Category Archives: Books

It’s not enough to be in love

“But it’s not enough to be in love. It’s about how you spend your days, what you do together, who you choose as friends, and most of all it’s what work you do. I’m a dancer. I need to dance. If I give it up to spend my life wrapping pork pies and weighing apples, I will come to resent him. And even though he says I can dance as well, he expects me to be his partner in the shop. He would come to resent me, too. Better to break both our hearts now than watch them wither away over time.”

– Helen Simonson

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Conscientiousness is not enough

I am reading a book titled “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand“. The Major is a classic Englishman, a model of conscientiousness. He believes in duty. He values people who are themselves sensible.

***PLOT SPOILER***

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Settling

Currently I’m reading a book as slowly as possible because I don’t want to have to part with it, even tho I’m dying to find out what happens to the characters. Unless it absolutely falls apart at the end, I will undoubtedly declare that I love it and recommend it to others (or force them to have it in their book collection because I buy it for them as a present).

We all have books or songs like that that we love. They speak to us in ways that other books or songs just do not. We invest time and money into these things (and other writings/songs by their creators).

How much more it is with people; there are some that we are just fond of and care about more than others. When this happens on a romantic level, we call it falling in love. The proper end of this scenario is marriage.

However, a lot of people are desperate to have just anyone they are even slightly attracted to be their romantic partner.

Settling is not marrying someone because you love them, care for their well-being, want and are able to share your whole self with them, and desire to build a life with them.

Settling is using people. It is marrying someone because you are lonely, because you don’t want to spend yet another Saturday night alone. Settling is getting married because you’re panicking that you’re 24 or 29 or 34, that your fertility is almost gone and that your sexual market value is about to go into free fall (obvious question: why would you want to marry someone who wants to marry you just because your current hotness levels are high? What’s the likelihood of that marriage ending in divorce one wrinkles show up and skin starts sagging?)

In real life, when people marry someone that they think they are setting for, they have unhappy marriages. If people don’t think that their spouse is all that great, they are going to grow resentful of having to sacrifice their own needs for their spouse’s needs. Eventually, they just won’t, and the marriage will sour. A poor relationship between spouses means sexual and emotional needs are going to go unmet.

If you are embarrassed to introduce your boyfriend to your family, could take or leave an evening with him, you’re probably Just Not That In To Him.

I am not saying that you should marry whomever you fall in love with. Obviously it’s important to take into account values, life goals, and maturity levels. But falling in love with someone is a sign the lack of which does not bode well for the future affection of married couples.

(And before JW jumps in with a comment about arranged marriages: I am not talking about those. We live in the West, we have marriages based on different values and expectations.)

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