Sunday, July 4, 2021

That One Person We Can Be Vulnerable With

Saturday evening, Reverend Kyle McNeely and I co-officiated Hillary and Justin’s wedding ceremony at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

I ask every couple, nay every person, to tell me why they want to get married and why now. Sometimes the answer is simple yet profound and beautiful. This is one of those cases. 

Hillary, in explaining why she wants to marry Justin, invokes a deep concept introduced by not a great philosopher or religious text, but a fictional TV character, Dr. Cristina Yang. She says, “I desire to marry Justin, because he is my person.”

Much has been written about this concept, how popular it has become among Hillary and Justin’s age cohort, and how, as in the case of fictional character that uttered it, it need not be synonymous with romantic partner.

I find that one of the most important aspects of this concept is sociologist Bella DePaulo’s observation that “having just one person who completes you [is] a ticket to vulnerability.” That is so important for our wellbeing. We all need that one person we can shed all our masks with, that one person we can be vulnerable with.

Hillary elaborates on this: “He is the person who makes me the happiest, the person I can turn to when in need, when I am frustrated with work, need an ear to listen to me vent about work or life, who makes me laugh, who gets me, who I can be myself with, and who loves me unconditionally just as much as I love him.”

When you can be vulnerable with your person, you are able to personally grow in ways you could not without that relationship. Justin reflects this when he too invokes a fictional character, Melvin Udall, who says, “You make me want to be a better man”.

Justin elaborates, “She challenges me to live up to her love and respect every day. To earn it every day. That’s the kind of partner I want to be with for the rest of my life. The fact that she’s hot with a killer smile doesn’t hurt either!!!”

My friends, it really doesn’t get any better than that.