My can't-fail non-conventional advice?
Don't marry for love.
Love is fleeting. Well, more specifically, romance and infatuation and passion is fleeting. Marrying someone simply because you are in love with him or her is not always the best singular criteria. I have a few that are better (and yes, I even thought these things through when I was twenty-two and getting married myself):
- Marry someone you like. Most of us have dated someone who made our hearts pitter-patter, but to whom all of our friends and family could not quite understand the attraction. They aren't all out to get you. If they don't "get" the match, there's probably a reason. If you like each other--as people, not just as mates--you'll grow together and not apart over your lifetime.
- Marry someone you respect. You will disagree in the course of a marriage (and not just in the first few years). If you respect your husband (or wife), then you will give their position some weight, instead of discounting it immediately. Understanding the other side often diffuses some of the tension in an argument.
- Marry someone who is likeminded. There are some critical areas: religion, children, money. You won't be able to hammer all of them out. especially if you are young and know everything, but if there are big question marks or big disagreements about a philosophy in one of these areas, it will probably haunt you for the rest of your marriage. Love doesn't make the world go around, and love doesn't make all the troubles go away. You aren't going to change him/her, so make sure your philosophies line up on the important issues.
- Marry someone who makes you feel secure. Do you trust him/her? Is he happy with himself? Especially if you are young, you aren't going to know about financial security, and I think that's okay. However, does he have a plan? Does he have a passion? Does she expect you to fill her every need? Those things (or the lack of them) can breed insecurity, and if your spouse is insecure, you lack security as well and are then saddled with the impossible task of becoming their security.
If you are already married, and didn't follow some of these guidelines, Every Woman's Marriage offers fresh insight and hope on "igniting the joy and passion you both desire" (as the book is subtitled).