一封妈妈给女儿的信:如何选择一生的伴侣?

图片来自网络

以下内容翻译自一封美国妈妈写给女儿的信:

To my two young daughters:

写给我两个年轻的女儿:

One day that will come all too soon, your father and I will have to reconcile with the fact that you're going to date and, eventually, settle down. When that time comes, we hope you choose a romantic partner (man or woman, doesn't matter to us) who makes you happy — someone who is kind, honest and respectful (and more, but we'll get to that shortly). Interestingly, when you pick that partner, you will have very little understanding of exactly what it means to spend the rest of your life with someone. In some ways, the cliche is right: It's a leap of faith.

我们知道有一天,你们的爸爸和我终将接受现实,你们会出去和男孩子约会,并最终建立属于自己的家庭。当那一天来临,我们真心希望你们可以选择一位浪漫的人生伴侣。男人 or 女人,对我们来说并不重要,重要的是他or她可以让你们幸福,并且是一位善良,诚实和值得尊重的(当然还有一些品质,但不要着急,我们接下来就会讲到)。有意思的是,往往当你们选择那位伴侣的时候,你们可能并不清楚你们接下来的人生中你都将与之为伴。从某种角度来说,老话说得对:这一步是天降神迹,虽然前途茫茫不可知,却凭借着强大的信心迈了出去。

As a culture, we spend hours upon hours developing academic knowledge, building physical fitness, deciding where to go to college or learning about finances. But we spend very little, if any, time teaching young people how to make the most important decision of their lives. Because that's what it is — your choice of life partner will affect the quality of your life much, much more than where you go to college, what you do for a living or where you make your home.

作为一种文化,我们花费大量的时间来学习学术知识,健身,决定读哪一所大学或者是学习理财。然而,我们却用了极少的时间甚至是没有去教会年轻的一代如何去做出他们人生中最重要的决定。是的,确实如此,你选择的人生伴侣会很大程度上影响你的生活质量,其影响程度远大于你去哪儿读书,以什么谋生和在哪儿建造你的家。

Grandma and Papa (my parents) celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this year, and two sets of aunts and uncles are celebrating their 20th and 30th anniversaries. Your father and I aren't quite that far along at 12 years, but we are very happily married, and those relatives would tell you the same. (Though to be fair, they would tell you this even if they weren't, as would a lot of people, which only adds to the lack of education on the subject.) So when it comes to choosing a life partner and sticking together, I like to think we have some excellent examples around us.

外婆和外公今年刚刚庆祝了他们40周年结婚纪念日,另外两对婶婶和叔叔们今年刚刚迎来了他们的20周年和30周年纪念日。相比而言,你们的爸爸和我还没有那么长,只有十二年,然而我们的结合对彼此来说都非常的幸福,而那些亲人们也会这样告诉你们。(虽然,也许有一些人的实际情况并非如此,却依然会这样对你们说)。当谈论关于选择伴侣和相伴度日的话题,我想我们身边确实有一些很好的例子。

I'm no expert on love or relationships; I only know what I know through experience as I've watched partnerships around me succeed or fail. So armed with that knowledge, here are eight things I hope you'll consider when choosing your life partner.

我本人并不是一个爱情或者亲密关系的专家;我只是通过我身边的那些或成功或失败的伴侣的例子来学习到我所知的知识。根据这些知识,我希望你们在选择的时候可以考虑下面的八点。

1. Have the biggies in common.Do you share the same desires when it comes to having kids or not? At least two of your relatives got divorced because the answer to this question was no. Do you have similar attitudes toward religion or spirituality? Do you agree about general personal finance practices — debt payments, savings, splurge purchases? Lastly, and don't underestimate the weight of this one, as it has had a huge impact on your parents' marriage: When it comes to spending time with each other's families (holidays, vacations) and taking care of aging parents, are you in agreement on what's reasonable?

1. 在大的方面有共同点。你们在是否抚养孩子的问题上面是否有着共同的需求?在你们的亲戚当中,至少有两对离婚是因为这个问题上面他们的回答是No. 你们对宗教或者灵性有共同的态度吗?在个人理财上面你们的态度是否一致 - 债务偿还,储蓄或者购买大件物品?最后一点,但不要低估了这一点,因为至少在你们父母的婚姻里它有着很大的影响力。这个问题就是:你们是否在花多少时间和对方的家庭成员一起度假,如何照顾年迈的父母这样的问题上取得了共识?

