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Charleston is for relationship lessons.


- What’s the dating scene like in New York?

- Haha I don’t know how to answer that question. What’s the dating scene like in Cleveland?

- Well, a lot of people use the apps.

- Right, I guess that’s everywhere nowadays haha.

- So we’re gay but all of our friends are straight. We’re together by the way. But we see that all of our straight friends, especially some of the guys we’re friends with are very good-looking—decent, too—but they are all single.

- Ha. Do they want to be in a relationship though?

- They do, and they go on dates. But they say it’s hard.

- What do you think is the thing that stops them from committing?

- Well, so they’re all looking to find a partner and want to be in a relationship with someone, but it seems like women tend to think that all guys are players.

- Oh interesting haha. That’s never crossed my mind personally, but I could understand why from both sides. So what’s your relationship advice for people looking for love?

- Have good friends.

- Wow I didn’t expect that. It’s definitely not generic advice, I love it.

- Yeah, because your friends are whom you talk to and listen to the most—you need friends who can give you a balanced viewpoint. Otherwise, you might end up losing what could have been great!



- What was dating like for you guys back then?

- Oh, there were some sort of dating rules in the old days but they used to be much more straightforward: If a woman showed interest but she didn’t say anything, then the man would ask her out. If a man took a woman out, then he’d pay. Things like that. But now rules are a lot more complicated for you guys because there’s no rule.

- Or everyone has their own rules? Haha

- Yes, that!

- I had a similar conversation with a gay couple last night. We talked about the paradox of choice with dating apps too.

- I don’t like the idea of the app… it’s like shopping!

- Haha. I know it works for many people but I’m not a big fan of it, either. I think it makes people look disposable as if everyone were an item… I much prefer the traditional and organic approach but it seems to be harder to have that these days.

- Yeah, I feel for you guys. I feel lucky things were much more simple for us in the old days!



- What has been the most difficult time for you guys after marriage?

- Haha well... that didn’t take long. My wife got really sick right after we got married. She developed a serious heart disease and it was very tough. Thank God she’s good now, but we spent every night after our big day together in the hospital for quite a while.

- Wow… I can only imagine. I’m glad it works out. What gave you the strength to pull through those hard days?

- I made a vow that once we got married, divorce wouldn’t be an option—because if you think it’s an option then when you’re faced with difficult times in your marriage, you’ll be more likely to choose an easy way out. When my wife was sick, I reminded myself that we only had one option—that I had to be there for her and we’d go through it together.

- That’s truly admirable. I bet it’s well worth fulfilling your vow :)

- Yes. We’re very grateful for it, and our marriage became even much stronger also because of that.



- What makes a good relationship or marriage in your opinion?

- Trust—that’s the most important thing in any kind of relationship. You also need to learn to compromise—it’s not about winning or losing… you’ll become roommates in a sense. Don’t be selfish—you need to work as a team. Be realistic, too—you can’t be too idealistic in a relationship, it just wouldn’t work. You also need to be able to adapt to change—many things will be different in the future, including the two of you. By the way, it’s very important that you are with someone who shares common values with you—that’s what glues you together.

- Right, all make sense. What is an example of a compromise that you make with each other?

- Well, so we’re both Christian and we believe in God. The difference is that she loves going to church and I used to, too… but I got fed up with the politics in there so I stopped going. I prefer praying at home instead and she understands it.

- Interesting, I like that. I’m not Christian or religious per se so I don’t go to church or temple for regular practice, but I’m very spiritual myself... How about general life advice?

- Hmm… You need to have a sense of humor—God already has a plan for you, you know? There are many things that are out of your control and you can’t change them, but having a sense of humor will help your journey become much more enjoyable!

- That is so true and relatable haha. By the way, since you’re a lawyer, do you usually get away with your reasoning when you talk to your wife?

- Haha well… I can come to her with all my arguments carefully thought out, and she’ll just say “Nope!”



- So how long did you wait out after your divorce to remarry?

- Oh we’re getting deep here?

- Haha I don’t know how to not get deep!

- Haha. Well, I stayed single for about 30 years after my first marriage.

- Wow… What went wrong?

- My first wife and I were both very young at that time and we didn’t think it through, so it last for a very brief period. I didn’t want to rush into getting married again and I was also fine with being single after that.

- Was there a particular quality in your wife now that made you think she was the right one?

- I don’t know. I mean… I always know that she’s very kind and I could see that she’d make a great partner. Actually, what she didn’t tell you earlier when she said she traveled the world a lot was that she used to go on medical mission trips almost every holiday instead of going on vacation… so I know she’s very selfless and she has a good heart. She cares a lot about other people.

- I see. I admire your wife. She’s very humble about it, too.

- Yeah. By the way, mutual respect is very important in a healthy relationship. You need to admire the other person. I know this may sound intimidating but it’s true.

- I completely agree with that. So was there a specific moment when you were dating that made you realize that you wanted to marry her?

- Hmm… See, you thought there would be one quality or one moment but that’s not what happened. There are things that you just know. It can't be attributed to one or some factors, at least in my experience. It just feels right. And when it’s right, you’ll know.



- Do you want to come hang out with me and my friends?

- No, thank you for the invite though. I’m actually enjoying myself here.

- […]

- Thank you for saying no. I didn’t want to go with them, either.

- Ha. Why not?

- They’re not really my friends, we just do business together. They’re filthy rich people and all they talk about is money, but they’re empty.

- Is that right? I had a feeling I wouldn’t enjoy spending time with them when you asked anyway.

- Yeah. Thank you for giving me a perfect excuse. I much prefer staying here and continuing our conversation!

- Well, you’re very welcome.

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