Leah is a great teammate. At our wedding in 1992, I gave a toast in which I declared that my future bride… would be a great teammate. Marriage is about picking a person you want at your side to help navigate whatever might come along…The trip worked because Leah and I shared a vision of what we wanted to do, and then we shared responsibilities along the way.

Charles Wheelan- We Came, We Saw, We Left

Is your partner a great teammate?

Is picking the right teammate the secret to a good relationship?

But then the question is- how do you pick the right teammate?

Remember back when we were kids- picking people for teams? You tried to find the biggest, strongest, fastest kid. Or if you were doing a group project, you tried to pick the smartest kid, or the best artist. Your goal was to get the kids with the most talent for whatever it was that you were doing. So how do you translate those skills to picking a lifemate?

I guess you have to take a long, hard look at what you think “winning” means to you. And then you have to factor in that people change- they might not always have the same goals that they started out with.

So, if you have goals of a house in the burbs, two kids, a dog, and eventually a ski house a few hours away, do you look for someone with those same goals? On your three month anniversary, do you start asking what this person you’re spending time with where they see themselves five years down the line?

Do you find someone who has no goals and will just go along with whatever you say?

Or…

Is picking the right teammate about picking someone that has strengths where you have weakness?

For example…does a disorganized person find someone who is organized? Does someone who is a free spender find someone who is frugal? Or is picking someone opposite your personality a recipe for disaster?

How do you pick a teammate for life?

60 thoughts on “How to Pick a Teammate

  1. As my lifemate is now my ex, and I have no intention to go down the lifemate road again I will gladly sit back and read all the comments as they come in. Maybe I’ll figure out what went wrong!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Hmm, interesting perspective. I felt like it was going right early on, but then I also feel as if I woke up to the truth that had been hidden. After that it all went downhill.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe it’s more like, one season there’s no DH rule, and then there is a DH rule, and you have to change the lineup in order to accommodate it. Sometimes the rules change and we need to adapt…the same players might not be good for the rule chamge

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  2. I don’t have an answer. I don’t think the opposites thing works unless you have two people who can compromise and live with some of the other side. Goals are also hard because they do change. I think the key is like spring training/preseason/practice – keep working on yourself and the team so you are successful.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. My teammate and I have a good mixture of shared goals and individual differences. It works for us. It is both of our second marriages so maybe we learned from the past and picked more compatible teammates this time around.

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  4. Compatibility, mutual respect, open honest communication…..and I’m not sure I was even aware of how important those things were when I was single, looking for a team mate… and to your question of how to go about picking a team mate for life now, after what I know what I know…that would make a great blog post. BTW, between my construction job, apple harvest, and another stint as a caregiver, I have not had a lot of free time to spend in the blog-o-sphere… Miss the interactions.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am of two minds…it is either hit and miss or there is a certain person out there for us predetermined by destiny. My husband and I were talking about this the other night. He had a scenario where he had taken a different path before we met and I said that if he had done those things we probably would not be together. He said that we would because we met at his parents house on Christmas (I was dating his brother at the time). He said no matter what his life circumstances were like he would have gone to his parent’s house at Christmas and we would have met. He has always said that he knew the minute he shook my hand and looked in my eyes I was the one for him. I didn’t feel that. So I guess for me it was hit and miss that we just happened to meet but for him it was inevitable. We do mostly present as a team now but it’s not something that we work on as we go.

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  6. At least one of you has to be willing to compromise but not too much . And at least one has to be responsible and go to work every day. Then you need to be compatible in how you spend your free time. I feel like I misread my husband to a certain extent and he did the same with me but we are both too stubborn to give up on each other when we get mad at each other. We make a good team , but we aren’t winning the World Series because both of us are kinda lazy . 🤣

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  7. This is a fantastic topic, LA. I’ve been married twice, so you’d think I’d be better at answering this the second time. I wasn’t, but I also wasn’t emotionally mature enough when I decided to marry both times.

    I also believe that some marriages demand more teamwork than others, if that makes sense. As a result, everyone’s definition of teamwork will differ.

