From Rick Ross to LL Cool J, rappers haven’t exactly been having the best few weeks in the eyes of public opinion recently. In light of keeping things on a positive note, I’d like to direct everyone’s attention to Nelly. He hasn’t been very active on the music front lately, but I stumbled across a recent DJ Vlad interview where he chatted about how he has been influenced by marriage growing up, and shares his personal plans for getting married at some point in life (just not now). He actually gives some sage advice (!) that I decided to break down into lessons, remixed from my own perspective.

Watch the video first:

1. Stick with your personal standards. I like that Nelly’s perspective on marriage is based on two different relationships. Nelly’s parents didn’t last very long, but his grandparents lasted for 60 years, and that’s the standard he wants to uphold, which is why he isn’t married yet. Some people might give him the side eye because he’s not married at his age (38), but it’s better to know and find what you think is right than to end up miserable trying to meet a specific status quo.

2. When it’s right, it’s right. As corny as that sounds, I believe it’s true based on my own experience. Mr. Rocque said he knew he’d propose to me when he realized that he didn’t see an end with us. I didn’t see an end with us either. With past exes there were doubts, even when things were good. But I didn’t have that feeling with Anslem, even when we were in our not-so-serious, off-and-on dating phase and separated for a while. It felt weird that we weren’t together when we were off, but I couldn’t explain why. We both went on with our lives but drifted back together naturally because it just felt right. And now it feels like things are as they should be.

3. Life happens, even when you’re planning, so flow with it. This is my own idea based on the previous statement about seeing no end. I don’t think anyone gets married with the intention of eventually getting divorced, which is why it’s good to go into it with a solid understanding of what you both want out of life and each other. However, sometimes relationships don’t last because… that’s life. Of course you should try to make a marriage work, but feelings and circumstances can change. People may outgrow each other, and forever just isn’t always guaranteed. That doesn’t mean be cynical (says the cynic), but the best thing you can do is try, as long as you’re realistic about the possibilities and understand how to adjust to changes that may come your way.

4. People make time for what they want. Nelly mentioned it’s hard to date and settle down in the business because you don’t get to spend much time with each other due to overworking a lot of strange hours. I get that, but I don’t agree entirely. I think people will make time for anything or anyone they’re truly passionate about, even if that means finding balance between work and career. Jay-Z and Beyoncé are busy but make it work; Barack and Michelle still even find time for date night; and despite rumors, Will and Jada seem to be doing well too. I don’t know the intimate details of the aforementioned relationships, but for the sake of optimism and public perception, it looks like they’re figuring out what works. Find a groove, stick with it and adjust when necessary.

5. Rappers need love too. That one’s self-explanatory. But seriously: it’s nice to see rappers being human and expressing unpopular opinion. That’s not really a relationship rule, but perhaps some hip-hop heads out there can relate.

Do you agree with Nelly’s perspective on love and relationships?

Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.