We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, May 3. 2012
How the ‘love myth’ is preventing Americans from finding true love. The piece quotes Jonathan Haidt:
I believe that "true love" is an adolescent fantasy, a psycho-utopian fantasy. All real relationships have problems and challenges. And real life presents endless problems and challenges which effect relationships lasting longer than days or months. In Western, monogamous cultures, the trick is making it work. What else do I believe? That there is no single "right person" for anybody, that humans are not emotionally monogamous, and that many people expect far too much emotional fulfillment from their spouses than any one person can provide.
I would never disparage feelings like passion, desire, "urge to merge," and "chemical attraction". These things are intoxicating. They have prevented Homo sapiens from going extinct. However, they are temporary, and often not sturdy foundations for building a life or raising a family.
Related, Mate Expectations from F- Feelings:
Nobody is who you thought they were, and vice versa.
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Is it commitment if it's still conditional? Depends on the conditional, i suppose, where that sucker is staked out there beyond the comfort zone.
Hm, I would have to disagree. I think what people believe is 'true love' is really emotional drama. They want grand gestures, they want constant adoration, they want someone to read their mind. That is not love.
True love exists. I have it. But it took me the 2nd time around to find it. True love is when you have a deep connection with your husband/wife. Your values are the same. You have the same goals. You believe your husband/wife is the smartest, kindest, hardest working, best person in the world.
I believe in debate and discussion between people who love each other. Arguments are for those who do not.
Don't compromise what kind of person you want to marry/be with because you think 'true love' does not exist. Make a list of everything you want in a spouse. Don't compromise. Don't look for 90%. Look for 100%.
I found 100% and more of what I was looking for. I couldn't be happier. My life is a joy. My time spent with my spouse is stress-free and wonderful. Your home and your relationship with your spouse should be a sanctuary from all the other stress in the world.
That person is out there! Believe it!
I've been reading back entries on the F-Feelings site ever since I ran across it here the other day. Great site. On this subject, the blogger is very much in the Jane Austen camp: feelings are great, but what you're looking for in a partner is character. Chemistry is not enough if you can't establish to your satisfaction that he can behave well when he's tired, discouraged, or frustrated, unless you're planning a marriage that won't involve any of those things. The entry I was reading today suggested going on a long trip with a layover in Omaha, or asking his or your parents to stay for an open-ended visit, in order to judge (before it's too late) how well he might stack up against the pressures of parenthood.
A large fraction of the letters written to the F-Fuckings advice column involve questions about how to understand and deal with the heartbreaking consequences of really, really loving someone who failed the most basic tests of decency. "I was crazy about him, and the sex was great, but he cheated on me when I was pregnant, and now if I try to talk about it he says it's my fault for dredging up the past, and he's drunk all the time." The advice boils down to: next time, find out who he is under pressure before you given rein to all your passion. You have values and judgment as well as feelings, so use them.
I agree with that advice! My current spouse and I drove across the U.S together with all of my stuff, 2 kids, a dog and a cat. This is while we were dating, and we wanted to see each other in stressful situations.
We had so much fun!
Definitely test the relationship in difficult situations.
Another bit of advice: economic differences in how you were raised really matter. You might like to think differently or that it is the 'character' of a person...however, seeing how someone else was raised and how s/he live (i.e. their home, cleanliness, family activities, etc.) will pretty much match up to what that person's idea of 'normal' is. And what his/her life's goals are.
If you never seem to be able to meet these or your boyfriend/girlfriend does not want you to meet them, be very wary.
Also, drinking/drug problems do not get better as someone gets older. You do not 'mature' out of these behaviors.
I've been lurking on this forum for quite a while but thought I'd throw my two cents in on this particular subject....
I agree, KJB, that travel with someone before marriage can be a good indicator of a future relationship. My husband and I did just that when we were in our early dating years, when we took a whirlwind trip to Europe. We worked our way through three currencies, two foreign languages (my high school French and a smattering of Dutch) and unfamiliar train schedules from Utrecht to Paris. We had a blast. But, we also spent a lot of time beforehand, preparing, talking, deciding who would be in charge of what. My husband relied on me for my language skills, I relied on him to keep the passports, money and tickets. I made all of the travel arrangements, and dealt with navigation. Luckily, most folks in Holland spoke English, but in Paris, not so much. No matter. We had a romantic weekend, complete with wine, good food and the Eiffel Tower.
Which brings me to the crux of the matter: it's all about making a good match. And when I say match I mean in a practical way. Each person brings a set of skills with them to a relationship - by working together those skills are put to use and improved to the benefit of both. I'm convinced that our trip (and subsequent ones) would not have been successful if we hadn't figured out how to be teammates and good friends.
Romantic love can fade in and out, and change over time. Being good friends and teammates remain. My husband says we fill in each other's gaps. I think that about sums it up.
LOL --like that dream where you catch the school bus and realize you forgot your britches
OK, so this is wildly off-topic, but my wife and I are both curious about this and so I'm going to ask.
