I want to become you

Towelling off in Nosara, Costa Rica
The author watching you, watching him

Not long ago, I was asked to emcee the weddings of two couples close to me, and both times my friends who heard about the invitations laughed and laughed.. and laughed.

Jokes of evaporating holy water aside, I was the wedding industry’s most “committed” detractor and not intuitively a good selection at the front of the room as a proudly single man.

We are told that your selection of a partner is the single most important decision in your life. That it isn’t just a vanity exercise but one that has profound implications on your wealth, career and well-being.

That's all cool, but I think we overlook how what those change are because of how completely we adapt to our surroundings - people included.

It is widely accepted that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. This is used to advocate for actively curating your social and professional circles.

Extending the idea, if you’re just getting together with a new partner, you will lose two of your 5 best friends.

This is probably why some people see a new prospective partner joining their circle of friends as a type of social threat. Sure, we want the best for our friends, but maybe we also want the best for ourselves if we're in that inner circle ;)

Once the partnership decision is made, deliberately or not, the rabbit hole runs deeper still.

Partners will converge in physical appearance and style, owed to their close proximity and likelihood to mirror each other.

Further, cohabiting people share the same gut biome as they are exposed to similar environmental inputs like food and air over time.

More recently, we’ve learned that the human gut has its own brain and that it has a profound role in decision making. It turns out our gut is a very smart and malleable computation device that served our pre-language ancestors successfully.

Of course, we now also know that the conscious mind is late to catch onto a decision that the brain and body has already taken. We presume we are in charge of our actions, but it is more likely that they are the rest of our conditioning to that point.

As we're seeing, given how fundamentally you can be changed through your choice of partnership, we aren't just making a sweet declaration to enjoy another's company.

What we’re really saying through our actions is no less than:

I want to become you.

And that’s the type of decision that we can’t take lightly.

I am not advocating remaining in bubble-wrap over a lifetime; just that we understand what we are signing up for. For some of us, our egos already take harsh preventative measures to protect us. But even the ego can be informed that the quality if our lives is a reflection of the quality of our relationships.

It's a beautiful and terrifying prospect that we are constantly being updated - and hopefully upgraded - by decisions about who we spend time with.

PS. DM me for you summer wedding emcee requests...

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Jamie Larson
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