Imagine you are a therapist conducting a premarital counseling program. Couple number one comes in. She lives in L.A. and works the street as a prostitute wearing bright plastic clothes. He's one of America's top business entrepreneurs with a private jet with which he flies regularly to San Francisco to attend the opera. They say they are deeply in love and want your advice, though they assure you that they are going to be very happy together.
Okay, case number two. He's a divorced, cynical big-city newspaper writer with a reputation for hating women. She's a sweet, small-town gal, twenty years his junior, but who has trouble asserting her will and has had to end several relationships traumatically because she couldn't tell the men that she really didn't love them. In fact, she has broken off this relationship once already. By the way, they are deeply in love and are sure it's going to work out.
You are beginning to suspect this is not going to be a good day. Couple number three comes in. You recognize her. She is one of America's top movie stars, on the covers of dozens of magazines and gossip rags. Her life consists of international shopping sprees with famous friends, vacations on exotic islands, and multi-month-long on-location shoots all the while hounded by paparazzi. He's a British owner of a struggling, small travel bookshop in London. He's shy, passive, has a few close friends, and little ambition. You guessed it: They are madly in love and believe they will get on famously.1