Choosing partners in marriage, friendship and work is crucial to our happiness and success. I decided to muse on the topic of partners because of a phrase I fell in love with while watching the movie,”The Shape of Water.”

“You are all around me.”

The sentiment behind those five words fits my partnership with my husband, Sheldon Good, perfectly. No matter where I am he pops into my mind for one reason or another. “I wonder what Shelly would advise me to do?” “I wonder where Shelly is right now?” Or when I play my French music in my car my thoughts turn to romance and Shelly. We are loving partners, supportive and positive toward each other; we smooth each other’s road. For better or for worse, he is “all around me.” That is my definition of a healthy and powerful partnership.

I have tucked away, in my memory bank, several phrases that hit me in one way or another. Here are three on how to choose positive partners in marriage, friendship, and work.

The importance of choosing the right partner(s) in marriage, friendship and work

  • “The most important decision you will make in your life is who you choose to marry.”

On my many walks with my wise friend, Carolyn, on the beach in Honolulu, lessons were learned. I was in my 40s. She was a vital and visible woman in her 50s. On one of our walks, she talked about the advice she gave her son on marriage. “Remember, Brent, the most important decision you will make in your life is who you choose to marry.” When my daughters were looking for Mr. Right I passed on Carolyn’s teachings and I am still passing on her message to my grandchildren, my grands. I agree with her wisdom on the vital importance of choice of mate and how it can make or break your life; make you wildly happy or wildly miserable. When faced with important decisions choice becomes the important word.

  • “You have to work at establishing friendships.”

On another walk, she advised me on how to make friends and keep friendships alive. To a degree, we can call our friends, our partners. Her advice: “You have to work at establishing friendships and continue to work at deepening the friendship. This takes hard work.” I learned later on that working hard is worthless if the woman does not “mirror” me. If you meet a woman and you click you will want to develop a partnership because you mirror one another in values, goals, and lifestyle.

  • “It is not what you know it is who you know.”

For those of you who own a company, work at a company or volunteer your services, establishing friendships and partnerships is the key to your happiness. A friendly workplace is so important. Friendships at work matter, darlings. Socializing deepens bonds at work; the job becomes positive.

When I was a volunteer I joined a group because I supported the charity and enjoyed the women. The women were as important to me as the charity. If you enjoy the charity and not the other volunteers, leave. There are other charities. You are giving your time, dedication and money.

At, there are three women besides myself. Each one of these women is more than my co-worker. Their skills are important but just as important is that I feel we are partners. We have built a powerful camaraderie; a fellowship, team spirit, and companionship. I can count on them. I can be open with them. I want to share with them. I want them to be happy. They want the same for me. This is how the workplace should be.

If you are unhappy at work, ask yourself, why. If it is your fault, change. If it is the job or the workplace begin to search for new opportunities. This will take work. Put out feelers by asking your good friends. Remember, “ It is not what you know, it is who you know.” Don’t sit back and do this alone.

We all need connections. We all want to lead positive productive lives. The power of our partners, first being our soul mate, then our close friends and family and finally the people we work with on the job or in the charitable community provide us with optimism. They really matter. Love them. Compliment them. Appreciate them. Be their loyal and powerful partner.

I owe deep gratitude to my husband, Sheldon Good, to my grandchildren, to dear friends, you know who you are, and to Cheryl, Ines and Susan, my comrades in arms at Honey Good.