    I think my current (second) husband and I are a great team, but it has taken years of practice and learning to cultivate teamwork between the two of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good question! I think its good to have differences in a relationship, but they have to be balanced out with similariites. And not extreme differences. Scratch that. LOL! I don’t know if there is a magical formula. Before I got married I would say that you have to share the same faith to make a marriage work. 27 years later here my husband and I are, still happily married, but with very opposite views when it comes to faith. Sooo what holds us together? I think its back to the mutual respect and love being the key of everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We make a great team. We each spend most of our time on our own projects but work well together when we have problems to face, decisions to make. I chose him because he wasn’t interested in status, wordly ambition. I knew he would wear well. Yep, it’s been 58 years now (plus the couple of years we went together)…I knew how to pick ’em. I am surprised we ended up so well off. I didn’t expect that.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. At 56, I’m STILL working out how to pick a good team member! I’ve even swapped teams myself, figuring that women may be easier than men… newsflash: in some ways they’re harder/more complex. I think I need to work on myself more, as a good team player, then see how I go. I think a mix of similarities & individuality is best- a Venn diagram like you said LA. They need to be kind. And for me specifically, a food appreciatior, & a very light drinker, if at all. Fingers crossed my latest love (2 years together now) will be a good match 🌈❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being a woman, I don’t know why anyone would date a women…we’re very tough…but you raise a good point…in order to be a good team player you must be a strong individual…that’s imperative…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Beats me it just happened, the bummer though..we never really discussed future living arrangements…I came to discover my wife never wants to be a homeowner and really bums me out 🫤

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      1. I can only speak for me, if I already was a home owner…she probably would’ve agreed but most likely after I passed on she would’ve downsized.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Great questions! I’m not sure of the right answers. I think you can be opposites in some ways, to complement each other, but your teammate has to have the same core values. And the tough times are when the perfect teammate shines through.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve no idea honestly. After being married for 20 years, and now not, I’m interested in finding someone that resonates with me on an emotional level, where we can talk, really talk, and have the hard discussion and the easy ones, without someone needing to be right or wrong. Reflecting, and not ready for a new partner yet. In time.

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  14. Fifty years later, I’ll just say that I wish the naive young lady I was then knew more about teammates and relationships. I didn’t even know the right questions to ask myself, and the advice out there was very limited.

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      1. We tend to present our best sides during courtship. Will people be honest in answering the proposed questions or will it be like a job interview I was asked to sit in on? The principal and I agreed that this candidate was perfect for the job, so much like the wonderful special education teacher she was to replace. When in the classroom, however, she was not what she had purported to be. In courtship we also tend to wear rose colored glasses seeing what we want to see.

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      2. Yes. Unfortunately I agree with what you said. You never really know. I just finished a book where the charActers didn’t want to have a baby when they met, but one changes their mind. It’s an interesting question/thought exercise though

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  15. When I picked teams, I picked people who I wanted to spend time with, it was never about the winning. That still holds true.

    But in addition to wanting to spend time with someone is that there has to be enough common ground in areas such as values, goals & desired lifestyle, both of you being willing to put the same amount of effort into making the relationship successful, some complimentary skills & qualities are useful, and the rest is about mutual respect for the individual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s values, and agreeing on the big stuff. I’m reading a book now that is about a couple who said they didn’t want kids, but then the husband changes his mind. It then carry’s out nine different scenarios as to what happens…the book is average but the idea is great

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it’s always a shame when that happens. There’s an author who does that a lot – writes about really interesting & challenging scenarios – but never that well. Can’t remember who now for the life of me!

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  16. I am less of a teammate and more of a helpmate; which, I guess, makes my husband team captain. My two dogs are litter mates and they still haven’t decided who is dominant, they are “frenemies” so we divided off the house with baby gates to keep the peace. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair, I set the tone of my household, and personally I think it’s ok for one person to be in control, so to speak. And maybe you think you’re a helpmate, but you are an integral part of the team, and by working with strengths and weaknesses, you keep the team in top form. As for the pets…we have a dog and a cat…so I get it…

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m not surr about this. If you are growing and changing and evolving you have to find someone who will do this to. Maybe it’s important to find someone who is oknwith growing and changing instead of being stagnant.

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  18. This is a tough one, LA. We think we know what we want, but I think we unconsciously choose what we need, if that makes sense.

    I also think women and men still have a bit of traditional values in them, whether we want to admit it or not (i.e., choosing someone that looks physically able to carry on the bloodline or choosing a mate who can support us financially, or whatever), so I think some of that dictates the teammate and where the team is headed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We clearly still hold onto traditional values. I have female friends who March and wear the t shirts, yet would never consider driving if they’re with their male partner…

      Liked by 1 person

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