Twenty Years from Now

Couple Laughing

“Can you see yourself with him 20 years from now?”

That’s what a friend asked me after I announced becoming engaged to Sean. Without hesitation, I told her I could see being with him in 20 years’ time. I explained, “Life would not be as much fun without sharing each day with him.”

Sean possesses all the typical qualities that people consider when choosing a mate: intelligent, kind, loving, handsome, and considerate to name a few adjectives that describe him. But he is also happyenjoyable to be with and funny. We laugh together every single day. It could be snuggled up before falling asleep while recounting the day, in the kitchen cooking together, on a run, running errands, talking on the phone, or the moment he walks in the door from work. He makes a great life even better by simply being himself.

Looking ahead in life, the next 20 years will be filled with good times. Our four youngest children will graduate from high school and then college. There will be weddings, grandchildren born, and maybe even a chance to witness the Nationals win the World Series a few times. But there will be the challenging times in life, too.

What I know with great certainty is that in the good times and bad, having a positive outlook on life, being a happy person, and being able to laugh eases the difficulty during the rough times. Being happy and funny might not sound like an essential criteria for marriage, but it is to me.

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” e.e cummings


Tell me: what will be important qualities in a partner for you 20 years from now?


16 responses to “Twenty Years from Now”

  1. My husband David has been making me laugh since the first day we met, almost 20 years ago, and I have no doubt that he will still be making me laugh, 20 years from now. I can be a pretty negative person at times, and he is one of the few people I’ve ever known who can draw me out of that funk, and put a smile on my face when I really don’t feel like smiling.

    He listens to me, gives thoughtful advice and excellent feedback on my writing, makes fantastic grilled chicken, spaghetti and eggs (separately, not together), and I can always be exactly who I am with him. He’s my best friend, and I can’t imagine that will ever change.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Oh, I love your comment Heather. Thank you for sharing this! It’s very inspirational.

      In addition to being happy, enjoyable to be with and fun, Sean is incredibly patient, accepts me just the way I am, encourages all my endeavors in life, and makes the best gluten-free carrot cake cupcakes.

  2. That’s beautiful Kelly. Humor will be the key ingredient for me as well. If you have humor you can get through a lot together. Next, loyalty is a biggie for me and if I have those 2 things (and I do) 20 years are going to fly by. :)

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Loyalty is another one for a long-term, successful relationship. Great addition, Lisa!

  3. I couldn’t agree more. When my wife and I were having a rough patch a few years ago, part of the problem is taht we were both taking evrything too seriously. We were taking jobs, kids, eachother, life, chores, family and just everything WAY to seriously. LIghten up! Laugh! So our kid got the flu and barfed all over the brand new bedspread — we shouldn’t have gotten angry and weird about it, we shoudl’ve laughed! Lol. And now we’re better at that. We realized lightening up and laughing was missing and it was weighing us down. LIfe is seroius enough on its own, don’t make it more serious by never laughing.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Life is difficult enough at times so we really don’t need to add to that unnecessarily. Having the right partner with a great attitude will make a difference in the difficult times.

  4. I think people really underestimate the value of *funny* when it comes to picking a partner. Laughter has buoyed my husband and I through so many things. I used to say we could laugh our way through anal fistulas if we had to. There have been times when his “funny” has done a damn good job of giving me that endorphin charge that people say you can get only from new relationships thanks to that *newness.” But, of course, you can’t laugh your way through everything. My grandma used to tell me, “Pick a man who loves children and old people and is good to his mother.” My dad used to tell me, “Don’t pick a man just because he’s nice to you. Everybody should be nice to you. Pick someone who will help you be a better person.” I took the advice from both of them, and going on my 14th year of marriage, so far, so good.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress


      You are fortunate to have such wise family members; what great advice!

      Thanks for visiting.

  5. Dawn

    Me and my boyfriend have been together for about two years. We laugh everyday, but recently I realized we never talk about a long term future together. So I asked him and he said he has never thought about it which sounded strange to me. So after this comment I began to wonder if I had been wasting my time. After reading your post I do realize the fact that he makes me laugh is amazing and when I am in a cranky mood he manages to make me laugh. Heck I honestly can’t think of one time where I was angry at him for more than 5 minutes. I also asked him to take a week to think about if he could see any future for us. It makes me a bit nervous because he has never been committed to anyone for more than a few months and I am his first real commitment. I wasn’t even talking marriage just maybe moving in together in a couple of years. I love that when me and him are together we go off in our own world of laughter, nerdiness, and love.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Best of luck to you in your relationship, Dawn. I am confident the two of you will find your way.

  6. Absolutely. Marriage is HARD but less so when you can laugh and enjoy the good stuff.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Agreed, Greta. Sean makes me smile each day, regardless of my stress level. I actually feel more relaxed when we are together.

  7. Amen sista! A great man with a great sense of a humor and the ability to make the burden of life that much easier…? Prince Charming for sure! I fell in love with my husband over the phone. We lived 2+ hours apart when we met and began the silly dance that new couples do. From midnight to 3 a.m. (he worked in the movie industry and had late hours) we learned every single thing about one another and laughed and laughed.

    I love this because we had to TALK, like really talk, in order to fall in love. It was so easy. But staying in love is never easy- if it was, everyone would stay married. But i know that foundation of talking and listening we started this adventure with has helped us navigate these first 13 years!
    Thanks for a great articles acknowledging how great a good man can be!

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      What a great story; thanks for sharing your courtship! You have great advice for staying in love, too. Thanks for commenting.

  8. I can SO see myself with him (Saucy) in 20 years. Writing, looking out over a sunset in the Keys and bracing myself for another evening of carousing with my mates in the warm summer breezes. Er, this wasn’t really about relationships, was it?


    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      You have the perfect relationship with Saucy. So happy for your both.