Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chances Are

A few of you may remember Johnny Mathis crooning in his smooth as silk voice, the lyrics to Chances Are.

Guess you feel you'll always be
The one and only one for me
And, if you think you could,
Well, chances are your chances are awfully good.

These few lines promise us that we too can have our happy ending by finding our one and only, our prince, the man who completes us. Sounds good, but more and more of us in the United States are giving up on marriages, and even long term relationships. According to the latest census, there has been a 25% jump in people co-inhabiting. It certainly makes it easier when they decide to split. Although, I’ve heard dozens of stories from both men and women that when their beloved decided things were over they left without a word taking almost everything in the house, conveniently when the other was out of town or at work. Forget about who gets the couch but consider the emotional fallout. Those burned in divorce get hurt worse because the longer leaving comes with lawyers.

What is the answer? What are the chances that this time you’ll end up with someone who will treat you right? We’ve all been out with the wrong types of people. Often people marry the wrong types of people, which they later divorce or simply endure. What about those happy unions where two people enjoy being together, how did that happen? Often it is serendipitous. Actor Ricardo Montablan tells how he met his wife at a party and knew she was the one. He managed to convince her in two weeks to marry him. Almost fifty years later, whenever he talks about his beloved he practically glows.

Dr. Simon Clark, the founder of eharmony, made news recently because he advised couples not to get married. What? As a clinical psychologist, he pointed out being married to the wrong person is a painful experience, which ends in divorce causing more hurt, especially if there are children. He summed it up this way.

Of course, no one intends to be in an unhappy marriage. Bad marriages don’t just happen to bad people. They mostly happen to good people who are not good for each other… [But] when two people have a relationship which is predicated upon broad-based compatibility, there is every reason to be optimistic about their long term prospects. A marriage of this type has virtually no chance of becoming “obsolete.” If all of us together can focus on the challenge of getting the right persons married to each other, it just might change our society more than anything else we could do. Goodness knows, when marriage is right, little else matters nearly so much.

At first, it may seem like a bid for his matchmaking service, but it is more than that. We get married for the wrong reasons and chances are it won’t turn out well. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. We all want love since it is a basic human need. Often we confused simple attraction with love. Young couples are always falling “in love,” when they are really falling in lust with a shapely body, a gorgeous voice, or even a hot car. The wedding plans take longer than the actual marriage. People pick poorly according to Dr. Simon. They spend more time and effort picking out a wedding dress than the actual groom.

What you consider important at a young age is seldom an enduring quality. I am often amazed at the odd hook-ups young people will make, although the old are guilty too, based only on physical beauty. The smart females drop the gorgeous guys with their zero depth personalities, although the guys tend to hold on longer to their mercenary beauty queens. Ironically, they tend to go for the same bad qualities again and again, not learning their lesson the first time. They blame it on the person and not the fact their choices are the issue.

We’ve all heard of the honeymoon period. That time when newly married folks look into each other’s eyes with sappy grins. The honeymoon period last about six months, a little longer for some, and less for others. If a relationship developed only from a physical attraction, then it ends when you wake up and wonder what you are doing with this person. This was one of the principal reasons for long engagements of two years or more. It gave people a chance to get to know each other and step out if needed.

Contrary to the provocative title that The Huffington Post printed that the founder of eHarmony advised against marriage, Dr. Simon Clark is for the right type of union. Face it, plenty of us have been out with or even married a hot bod…and found later he wasn’t such a hot deal. People marry for sex, money, and companionship. Out of the three, companionship is the best reason. Will you still want to be with the other when they are no longer beautiful and sex isn’t an option? Would you want the other person no matter what his financial prospects were? Answers change depending on the situation. A companion is a friend who promises to be by your side no matter what.

So what are the chances you can have a one and only? Good, if you consider what you need as opposed to what you want. Remember that guy you had a major crush on in high school, you wouldn’t be caught dead with him now. Bodies change, but character stays, important to remember that when deciding on a partner for a long-term relationship. It also involves getting up every day and thinking of the other, doing what is best for him. In turn, he does what is in your best interest. Never fear in a balanced relationship, you can never outdo each other. You’ll treat each other better than you would treat yourself. To achieve this win-win scenario, you have to look past the former must have qualities such as thick hair and tight rear. It is well worth the work and you’ll be amazed who you find, perhaps you’re one and only.


  1. Interesting post. I met my husband on match dot com eight years ago. Had me met in real life, we wouldn't have given each other a second glance, but we formed a bond during months of shy emails and text messaging for hours every night. I was 55 and divorced for 12 years. He was 71 and divorced for several years, too. We are opposites. He is part Native American and part African American. I am a pasty-skinned German. He has a kinky silver 'fro. I have straight auburn hair (pre highlights). He is tall and thin, and I am...well, he is tall and thin... But we both majored in English in college, we both write, we both love literature and art, family is uppermost for both of us and we adore laughter. Is my Calvin perfect? No, but he is perfect for me.

  2. Hi Vonnie,
    I always love hearing from you. Yours is a love story. I think often dating sites are often maligned when people don't match up, but are seldom credited for putting two people who are perfect for each other together, as in your case, and mine.:)

  3. Hi Morgan! I love Vonnie's story! Great and very interesting post. I too have been blessed with a wonderful man, but I certainly kissed a few "frogs" along the way while I figured out what was important to me. I always say "a wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime; plan accordingly." :)

  4. Hi Misty,
    I am so glad you found your prince, you certainly deserve one.