Choosing a Life Partner & Building a Lasting Partnership

Couple sitting on bench

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Lessons from Breck Costin

Choosing a Life Partner 

Have the same philosophical/moral sensibilities—The way you look at life, how you raise your children, common goals, etc., are the foundation. You can be different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds but the sensibilities must be in common. Like building a house, it’s the foundation that anchors the house and weathers the heat and the rain. The art, furniture and design are all wonderful, but those are perpetually changing factors; it’s the foundation that’s sustains.

Choose your best friend. This cannot be overemphasized. Chemistry is wonderful, and should be the initiating factor, but it’s the person you want to stay on the phone with all night that you want long-term.

Pick someone who has the same issue as you, and the conversation sounds like this: “We’re going to run out of money,” one says. “I know we’re going to starve,” the other replies. Try to pick someone who doesn’t have the same issue as you, so the conversation sounds like this: “We’re going to run out of money,” one says. “We’re going to be OK; we’ll figure it out.”

Understand that it always helps to speak to the person’s commitment, not behavior. If you interact or argue or try to change someone’s behavior, you will just get more of what you don’t want. If you interact and speak to their commitment, which are the vows that one said on the wedding day, the behavior will change.

Building a Lasting Partnership

Know that marrying is for evolution. Yours and theirs. More often than not people go into marriage for all the wrong reasons—to be happy. To be successful. To solve some sort of issue. That’s like going to a Motel 6 and expecting the Four Seasons. If you commit to evolution, you will be happy.

Consider that usually there is one person in a relationship who has the ability to relinquish a point of view faster than the other. That person should be the designated person to do so more often than not. You always want to opt for affinity over winning an argument. Winning the argument just means you are building up more resentment.

Be respectful of your partner’s time, availability and other abilities. Don’t take it for granted or abuse it just because you’re together.


Breck Costin has more than 30 years of experience as a personal consultant and life coach. As the founder of the Absolute Freedom seminars, he has helped thousands of people change the way they live their lives by breaking free from unwanted patterns of behavior. His compassionate yet direct style allows people to dismantle their illusions of self so they truly can see what is (and isn’t) possible. “Your fantasies must die,” he says, “for your dreams to come true.”

From the premiere issue of Live Happy magazine.​