2. Find the yin to your yang.Those commonalities are important, but there's something to be said for having someone who's strong where you are weak. It creates a nice balance and a natural split of responsibilities. For example, I hate dealing with companies — cable companies, banks, electric companies. But your dad doesn’t mind, and he's much better at dealing with people than I am, so he makes those calls. Meanwhile, he can't survive on just a few hours sleep, whereas I can, so I'm the one who gets up with you two and the pets during the night and on weekend mornings so he can rest. (Some people may say that scenario represents stereotypical gender roles, but we both work full-time and have responsibilities at home, so it seems fair to me.)

2.找到他or她身上的“阴性”特质来与你的“阳性特质”互补。上面那些共同点的确十分重要,但是我们也希望当你们脆弱无助的时候身边的人是坚强可靠的。这里面有一个很好的平衡和自然的分工。例如说,我讨厌和各种机构公司打交道 - 电缆公司,银行和电力公司。但是你们的爸爸不介意,并且他在和他们交涉上比我要擅长多了,所以经常是他来负责打那些电话。但另一方面,要是你们老爸睡不够就好像要了他的命一样,而我哪怕只有几个小时的睡眠也没问题,所以一般是我在周末早上叫你们两起床,带狗狗出去溜,而他可以好好的睡一觉。(有些人可能会觉得这有点像传统的男女分工模式,但我们两都有全职工作,而且在家都有分工,所以这个对我来说挺公平的)

You'll spot shared weaknesses fairly quickly. For example, when your father and I bought our two-story home with a small-but-high-maintenance yard in 2008, we were overjoyed. However, we soon realized neither one of us had any desire to take care of the yard. He grew up in high-rise condos where they didn't have a yard. And I grew up in a home where my father did all that, so I couldn't even start a lawnmower. As a result, our yard is an overgrown mess, the neighbors politely but consistently ask if they can help us clean up, and each fall I comb Craigslist for someone to come bag up all the leaves. Oh well.

当然你们也会很快发现你们有一些共同的弱点。例如,2008年你们的爸爸和我一起买了一座两层楼小别墅,小别墅有一个小巧别致的院子。刚开始的时候我们都很兴奋。然后很快我们就意识到,我们谁都没有兴致去打理这个院子。你们的爸爸一直住在高层建筑上,而在我们家一直都是我爸做那些事。结果是,我们的院子里总是长满了杂草,而每个秋天我都会在craigslist上找人来收拾那些落叶。哦好吧。

3. Throw out the idea of perfect.Don't make a checklist — mental or otherwise — of traits your future partner must have. You can't conjure up your perfect mate and go buy said robot at Target. If you must make a list, make a list of deal-breakers: no smokers, no drug addictions, no one with a violent felony conviction. Those are healthy boundaries to set.

3. 抛弃“完美”的想法。不要试图写一个清单来举出所有你未来的伴侣应该具有的特征。就像说你不能想象一个完美的伴侣然后去Target的网站上去定制一个一模一样的机器人一样。如果你一定要写一个清单,请列出那些你不能接受的特征:不能吸烟,不能是“瘾”君子,不能有暴力倾向。这些是可以设立的界限。

4. Explore compatibility.Some say opposites attract, and that can be true as in the yin and yang mentioned above. But sometimes you need someone with whom you're just a natural fit. Are you both foodies who like to cook or dine out? Do you both have a sense of wanderlust? Are you both couch potatoes? Do you both have a passion for learning? Similarities in activity level and ambition can make for a pair (and eventually a family) that likes to do things together. Basically, do you have fun together? I've had more fun with your father than anyone else, ever. He makes me belly laugh all the time.

4.探索你们的相容性。有些人认为相反的会相互吸引,如果是像上面那样的阴阳互补也许是这样。但是有时你需要一个人和你是自然契合的。你们是不是都是喜欢烹饪或者出外就餐的"吃货"? 你们会不会都有某种“癖好”?你们是不是都是"沙发马铃薯”(长时间窝在沙发上看电视的人)?你们是否对学习都有热情?在活动层次或者爱好层次上的相同点会让一对伴侣经常在一起做事情。关键是,当你两在一起的时候,你们是否感觉到快乐?当我和你们的老爸在一起的时候,我比和其他任何人在一起都快乐。他一直让我捧腹大笑。

A recent study of more than 24,000 married couples shows you will likely end up with someone similar to yourself — at least in terms of education level, height and weight, and possibly even political preference and psychiatric disorders. Australian researchers found a strong statistical correlation between people’s genetic markers for height and the actual height of their partner, and they found a weaker but still statistically significant correlation between people’s genes for BMI and actual BMI in partners, Science Magazine reports.

