You, and all who have written on the subject of marriage, do not have the concept. Yes, far too many ill-prepared fools are getting married, because they are all getting married for the wrong reasons. True LOVE (not romantic love) is is an act, not an emotion. It is a choice. When two people decide that one-another’s needs and well-being are more important than their own, then they will both look out for each other better than they ever could have on their own.
I think that you are right about we North-Americans being too hung up on our own “super-specialness”. This pursuit of self-actualization completely negates the possibility of entering into such a symbiotic relationship, and thus marriages fail. In the end, I think we’ve all been eating too much granola (or maybe we need to eat more).
I admit it, I’m a little tipsy right now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do my job. It just means I can’t do my job well. Maybe it’s because I’m wasted, but I don’t get the granola thing. And, where exactly am I wrong on the subject of marriage? I‘m sure that I’m wrong about a lot of things, but you don’t really shed any light on what those things are. I agree that too many ill-prepared fools get married. I agree that true love is an act, not an emotion. Oh wait, no I don’t. Shit, I never really thought about it.
To be honest, my first thought is, yuck. Your mature kind of love sounds more, um, mature. But, it sounds like high school-guidance-counselor-love (not that there is anything wrong with high school guidance counselors). I guess that I want love to be an emotion. At the same time, I can see how it makes sense to want a relationship founded on reason, rather than emotion. I guess. I just have trouble imagining rational sex. Is it as good as emotional sex?
And there’s the rub, right. What drives those ill-prepared fools into the arms of romantic love? Sex. Or money. People who get married for money are incomprehensible to me, so I will not even address them (except to say that they must have experienced a time in their lives when they felt tremendously insecure). Okay, money doesn’t really play into romantic love (I’m pretty drunk right now). That just proves my point about sex, right? Sure.
But do people say to themselves, “oh, I think I’ll marry so-and-so because they light my figurative fire.” No, it’s one of those unconscious things. But you probably aren’t ever driven by unconscious motivations to be with someone you probably shouldn’t. Still, the rest of us are often drawn to someone for reasons that are not entirely rational. In fact, it may be the very primitive nature of our feelings that drives us to do something as inconceivable as share our lives with someone else.
You suggest that self-actualization is somehow part of that North American feeling of “super-specialness”. I disagree. When I spoke about “super-special people”, I was referring to those individuals who feel like any assault on them is an assault on the very soul of truth and justice. For this reason, the super-specials cannot endure any infidelity in their marriages. I don’t remember why I am talking about this, but there must be a point.
Oh yeah. Self-actualization is identical with the idea that we are all equally special and worthy of forgiveness. If I am right, then self-actualization would serve the purposes of romantic love by creating a more tolerant atmosphere in which love could grow. Sorry, that was so hokey. If you are right, and the pursuit of self-actualization completely negates the possibility of romantic love, then we should all do our utmost to avoid romantic love, because it would suck to give up self-actualization. I hope that you are wrong. Because I want to be self-actualized, but I don’t want to be a sixty-year old bachelor who brings pictures of my dog to family reunions (not that my dog isn’t totally cool).