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.
We have posted in the past about the history of romance being converted into covenant marriage. Marriage has always been in transition, and, for better or worse, it is in transition now.
As I have said countless times here, I don't know how people can run an orderly, complicated, and productive life without a committed partner, much less create a family with all of the things family entails - finances, traditions, social life, stability, values and religion, disciplines, etc. The very wealthy always could do that, but not otherwise.
I never forget the story of how Thomas Lincoln (Abe's father, a prosperous and prominent Kentucky farmer and real-estate investor at the time) hopped on his wagon and drove to the nearest city, leaving the kids in charge of themselves, to quickly fetch a new wife after Nancy died. I believe he fetched the first widow he could find, Sarah.
Today, he would be arrested for leaving the kids on their own.
If he had access to Facebook he could have made a more informed choice.
Why marry for any other reason then love? It is not easy to live with someone and not being in love could only make that more difficult. I think the bigger mistake is to not marry when you fall in love (assuming it is mutual). Now that would be the worst thing to live with.
I know some people from ethnic subcultures who have entered arranged marriages. From what I've observed, when caring parents on both sides make the choice, the couple grows to love each other.
I think there are two sides to this:
- on the one hand, the western Christian marriage ceremony has a commitment by each party to "love and cherish" the other. This isn't a vow to always "feel something" towards the other, but to act in love towards the other. I think that a good bit of the lack of maturity that leads to weak marriages is the concept that the romantic chemistry is what holds it together, rather than unselfish love, benevolence, loving kindness, compassion toward the other, etc.
- on the other hand, when people who know us and care about us deeply match-make for us, they might in many ways know our true desires better than we do ourselves. I once had a very tempestuous romance with someone who was very good friends with most of my good friends. When that romance crashed and burned, I had several friends say "well we never really thought this would end well" to which I thought "well why didn't you say that after I told you about our first date, instead of a year later..." They didn't want to hurt my feelings, but they didn't look out for the best interests of either of us in that couple.
The problem with thinking a failed romance was doomed from the start and should have somehow been avoided denies human nature and logic. You fall in love, a feeling we all know and understand, one that poets have written about since before recorded history and you pursue that love. If it is mutual then of course it is hot and burns brightly. That it burns out is not something to rue and make you vow to never fall in love again. If anything the common sense that rarely is part of love and romance should now come into play and tell you to seek love again. This is what you were created for, it is what creates families and provides us satisfaction both at the time and in old age. If you have loved and lost surely that is better then to never have loved at all (seems like I've heard that somewhere). If you are very lucky you will someday celebrate your 60th anniversery with the love of your life and if you are unlucky in love you will still have many good memories mixed with the bitter sweet memories. But if you take the very bad advice people offer when they are bitter then you will one day be bitter too and full of regret. As a father of four and a grandfather of 7 who is an old man and perhaps should know better I say to all teens, 20 and 30 somethings; live life while it is there for you, follow your heart in love and not your mind, expect regrets and accept that life and love are imperfect. Try to live two lives simultaneously; the one where you follow your heart and act like a child and the other where you do what you must and what society demands so that you can survive and prosper and be able to enjoy life to the fullest.