04/27/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Marry Me, Or Else

I was just reading something interesting in the paper. Wow, it's such a force of habit for me to say "the paper" even when I am reading things online.

Do you remember the good old days when you used to spend months training your dog to fetch the newspaper for you? I remember when I moved from New York to Colorado back in 1993, and one of my biggest thrills was teaching my Golden Retriever to go fetch the newspaper every morning.

Colorado has that crazy ever-changing weather. I remember taking my dog to the end of the driveway, telling her to pick up the paper, and watching as she would pick it up and carry it about ten feet before dropping it. It took a few months before I could get her to pick it up, carry it all the way to the door and bring it in the house.

It was always a big thrill of mine to read the newspaper, feeling the ink on my fingers, as I sat down to breakfast. So that's probably why I still slip and say I was "reading the paper."

Anyway, I was reading online the other day about Zac Efron. He's the kid who starred in that movie 17 Again. Really good movie. Titillating entertainment. That is just what I'd want, to be seventeen again. No way!

You always hear people say that they would love to be able to go back to high school knowing what they know now. Really? Do you think you would really enjoy talking to high school kids all day long?

You'd have nothing in common with them and they would drive you up the wall. It would, however, make you realize how meaningless all those fears and insecurities were that you had in high school.

So I was reading that Zac Efron's girlfriend apparently can't find a way to convince Zacky boy to propose to her. Let's assume that the statistic we always hear is true, i.e., that 60% of marriages now end in divorce. How many of those marriages from that 60% do you think involved one party convincing the other that they needed to get married?

Getting married is not something that someone should need to be convinced to do. If you really believe in the institution of marriage as it is was originally intended, then you get married to take a partner for life.

Unfortunately, that concept is probably viewed by many today to be an antiquated notion. A lot of people take a marriage partner not for life, but for a moment.

I'm not here to judge marriage, or to say that I believe marriage should be a partnership for life (or just a moment). I am all in favor of whatever makes marriage work for you. What I do know about marriage, though, is that you should never convince someone to marry you.

I can just imagine waking up every morning next to my girlfriend and saying to her, "Please Baby, marry me! It's going to be the greatest thing in the entire world." I would feel like I was trying to sell timeshares in Florida or something.

I can picture how this convincing would go. I would tell you her all about what our marriage would be like: "Baby, on the day of our marriage, we'll be waking up in a beautiful hotel room on unbelievably soft 600 thread count sheets. I'm going to serve you breakfast in bed. Year one will be all about us. In year two, we will have a baby and I will attend to your needs day and night. Year three, will be all about the baby and you'll forget about me. Year four I am going to have an affair like Tiger Woods, you won't understand, but my friends will understand because I will join the 'neglected husbands club.' Of course, you will already be a part of the 'neglected wives club' because in the beginning I had to convince you to marry someone to whom you weren't that attracted and with whom you really didn't want to be."

You should never convince someone to marry you. Ever. Marriage comes from love, and love comes from spending time together and really understanding each other. It comes from understanding each other's needs, wants and desires. Once you have that, then you have the basis for a great marriage.