For those of you who went to college, did you ever have dreams (nightmares?) about missing a big exam? More than once? Did you have such a dream AFTER you graduated/left school? For how many years after your college experience did such dreams occur, i.e., did you have "exam dreams" well into your later life and do you know what might have precipitated them? Did the dreams ever stop? If so, when and how old were you when they ended?
Never had those dreams in college, Coop, but a few years ago I had variants of a recurring dream where it was 2 weeks before finals and I suddenly realized I had completely forgotten I had enrolled in a class and had skipped it the entire semester.
I haven't dreamed that for a long time. I would speculate that I had them because I was trying to keep too many plates spinning in real life.
re Texan 99:
Funny typo! Hee hee hee.
"a few years ago I had variants of a recurring dream where it was 2 weeks before finals and I suddenly realized I had completely forgotten I had enrolled in a class and had skipped it the entire semester"
OMG, I've had a very similar dream! And more than 20 years AFTER I graduated. It seemed so real I woke with the thought that I had to call the Registrar to check whether my transcript listed a failing grade for the course or an incomplete. When it dawned on me that it was an advanced graduate-level course, I realized it was just a dream and was very relieved.
Coop. Yes. My dreams had worries about grades and remedial options as well. And they were quite vivid. And they were in color. I don't believe all my dreams are in color. Weird.
I also share your sense of relief upon awakening. In a perverse sort of way that makes the dream a good thing for me. I am so relieved it was all a dream, the day starts on a very positive note. It can't be worse than the nightmare.
For decades I've had dreams about realizing late in the semester that I'd signed up for classes but never found out where they were meeting. Sometimes I'd tell myself I already had enough degrees -- why was I in college again? I'd think, "I used to be able to force myself to go to class and do the coursework; what's wrong now?" But the fact was, in the dream, I could not bring myself to show up.
"Romantic Love" is and was a construct created by medieval poets for courtiers and the peerage.
It's purely a Western trope.
In that long ago era, the notable and noble HAD to marry along political conveniences: I've lost track of how many times Princess Elizabeth was re-betrothed by her father, King Henry VIII.
What was true for the royals was true further down the line. Shakespeare brings the issue up in Hamlet. It was bad news for Ophelia.
Against this reality, the poets scripted the balm of "True Romance" ( that'd be a great movie title, BTW ) wherein the valorous knight is poetically permitted / sanctioned a lover-on-the-side, ALWAYS a real young cutie.
Rather than ugly divorce proceedings, the tales almost always resolve the conflict by the death of one member of the triangle. Since people were dropping like flies in that era, it was a natural convention.
King Henry, of course, decided to really speed up the entire process and gained immortality, thusly.
"Romantic Love", as defined, was only ever a Noble art: the commoners were, poetically, treated as beasts if not furniture.
A bit of this schism appears early in "Hamlet" -- the courtiers sit around as human furniture while the king, queen, prince and top ranked officials do ALL of the talking.
( Shakespeare, AKA the 17th Earl of Oxford, member of the Queen's official household as a child, well new of court etiquette. Indeed, the famous: "never be a borrower nor a lender be" (Polonius) of Hamlet fame came directly off a wall plaque in the Lord Chamberlain's home -- where he was raised since he was an orphan. And the weird story about Hamlet charming French pirates into releasing himself for fear of the Queen's wrath -- and Her Royal Navy actually happened to the Earl! These were script-cameos inserted as private gags for his pals 'on the inside.' )
The reality of the day was that Hollywood/ Bollywood perfection did not linger in the mind to stimulate unrealistic expectation. So the average Joe and Jane raised Jack and Jill without concern that they, or their children, were falling short of the mark.
For an extreme example of the "Romantic Love" ideal: follow the love arc in "Cocktail."
It hits every trope right down the line. Cruise's character even starts out as a warrior, now retired. (!)
Real living is a drudge, we must find satisfaction in routine, for we are creatures of it.
Art, the poetic ideal, stands as foil to reality.
It must ever be thus -- for art is fantasy perfected.
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends, your myth, it gives a lovely light.
Hmmmm... Interesting. I was musing about this same topic on my drive home this afternoon. I believe my marriage of 40 years, in which I am still blissfully happy, is due to a couple things - my DH & I had similar upbringings, with middle class fathers who were self employed and mothers who stayed home. We also (and this is the REAL factor) have the same type of - Imagination. We find the same things interesting, scary or funny. We can look at each other across the room & KNOW what the other is thinking. All part of having similar imaginations.
It also helps to genuinely want the Good of the other, but I didn't know about that when I was 20. I DID know about the imagination thing, though..
Well, I had a happy marriage of 37 years that lasted until my husband's death in 2008. And while I thought I would likely never be involved with anyone else. I have a good relationship with my boyfriend. He also had a long marriage - 21 years- and lost his wife to lung cancer. I think it helped a lot that we'd both had good stable relationships in the past and were aware of what it takes to make a relationship work.
You've got to respect each other and compromise a bit. Humor helps a lot too.
Life is a season of unending joy
A medley of extemporanea
Love is a song that can never go wrong
And I am the queen of Romania.
--Dorothy Parker, writer, three marriages, four suicide attempts
(but the little ditty IS funny!)