from the people who make you feel sad or make you feel small or make you feel inferior.

It may be that if you’re trying too hard to make the wrong person into the right person, you’re wasting your time.  Be honest with yourself about what makes you happy and then live a life that puts you around people who support that or embody it.

See?  Advice always sounds like some smug a**hole telling you what to do.

Anyway, you asked.  Wait, didn’t you?  No, you didn’t.  Touché.

One thing I know for certain: If you do find that perfect person, hang on.  Don’t blow it.  And someday, when someone asks you for advice on how you did it, tell them most advice is a stupid waste of time.

Then, go home and hug your beautiful wife of 14 years and thank her for being the exact right one for this whole entire time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1770307115 Hannah Hemperly

    my parents’ anniversary is the 16th and they will be married 25 years!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jkriscunas Jenn Kriscunas

    Ok, 1) Awww.
    2) ” Stay around the people who make you happy, get away from the people who make you feel sad or make you feel small or make you feel inferior.” <— This. I need to learn this like whoa. I think most of us do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mmvktm Molly McGrane

    you just made me WEEP! i want that kind of love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennieswilliams Jennie Williams

    This was so sweet! When you said at first that you didn’t want to give the advice, I thought, bummer… I kinda wanted to hear it, haha. Happily, you changed your mind! Thank you for this post, hope you have a wonderful anniversary!

  • http://www.facebook.com/katiemccauley Katie McCauley

    You softened this smug a**hole’s heart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505328427 Barbara Bullemer

    That was a really awesome post. Maybe its going to take my husband 20 years to write me something like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742372782 Shawna Dandois

    GAH! Your advice sounds exactly like what my husband told a friend of ours not too long ago. I wasn’t there, but I heard all about it, from her. She told me exactly what he’d said. :-) My hubs and I have been together for 12 years this year and married for 8 this month. I’m glad there are others out there as happy as we are!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=590850392 Jessi Anderson

    ” Stay around the people who make you happy, get away from the people who make you feel sad or make you feel small or make you feel inferior.”

    I tell this to my friends regularly. I did it 4 years ago which finally gave me the chance to be with the man of my dreams that was previously unreachable for 2 years. Now 2.5 years later and we have a beautiful 2 year old boy and are still just as happy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hcralley Hang Cralley

    Best non-advice ever. Thank you. It will be 14 years for my husband and I this October (add our 3 years dating and it makes a total of 17). We feel the same way as you do. We actually like each other, which is just as important as love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nikki.prowse Nikki Prowse

    In traffic during an exhausting 5 hour drive for the second time in a day, my husband looked over at me and asked, “Is it wierd that we can spend so much time together and not get bored?” I thought that was the sweetest thing ever. You just have to find who fits you, someone you can spend all your days and nights with and makes even the most horendous situations fun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tatilovesmusic Tati Barrionuevo

    “She was not the person I had always dreamed of; she was much more.” You are the sweetest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kstack2 Karen Stack

    Your love is real. I love when you don’t have to play the games of when is too soon to call the person. I have found myself trying to make the wrong person the right person far too often. Thanks, I liked your advice!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarafisherprice Sara Fisher

    I love how you said “I enjoyed making her laugh.” I think it’s so sweet that her happiness is what made you happy! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173900607 Erin Olan

    AWWW – How sweet! F U and your happiness hahah just kidding. But not.. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristinme1 Kristin MacLeod Ells

    And she is without a doubt one of the most unique and special people I will hold in my heart forever as a great friend. You are both so blessed to have found your other halves! And, I’m pretty certain she has become more beautiful as the years have passed, so you must be loving her right!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001430623948 Karin Bruun

    This was…. amazing. Hopefullly I will find someone who makes me happy :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/leah.moran Leah Moran

    I LOVE this!

  • Pingback: Don’t we all wish we could be this lucky? « Dates Like This()

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