Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Day: Teaching Romance at Williams College

I still think that one of the best things I ever did at Williams College was a Winter Study called “Decisions, Decisions.” Even though it was politically incorrect, I included a session on how to choose a spouse.

At this time, I was already sensitive to the left-wing extremists on campus — as an ex-extremist myself — and I was pleasantly surprised by the degree to which students signed up for the course and the extent to which they were fascinated by the topic of finding a marriage partner.

I remember asking among my fellow faculty members who had the happiest marriage on campus and I invited that couple to come in and address my Winter Study class. I used the same techniques I taught in that class to find Trish, and we have been married 20 years now this February 22.

My tips? Make a list of all the qualities you are looking for based on what you’ve liked or disliked about previous love interests. Create a detailed description of the person you are looking for…I mean detailed. Next, take action. Ironically, some of this maybe up to the girl. My future wife, for example, called me first and invited me to an innocuous, mutually interesting event.

The best advice, as always, comes from Charles Murray: “Consider marrying young. Be wary of grand passions. Watch Groundhog Day repeatedly.” For an alternative point of view, the one I actually followed as a young man, check out the new musical, La La Land.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

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