I often walk home through the park across the road. Sometimes, I’m playing The Black Album. That song comes on. And whenever I hear the hook, I think “who’s Jay Z’s bitch?”
Everyone has heard that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Power laws rule the world. So what if there’s a power law at work here too? What if you apply the 80/20 rule to those five people? Out of those five, we are most influenced by the one person we spend most time with. And who, for most people, is that?
Girlfriend, fiancee, wife, partner, spouse.
Two people whose views I respect have a similar perspective. Firstly, Ryan Holiday, from the article The Perfect Spouse is the Best Life Hack No One Told You About: “I don’t feel any shame in saying that I would have spun off the planet a long time ago if it wasn’t for her.” Secondly, Dan John in a recent workshop: “the best investment you can make is you and your spouse.” And I can relate. I’ve been with Molly for almost three years now.
Some things I haven’t had to worry about? Going out on the weekends to meet someone. Dating. Constantly messaging and being hilarious, interesting and superficial 100% of the time. Not being able to confide in anyone. Not having support in tough situations. There’s more, but those are the first to come to mind.
Of course, real relationships are hard work. They take time and energy. But that’s fine because you have someone to share your burdens, and in turn, you can lighten the load on another’s back. As Marcus says in his Meditations, “Don’t be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?”
I always think that the real reason Jay Z can handle his 99 problems is because he doesn’t have to worry about his bitch. Similarly, are we able to handle our problems much more effectively when we don’t have to worry about living the single life? I think so.