One sometimes hears that not wanting to 'commit' to another person is egoism...
Oh really? As opposed to what? Is looking for the partner to spend your life with altruism? And what exactly would make this intention altruistic? The fact that there are two people involved?
So if I go to the party alone it is egoism, but if I take a friend with me it automatically becomes a selfless act?
Looking for someone to be happy with is a selfish desire, its underlying motive involves your own happiness. Like most if not all the things people do.
A 'commitment' in marriage is what in fact normally called a contract. Because it involves obligations and rights. You do not actually commit to the specific person no matter what. You commit to the person you know here and now on condition that they will not change in a way that you won't like or be able to understand and approve of, and only on the condition that they do certain things and avoid doing other things.
And if you want to call it a commitment call it a commitment to marriage, not to a partner. You both commit to the idea of living a life according to certain code of conduct. Whenever one of you steps away from the rules, the commitment is void and you hit the road looking for a new partner to take the vacant part in your script. But there was never a commitment to the person as such, person is secondary here, secondary to the role you want this person to be playing.
Most people want insurances. I don't. And I can't give them. I can say whether I believe the relationship has a future or not, but no promises (I like sticking to them).
I do sometimes get very attracted to people, I do fall in love, and I do feel very strongly at those moments that this state is going to last forever, that something as strong and profound couldn't possibly end. But... I am a very analytical person, and even at those moments I realize the power of my emotions do not guarantee the longevity of the state I'm in.
There may be the times when sitting on the edge of a beautiful mountain I may feel I can fly, and while the feeling may be very real, I know if I jump from it my flight will end in a few seconds.
Feeling I can fly may be authentic, and very strong, but it does not make it true. Feeling I could never stop loving a man may be strong and genuine as well, but the truth is no one knows what will happen tomorrow.
That's why no matter how strong the urge at the moment to say 'I promise I'll never stop loving you' is, at the back of my brain I still understand I would be lying if I said that.
Lying because I know I can't know that. I can think I know, I can think I'm sure, but if I wasn't born yesterday and I am true to myself, I would have to admit the future is beyond my control.
Now that's not what people say to each other when they get married and say the vows. Most do believe them when they say them, I guess, but that doesn't change the fact that they are promising something that is not in their power to deliver. You can promise to be with someone and do that, but not to feel something forever. You didn't conciously choose to love someone, you can't prolong that feeling or kill it by choice. There are steps to take to try and keep it alive or get rid of it, true, but that does not guarantee any results.
Just because someone cares enough to promise a future to someone doesn't mean it'll happen. And thats how I read the promises to love me till the end of time - I appreciate that a person feels this way today, but I do not think (or worry about it for that matter) this will actually be the case. In fact, if it were the case it would sort of worry me, unless I was able to reciprocate. Having someone love you and suffer hurts. But that is a different story.
Lots of people want some sort of stability in their lives. Insurance.
Thats understandable, especially seeing how we're brought up this way. '...and they lived happily ever after'. Everyone heard that in childhood.
One can't be happy unless they find a 'soulmate'. That's the common idea, isn't it?
Makes people who otherwise would have been looking into themselves for strength and joy, go wasting years of life in search for a half-magical being to fix their numerous personal problems, to 'make them happy'.
I would say the 'special someone' is not a necessary condition, intimacy is. We need to have intimate relationships with other people. And yes, we need to love and be loved. But this feeling comes and goes and could not care less about our insurance mania. When we feel like a failure for not being able 'to preserve love' or 'to save marriage' - that's the price we are paying for believing people can and need to try and do that.
Fear of uncertainty, of changes, the lack of ability to build intimate relationships with new people motivate us to cling to the relationships that no longer give us anything of value. No love, no understanding, no passion, no mutual interests and still people are too afraid of loosing the stability they have, no matter how miserable and empty it may be.
We're so afraid of what the very essence of being alive is. Uncertainty and changes. We wish we could predict future, preserve the pleasure and prevent pain. Unable to achieve that, we at least try to find someone to blame for the hurt we experience.
Instead of thanking them for the times when they've been contributing to our happiness.
However, there evidently are some cases where people were able to find a 'soulmate' and enjoy a fullfilling happy life together for decades.
Whatever makes us happy - is worth it. If it is living with your spouse till the death do you part - wonderful! You may be the lucky minority whose vows actually came true. Sort of like winning the lottery. Millions take part, a few win.
I do not think this happens often (and the near 50% of divorce rate kinda proves that), but everyone is encouraged to pursue this 'win a lottery' scenario, with a weird expectation that nearly every relationship with an opposite sex (same in some cases ;)) is supposed to be serious, and every serious relationship should end in marriage.
Why so many shoulds and so little taking into account the actual human happiness, the joy, the fun, the pleasure? What are we living for anyway?
