Lasting love - how should it start, ideally?

Someone raised an interesting point in another thread:

Given the ability to craft a hypothetical ideal, long-lasting marriage, how would one script the beginning? A crush, as mentioned, means it probably won’t last, so cut out the fireworks. Maybe very gradual, imperceptibly growing love that increases over a year or two?

I don’t see why it can’t start as a crush. It won’t last if it is no more than a crush, but the initial attraction is what triggers the exploration that leads to the discovery that one is in love.

At least that’s how it worked for me. I started talking to her, at least in part because she had/has gorgeous blue eyes and a nice rack. We also met in a place that showed we shared many of the same values (we met in church). Upon talking to her, I found she also has a charming personality with the sort of endearing eccentricity that appeals to me. Plus, she laughed at my one-liners.

I don’t know if it is ideal - no relationship will be ideal if I am in it - but thirty three years so far.


Holy crap. When did I post that? I have no memory of it.

Eh, we all get blind drunk and write epigrams sometimes.

I can answer only for myself. It started as a date. Nice time, I’ll ask her out again. And again. Three months later we are dating every weekend (we lived 30 miles apart). Then JFK got shot and we spent the whole weekend hugging. We got engaged and were going to get hitched in June. But we didn’t want to wait so long so we got hitched in March. It will be 52 years next month. And we still hug a lot (although, alas, not much more than hug these days).

My husband is deceased now, but we had a solidly imperfect marriage for almost 30 years.

I knew the first time he spoke to me. Something inside me said ‘this is the one’. He was interested, but I think I willed him into my way of thinking. lol In any case, we agreed on so many things, had so much in common, and had uncommon vulnerabilities that we both shared, that a relationship seemed inevitable. We were besties, though, for at least a year before we started dating. One day he just asked me if I wanted to get dressed up and have a real date. It seemed the perfect thing to do and there was no looking back after that.

So while I had the immediate crush, it was the strong friendship that we developed that was the true basis for our relationship.

Lasting love - how should it start, ideally?

I don’t think it matters much how it starts. Just the answers so far in this thread present of variety of beginnings. What matters is how it develops, and what it develops into. And again I don’t think there’s one formula that applies to everyone.

Kinda like the above.

When I first saw her I was more intrigued than made sense to me. I recall asking myself in so many words: “Why is she so interesting?” Then we chatted and it was OK, but not real special. Over the next week we became good friends. Over the next couple months we became best friends. We talked about anything and everything. We’re a lot different, but somehow we completed each other as well as complemented each other. The rest followed naturally and quickly.

That was 33 years ago last month, we’re still together, and I still haven’t had an argument with her. Haven’t had the need or the desire. We’re still best friends as well as all the rest of the love, passion, and prosaic life-mate stuff.
I don’t know that I agree with the OP’s quote. I certainly never had a crush on my wife. OTOH, nor did any of my earlier crushes go anywhere.
I will say that I fall in lust with passing women 3 or 4 times a day. Always have, and with luck always will. Not that I act on these, just that they happen. If I ever had acted on any of them I doubt they would have lasted much past when the next one walked by. So IMO not a good basis for a relationship.

Late add:

When I read the threads and threads about dating especially online dating and hear people say “If there’s not magic in the first 10 minutes, move on; it’s just a numbers game”, I’m horrified.

That technique pretty well guarantees you’re only following up on the superficially attractive wrong ones, and discarding the ones who’ll become right in the fullness of a couple more hours or weeks invested.

However it starts. My wife and I started out as casual daters, then progressed to friends with benefits, then dated other people, then got together “full time.” We’ve been an item in the latter sense for 10 years, and married for five.

ETA: What LSLGuy said. I’ve been to 52 weddings now, and the number of those relationships where one party said to me “there are no butterflies” early on is significant.

In a bar.

For us, it started when I hollered down from a ladder: “Good morning merry sunshine”, (I had no idea who she was, but it later turned out I knew her brother). She looked up and said: “Oh go to hell”.