一个近期的关于多达24000对已婚配偶的调查显示你最终会更愿意与一个与你相似的人相伴为生-不管是教育背景,身高体重,甚至是政治倾向和心理障碍。澳洲的研究者在控制人们身高的遗传因子和他们伴侣的身高之间发现了一个显著的统计学相关性,还有控制人们体重的基因和伴侣的体重之间也存在一个稍弱一点但依然显著地相关性。

5. Don't expect people to change.If your prospective future mate is a slob, don't expect them to morph into a neatnik just for you. Sure, some things can change. Maybe a bad cook can get better or someone who snores terribly can tweak a sleep routine to fix it. But ask yourself, if the quality you dislike never changed, could you still love and live with this person?

5. 不要寄希望于人们会改变。如果现在你的伴侣候选人是个邋遢鬼,不要期望这个家伙会因为你变成一个干净的整洁虫。当然了,有些事情的确会改变。也许一个不会烧菜的人会慢慢提高厨艺,或者一个打鼾的人可以通过调整休息时间来改善。但是问问你自己,如果你不喜欢的这些方面一直不改变,你可以依然爱着那个人并且继续和他生活下去吗?

6. Feel as comfortable with them as you are at home.Can you be yourself around this person? I mean, really, truly yourself. Can you laugh until you snort like your mother does and not feel embarrassed? Can you express opinions that may be unpopular or contrary to theirs and not feel alienated? Can you admit that you don't know something without worry of judgement?

6.当你们和他or她相处的时候就像你在家一样舒适。当你在这个人周围的时候你可以做自己吗?我的意思是,真正的,做你自己。你可以大笑得不顾形象就像在自己妈妈面前一样而不觉得难为情吗?你可以自由的表达也许对他们来说并不熟悉甚至是相对的观点而不会觉得被排斥吗?你能够不用担心被评判的承认自己对于一些事情所知甚少吗/

7. Don't just love them, like them.Life partner means for the rest of your life, and hopefully that will be a loooooong time. When you're middle aged and exhausted and can't muster up the energy to party all night, will you enjoy a quiet night at home with just the two of you? Do you have long talks or conversations where you feel interested in this person and what they have to say? Do they make you laugh? This is why some people say it's good to be friends first. If you genuinely like them, I think you're more likely to keep investing in the relationship and trying to make it work, even (especially?) when it's hard.

7.不要只是爱他们,也喜欢他们。人生伴侣意味着你余生,那将会是相当长的一段日子。当你们已经人到中年,再也不能彻夜狂欢的时候,你是否享受你们两安安静静的待在家里?你们是否可以长时间来讨论彼此觉得有趣的点或者对方说过的话?他们是否可以让你们哈哈大笑?这也是为什么有些人说先当朋友是个不错的主意。如果你真心喜欢他们,我相信你们会很自然的去投入到关系当中并努力使它运作正常即便是艰难的时候。

8. Look for good partnership qualities aside from chemistry.Whether romantic, business or otherwise, these qualities make for a good partnership: empathy, integrity, honesty, reliability, stability and emotional availability. When you hit bumps along the road — and you will, whether it's a serious illness, a death in the family or job loss — a good life partner will demonstrate those qualities and help you get through it. But there's nothing like hard times to show who's loyal to you and who's not. If life hands you a lemon and your partner bails on you emotionally, it's time to reconsider your choice.

8.除了化学反应之外,也寻找那些具有良好的合作伙伴气质的人。不管是商业关系,亲密关系还是其他,这些品质都适用于一个好的合作伙伴:同情心,正直,真诚,可靠,稳定和不俗的情商。当你撞到了“路沿” - 无论是疾病,失业或者亲人的离去 - 一个好的人生伴侣会展现出以上的品质并帮你渡过难关。没有什么时候会像艰难的时刻那样更好的显示出谁忠于你,谁不是。当生活不尽如人意的时候而你的伴侣在你的情感方面离你而去,那么是时候重新考虑你的选择了。

图片来自网络

The decision of choosing a life partner is yours and yours alone. This is what I've learned from my own experience, and I'm just trying to share as much knowledge as I can to help you with the process. No matter whom you choose, your father and I will still love you more than anything else in the world.

选择一个人生伴侣的决定是你的而且也只能是你的。这是我从我自己的亲身经历中得出的,并且我试图尽可能多的把我的知识分享给你们来帮助你们。不管最终你们选择了谁,你们的爸爸和我都会一直爱着你们超过这世间的一切。

Love,

爱你们的,

Mama

妈妈

推荐阅读更多精彩内容