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Snippet of Love Letters: Leave the Light On

Last Played: February 01, 2021
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Meredith Goldstein discusses intuition and the sneaky ways in which our gut helps us to choose someone as a lifelong partner. Meredith interviews psychiatrists Jackie Olds and Richard Schwartz, who have been married for over 40 years, about what "intuition" means to them.
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sorry. I want to talk about intuition because it's a word that comes up a lot. When I ask people how they knew something in a relationship, they'll say it was intuition that pulled them in one direction instead of another or told them it was time to stay or time to leave. But when we get a feeling like that, how do we know what it's trying to tell us? To get it? This question I turned to two voices of wisdom. Well, my name is Jackie Olds, and mine is Richard Schwartz, and we got married in 1978 August 26th. We're both psychiatrists, and we also write books together, including one about lasting marriage. And we do couples therapy as well. Jacki and Richard teach at Harvard, among other places, and have their own lasting marriage. They're experts in more ways than one. So when you hear someone say, Well, I just knew, What do you think they mean there is something mysterious about it. There is something romantic about it, and it's very hard to say what that is. But I think it starts with just ah, feeling of rightness and attraction, but we have that about lots of people, and then it doesn't pan out. So the next step is the is the hard one. From there, Jackie says, you have to sort out whether this feeling of knowing is infatuation that will soon burnout or whether it's something mawr on the way you do. That, she says, is by looking for things she calls confirming evidence. As you go on more dates and spend more time together, are there more flickers of that initial feeling? Those unconscious little signals they were getting that made them feel it was just right were, in fact, correct signals. A thing I talked about with Jackie and Richard was how love can take many forms as couples move through different stages. What we're looking for in a partner 25 might be different than what we're seeking later in life. Moving from some degree of more passionate love to um, or companion in love and therefore knowing mawr as you are older, that this is this is the companion I want rather than this is the lover I want, even though they're both different types of love. Sometimes when I'm working with a young person who is kind of panicked about tying the knot because they say, I don't think I could stand being with the same person for 50 years. You know? How do you even imagine that? That just sounds like death. And I often point out that things change every decade in such a major way that it's really not the same person in quite the same relationship. It changes enormously with Children with new locations and new jobs and new stages of development. One of the questions, like biting on a wooden nickel that you ask when you want to know if the person is the one, is how would the future look without them? And if you can't quite imagine it, then that could be a kind of knowing, even if you're a person who is a Doubter by nature.
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