I was helping pull an all-nighter to get a show at my old high school up for curtain the next afternoon, she was the costume mistress coming in at 6:00 a.m. after the prom and something about home made beer…

Didn’t take that time.

Four months later, we met again at the candy counter at the movie theatre where I worked and we went for coffee and a hot beef sandwich after the show. Rest is history, we celebrated 50 years in November. I didn’t know she was the go to hell chick until we had been married for ten years; she knew I was the stupid guy on the ladder immediately.

My sentiment exactly.

My paternal grandmother worked as a cashier and accountant in a music store owned by some relatives. Her cousin, a merchant officer, came home and went to the store to say “hi, I’ve arrived” with a friend and coworker. That day after work she went to the nearest church and lit a candle saying “please, let it be the tall blonde guy!” It was.

My maternal grandmother was in tram 19; there was only one open seat, right beside her. She saw a tall guy get on and, mistaking him for a neighbor (she was myopic but never wore glasses until it was her “old age” ones), patted the open seat invitingly. He saw a tiny bottle blonde with big tits inviting him to join her and thought “hah, she’ll be easy”. She wasn’t.

My mother and aunt were doing the Nativities circuit with a neighboring child. Leaving the first one, they almost got run over by two tall blonde guys bearing a little girl; giggles ensued when they ran into each other again in the second place, and the third, and the fourth…
After the last one, the two blonde boys followed the two brunettes until they mysteriously disappeared (they’d gotten home, d’uh). Next class day as my future Dad headed to Business School, he recognized one of the girls leaving morning Normal classes in the same building as being the “friend” of that brunette his own BFF had liked. The friend and my aunt didn’t get married, but Mom and Dad did.

My brother met his wife in an Easter celebration. He says he knew she was the one after half an hour; she took several months to become convinced, because she’s as much of a planner as he’s not and a boyfriend wasn’t in her plans at the time.

My other brother met his fiancée in the school’s mountaineering group. They’ve been friends forever, but when he expressed his interest many years ago she turned him down because “I can’t have children and don’t want to deprive you” “I don’t mind, I don’t really like kids until they can talk and I’m fine with not having any or with adoption”. He didn’t insist, both have dated other people, but nothing gelled for either one. Eventually she changed her mind, yay.

Each story is different, I don’t think it’s so much a matter of the first five minutes as of the second seven years…

That must have been fun when you found out!

It’s a testament to how charming you must have been. If you’d known she’d knew the second time you met her, would you have been less forward?

Not a clue here, it has always alluded me. I have a couple of 20 year relationships behind me but most have been only a few months at best. I met both of my wives in night clubs, more like picked them up and they stayed for a long time.

I’ve only ever been with guys who were friends of mine first. That’s what happened with my husband: we were good friends, really enjoyed each other’s company, the attraction grew till we did something about it, and here we are.

This is the ideal way for a relationship to start for me; the idea of starting with the physical attraction and then building up the liking just doesn’t work for me. It works for plenty of other people, though. Different strokes.

Love lasts in the presence of Trust, Respect and Communication.

You can meet someone and realize you have all three quickly, or it may take years to realize/talk through and bond over. After that, time will tell if they are truly in place, or if you two are changing how you approach/feel about any of them with your partner and grow apart.

Dayum, that’s good!

In my personal experience (and I acknowledge that my personal experience is the precise opposite of many people’s), relationships work out best when the guy and I are not friends first. When I have been friends with a guy for a while first, we would inevitably run into dramatic problems of someone feeling jealous, or angry that one person was developing feelings more fully than the other. There was almost always a disagreement as to how to proceed, with one person wanting to continue on as friends with the other one wanting a relationship, or one wanting to be friends and physical but not committed with the other one wanting a commitment.

On the other hand, when I have met a guy, and attraction has been expressed right from the start, the relationship falls neatly into place with much less drama. Both people understand that they need to make sacrifices or risk losing the person, and both people tend to be willing to make the sacrifices in order to fully explore what the relationship could turn into.