Warren Buffett on finding a lasting marriage

Warren Buffett is acclaimed for his financial prowess and his success as a self-made billionaire.

Those who wish to emulate the 93-year-old businessman, investor and philanthropist should pay close attention to who they marry.

Buffett said during a 2017 conversation with Bill Gates that he credits his choice of spouse with making him successful.

“You want to associate with people who are the kind of person you want to be. You will move in that direction,” Buffett said. “And by far the most important person in that regard is your spouse. I can’t stress enough how important that is.”

And the key to finding the right person to marry has little to do with beauty, character or a sense of humor.

“If you want a marriage to last, look for someone with low expectations,” Buffett said Fortune at the 2015 Most Powerful Women Summit.

Buffett, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is the eighth richest person in the world and is worth around $132 billion, according to data. Bloomberg. He married Susan Buffett in 1952 and had three children with her: Susie, Howard and Peter. Susan died in 2004 at the age of 72 after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

Two years after Susan’s death, Buffett married Astrid Menks, who was a longtime friend of the Buffetts. Oddly enough, all three were close friends when Susan was still alive, and even sent Christmas cards signed “Warren, Susie and Astrid,” according to Roger Lowenstein’s 2008 book. Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist.

“Warren was emotionally fascinated by Susan who was at once his ideological mentor, his sexual goddess, his gateway to social acceptance, and his therapist, who Warren would later say had pulled out ‘every one’ of her claws that his conservative mother left inside him,” columnist Jerry Bowyer wrote in 2012 Forbes opinion piece. “She got money and an extraordinary amount of ‘freedom’ for a married woman.”

Despite a somewhat unconventional marital history, Buffett has shared wisdom about love over the years.

Below are three tips he gave about love.

Marry the right person

In the 2017 HBO documentary, “Becoming Warren Buffett,” the investing legend said he had “two turning points” in his life: the first was when he came out of the womb and the second was when he met Susan.

“What happened with me wouldn’t have happened without her,” Buffett said.

Buffett also emphasizes marrying the “right person,” which he found in Susan.

“Marry the right person. I mean it,” he said at a 2009 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. “It’s going to make more of a difference in your life. It’s going to change your aspirations, all kinds of things.

Aim for a lasting marriage, not a happy one

Going against the “happy wife, happy life” adage, Buffett approaches both personal and professional relationships with low expectations.

“If you’re getting married and you want a marriage that lasts,” he said during a college lecture. “What qualities do you look for in a spouse? A quality. Are you looking for brains? Looking for humor? Are you looking for character? Are you looking for beauty?”

“No,” Buffett said. “Not necessarily the happiest marriage, or the one Martha Stewart will talk about. You want a marriage that lasts.

Marriage before money

Even with a fortune larger than almost anyone else in the world, Buffett has said that the money is not the best thing he has ever received.

“Receiving unconditional love is the greatest benefit you can ever gain,” he told MBA students in a 2008 speech.

The unconditional love of his wife Susan is what kept him motivated.

“The amazing thing about love is that you can’t get rid of it,” he said during the 2008 speech. “If you try to give it away, you end up with double, but if you try to hold onto it, it disappears. It’s an extraordinary situation, where people who simply push it out, get it back tenfold.”

And although money can buy many things, it is true that it cannot buy love.

“The problem with love is that it’s not for sale,” Buffett told students at the University of Georgia in 2001. “The only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you can write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars of love. But it doesn’t work like that. The more you give love away, the more you get.

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