Ever since I got married I have gotten way more inquiries for dating advice than I ever received while single. I imagine this has something to do with the fact that while I was single, I had only kind of dated one person in high school, and the first person I actually dated I married. For high school and my first year of college I was a bitter single person with no prospects. But now I’m married! Which means that I have successfully navigated the dating scene and triumphed!
I think a more accurate description is that I found the perfect man and snatched him up before he could think too hard about my faults.
At any rate, I had another experience like that today. Kyle dropped Erin and I off at the library this evening, and as we walked up together we were stopped by a guy who complimented us on the way we looked, and then started asking some pretty deep questions about marriage and dating. Erin actually felt obligated to do what she had come to do, so she begged off, but I was intrigued. I’m pretty sure he was from Ghana (but I’m not positive–my African accent recognition isn’t the best), and I figure that navigating the dating scene in your own culture is perilous enough that it has got to be pretty tragic in another culture. He asked me questions about girls in relation to a girl he is dating, what I thought made a good marriage, how I felt about arranged marriages, what love was (the most challenging question of the night), what certain behaviors could mean, what things I valued in my marriage, if I thought I could live with a marriage that was not happy but not unhappy, and how to address a situation where he had faced some pretty serious bigotry.
I gave answers to the best of my ability and with my honest opinion. I told him some of it is cultural (in America we are sold hook, line, and sinker on love marriages, whereas in India and other countries with arranged marriages they often feel like the decision of marriage is too important to leave to foolish young people), and some of it is personal (what you like in a person, what you can live with in a marriage [I live with dirty socks on my floor]). He asked me how I felt about temple marriage and if I would have ever compromised my desire for a temple marriage if I had met a man that was a really great man but couldn’t take me to the temple.
It was all fascinating. He was very gracious, and at the end told me I should give advice to more people because he found my answers insightful. He was just some guy I met on the stairs at the library. In this large university, I will probably never meet him again, but sometimes those random, uncommonly deep, conversations with strangers are what adds spice to life.