The Stupidest Thing My Dad Ever Said

Once upon a previous time, my dad said something stupid. It sounded so wrong. It was, in fact, the complete opposite of everything I had ever heard.

But, could he have been right?


Driving in our old silver Toyota truck, he turned to me and simply stated, “I think you should give up on the dating thing.”


“Son, I don’t think you need to do that. Not to have a great marriage. You really don’t need to go out and date a bunch of people.”

Now, you must know, my dad is like the relationship guru. Some call him Dr. Love. And here’s the thing. My parents have an awesome marriage. 40 years of being together has not slowed them down one bit. They don’t just love one another, they really like each other. To a level where it’s almost gross.

So when my dad spoke about relationships, I would listen. For his walk backed up his talk.

“Ok,” I tried to reason, “Then how am I supposed to know who I should marry? How do I know what type of person I work best with? And how do I find her? Isn’t that point of dating? To go out with all sorts of people so I can see who I fit best with? And isn’t that experience helpful?

“If I’m not dating, how do I do that?”

* * *

His response changed my life. It was the most helpful piece of knowledge I have ever been given.

“Think about your best friends growing up” he answered. “Cause you’ve had some really good ones. Think about those friends. Your best friends.

“What are their common attributes? What type of personalities do they have? Are they extroverted or introverted? Who are they, and what are they like? What are the activities you found yourself doing together?

“What makes these particular friends special? Why is it that you connect with them, and why have they be so long lasting?

“Look at those characteristics. For those are the exact same attributes you look for in a girl.”

Pausing, he let his words set in. Then he delivered the knockout punch.

“Listen son, a great date does not make a great mate.

“You want a great marriage? You’ve got to have a great friendship. See, you don’t need ‘dating experience.’ What you need is experience building long-term, deep friendships.

“Because that is what a marriage actually is.”

* * *


How are your friendships? Looking back, what patterns do you see?

This is super important.

For the fundamental principles that make friendships work are the same principles used in marriage. It is possible to date extensively and not once practice the skills required to build a life-long relationship.

Yes, you need experience. Just the right kind.

Become great at friendships. And you will be awesome at marriage.



Dr. Gottman has studied over 8,000 couples in his 35 years of research. He also has a 94% accuracy rate in determining whether a couple will remain married or get divorced. Yea, he’s good.

After all those years, his final conclusion might surprise you:

Happily married couples behave like good friends

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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Dating, Marriage


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Dating Myth #1

Why date?

Isn’t that a great question? Cause we’re all doing it.

But what’s the point? What’s the goal? Why is it important?

There is a common answer to this question. And I’m sure that you’ve heard it before. But what if it turned out to have no relevance to marriage success? What if. . .what we thought was so important, actually wasn’t?

* * *

Myth #1: Practice makes perfect.

Thus, dating.

What you need is experience, it is said. And the more experienced you are the better. So you should date lots of different people.

That makes sense. Well, except for one problem. The issue is that practice does not, in fact, make perfect. It does something far different.

Hand drawing light bulb

Truth: Practice makes permanent.

How you practice is how you will perform.

Think about it. If I spent all day working on a skill incorrectly, what would be my results? Practicing bad habits don’t produce good ones. You just get really good at being really bad.

Also, what you practice is critical. Working on your golf swing will not help you make the varsity basketball team.

Which brings forth two conclusions:

1. What matters is not that you practice, but how you do it. That’s the difference maker. Perfect practice makes perfect. Lazy practice makes lazy. And so on, and so forth.

2. What you practice is vital. You must not only learn the skills you will actually use, but then rehearse them correctly.

* * *

All of this leads to a question. Does dating prepare us for marriage?

Does a great date make a great mate?

Is this the type of experience we need to be successful in a long-term, rest of your life, no-mater-how-tough-it-gets type of relationship? Or does dating sometimes teach us bad habits? Habits that will only give us trouble on the playing field of marriage?

Yes. We do need experience. Lot’s of it.

But what we need is the right experience. We need the right kind of practice.

So what type of experience do we need?

Next week I will reveal what it is. When I learned this, it changed my whole life. It is, in fact, the number one secret to happily married couples. It’s quite convicting, but freeing.


* * *

In the meantime, read about another dating flaw: The #1 Dating Mistake.

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Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Dating, Relationships


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