Michelle Obama is getting candid about love, marriage and romance. The former first lady was joined by guest Conan O’Brien on the latest episode of the Michelle Obama Podcast, and they reflected on the importance of picking partners carefully when it comes to love.
When reflecting on marriage, O’Brien explained that he feels that most men reach the point when they are emotionally and intellectually ready for marriage later in life. This was the case when it came to himself and his wife, Liza Powell, whom he married in 2002 at the age of 39.
“The same is true for me,” Obama reflected. “I think, a man’s inclination to wait and to kind of go out there and search and get himself ready, I think is a good instinct that more young women should think about.”
She went on to say that she’s always felt it would be good for people to approach picking a romantic partner “like you would picking your basketball team.”
“Because if you’re looking at a team, the people you want to win with, then number one you want everybody on your team to be strong,” she explained. “You don’t want any weak links, you don’t want somebody that you can dominate, you don’t want somebody who’s kind of a loser, right. And also, if you’re on a team, you’ve got to be able to do everything, especially in basketball, it’s like, you would never pick somebody that says, ‘I only dribble. I don’t shoot, I don’t defend, I just dribble.’”
“If we looked at marriage as a real team, you want your teammate to be a winner,” she continued, adding, “You want LeBron, you know?”
“Now you’ve got me thinking about marrying LeBron,” O’Brien joked. “This is taking a turn.”
“What you’re supposed to say, is, ‘I have married LeBron. My version of LeBron,’” Obama explained. “[Your wife] is the LeBron James in your life.”
Later, the pair also reflected on making marriage work and developing a strong, lasting relationship with another person — which Obama explained takes hard work and determination to foster your bond.
“People aren’t perfect. Marriage is hard. It’s a struggle for everyone. But, the question you have to ask is do you want to spend this life with somebody? Do you want to build something with someone? And there’s no magic way to make that happen,” she shared.
She encouraged people looking for love to master “the basics of finding somebody” who is right for you. This includes, “Being honest about wanting to be with them, to date them seriously, to plan on making a commitment to date them, seeing where it goes, and then making it happen.”
“There’s work and practice that goes into [deciding,] ‘I’m going to get off the apps, and I’m going to actually ask this girl out, and I’m going to take her out for a few months. I’m going to invest in this other person,’” Obama continued. “Because that’s what dating is. You can’t Tinder your way into a long-term relationship.”