Barack Obama's 3 questions everyone should ask before getting married.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

If you're going to get relationship advice from someone, the Obamas seem like a great place to start.

When Barack Obama's former adviser announced he and his girlfriend were moving in together, the president shared some advice.

Dan Pfeiffer had a job most of us could only imagine: advising then-President Obama. Of course, that didn't stop the commander-in-chief from occasionally dropping some personal wisdom of his own.


When Pfeiffer was leaving his post in 2015, he told Obama about his plans to move in with his girlfriend, Howli. "So are you guys moving together? This is the one, huh?" Pfeiffer recounts Obama asking him in his new book, "Yes, We (Still) Can." Hey, no pressure. Your boss, the most powerful person in the world, is just asking if you're ready to make a long-term commitment to your partner.

According to Pfeiffer, Obama was "always very proud of the hundreds of relationships that had sprung from his campaigns and administration."

So he decided to offer his outgoing employee a little personal advice for choosing a partner.

Obama apparently has some key advice he likes to give about marriage.

His three key points for love and marriage might sound a little basic on first glance, but there's plenty to unpack.

1. "Is she someone you find interesting?":

"You will spend more time with this person than anyone else for the rest of your life," Obama said, "and there is nothing more important than always wanting to hear what she has to say about things."

After all, how many relationships begin based purely on physical attraction or "chemistry"? And there is almost no greater sign that a relationship is in trouble when one partner starts to tune out the other. Staying interested — and interesting — is essential.

2. "Does she make you laugh?"

Anyone who has spent time on a dating app can tell you one of the most common requests is "someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously."

Laughter can help us navigate tough times, relieve stress, and also serve as an important way to communicate hard truths. And, on a deeper level, to know someone's sense of humor is a way of showing you're listening and paying attention to how they see the world and what matters most to them.

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images.

3. "And I don't know if you want kids, but if you do, do you think she will be a good mom?"

Not everyone will be a parent and not everyone needs to. But the general sentiment of Obama's question still has value because being "a good mom" really is about being a good caregiver. How we take care of the people in our lives — and what example we choose to set for others — says a lot about our character.

Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images.

"Life is long," he said. "These are the things that really matter over the long term."

Pfeiffer says he took the advice to heart. He and Howli got engaged and then married in 2016.

Photo by Jim Young/Getty Images.

The Obamas' marriage and partnership as parents has set a positive example for Americans and people around the world.

For eight years they lived under the world's spotlight, raising their two daughters and navigating life in the White House. They never lectured but continue to show us their obvious affection for each other and their shared, ongoing compassion for the American people.

There's so much to consider before getting married: finances, health and what kind of future you want. But Obama's advice — staying interested, remembering to laugh, and being with someone who displays empathy and compassion — are three great factors to keep in mind.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less

In the autumn of 1939, Chiune Sugihara was sent to Lithuania to open the first Japanese consulate there. His job was to keep tabs on and gather information about Japan's ally, Germany. Meanwhile, in neighboring Poland, Nazi tanks had already begun to roll in, causing Jewish refugees to flee into the small country.

When the Soviet Union invaded Lithuania in June of 1940, scores of Jews flooded the Japanese consulate, seeking transit visas to be able to escape to a safety through Japan. Overwhelmed by the requests, Sugihara reached out to the foreign ministry in Tokyo for guidance and was told that no one without proper paperwork should be issued a visa—a limitation that would have ruled out nearly all of the refugees seeking his help.

Sugihara faced a life-changing choice. He could obey the government and leave the Jews in Lithuania to their fate, or he could disobey orders and face disgrace and the loss of his job, if not more severe punishments from his superiors.

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Sugihara was fond of saying, "I may have to disobey my government, but if I don't, I would be disobeying God." Sugihara decided it was worth it to risk his livelihood and good standing with the Japanese government to give the Jews at his doorstep a fighting chance, so he started issuing Japanese transit visas to any refugee who needed one, regardless of their eligibility.

Keep Reading Show less