If you are having great time with a person even though you both know you're too different to stay together for a while, what's wrong with having a '3-days-marriage' and then saying thank you and good-bye?? :)))) People do it with 3 years quite often, why not 3 days? Life is short anyway. Not all our encounters can or need to be about 'eternal' 'commitments'.
My choice was to live every day like its my last. (More or less, of course as I still think about how the situation might turn out later, should I survive).
On this journey I meet different people. With some we travel together one station, with others - a trip around Europe :)
It lasts as long as it lasts. Days, months or years. The longest so far was 4 years, two of which we spent living together. We've had amazing times, both peaceful harmony where we just felt good being together without even having to talk, and the highest emotional peaks, we were also best friends with each other, sharing lots of views and interests.
At this point most people usually ask 'so what killed your love'?))) A fusion of factors, some of which I consider too private to be talking about.
But today we are two drastically different people. Those two who loved each other deeply no longer exist. It's over.
Sometimes things end not because its somebody's fault, but because life presupposes changes.
Some people like saying true love is forever. I'm not so sure about that.
La Rochefoucald once said "True love is like a ghost; everyone talks of it, but few have met it face to face." :)
Does it matter what 'true love' is? (It does for the sake of a philosophical argument, but for a particular person - its what you're capable of at this particular moment in time.)
I do believe in love, and I believe there are all sorts and kinds of what can be called love. It's like a song. One song that sounds differently each time someone else is singing it.
There are also many love-like states as with love addiction when ... ok, thats a different story, google it if curious.
True or not, forever or for a while, if the beautiful feeling emerges between the two people... I guess they have a decision to make whether they want to dive into it unconditionally, or only after they set things straight about 'the commitment'.
Gee... I'm a terrible blogger, I write posts that require too much scrolling down! That's it, the topic is endless, but I have to stop someplace... here ___ And if you want to ask something in the comments, I'll be happy to reply (actually, I can't promise you I'll be happy coz its in the future which is ... u know... unclear )
More posts from this category: Childhood sucks and Confessions of an AntinatalistNightly ramblings on life, suffering, death and dying (oh, goodie!) :P
The arrangement you're describing is the only one I'd be willing to consider as an option. Theres no need to ever go from dating to getting bored with each other, you can keep dating your partner forever, its all up to you to decide))
When you don't have to share the house a HUGE amount of potential fights is just gone, and really - why wasting time on things like that or even learning something like 'how to tell your spouse you hate finding their socks under the bed'. Life brings enough challenges, no need to create more stress for each other.
Im happy if my musings on the matter helped you in some way. Although others will hate me for promoting such liberating ideas, because whats liberation for one is a loss of control and security for another.
All the best
has to do with promising to love, not to feel the emotion
Love is a feeling. Emotions are very unstable. So you can't promise you won't feel angry at the person the next minute, but you sort of can predict that you probably wont just fall out of love overnight. But even that is possible! Rarely, but still...
Meaning, love as conscious work, as an action
I've heard that definition of love, but that doesn't sound too convincing. Whats the point and the content of that concious work? 'I'm really gonna try to keep loving you today, even though I've stopped feeling fulfilled in the realtionship with you'? God (or FSM ) forbid anyone loves me that way one day. If I don't provoke the feeling of love in another person, that person should be somewhere else, with someone else, who the f*ck needs his concious work? Hit the road and off you go! It sounds more like an insult than a noble deed I'd appreciate.
I'm not saying that the feeling of love always evokes the gamut of fulfilling and pleasant emotions. But if the relationship is worth it, and the connection is deep, that will result in the desire to invest some effort into working out some issues when those arise. That I do not see as work, because it is initiated by the want. Whenever the thing is worth fighting for one will find the resources to do it. But when saving the relationship feels like work, it is like trying to revive the dead and is just a desperate action people are taking out of fear of staying alone and having to start building new relationships.
Sort of like eating when you're not hungry and dancing when you feel like lying down to take a rest? That sure is leading, not following, but is that really better?
I see the movement of society as negating marriage and that movement controlled by the extremely wealthy bloodlines
I don't think Osho falls into that category. Rich though he was, there is no wealthy 'bloodline' behind him.
Throughought all our history we've been trying to find a scapegoat for most our misfortunes. It was always a king, a government, a particular nation, organization, religious group - they were the source of the problems, and the majority was always - a victim. Its just an extension of the need to absolve ourselves from the burden of responsibility and also - preserve the image of this world as just and friendly, as though saying 'if it wasn't for that evil group of people, this world would have been just perfect'. Much harder it is to admit that we ourselves make stupid mistakes, that our marriages fall apart because of our complex nature, that violence persists because we are scared and aggressive beings, that we live in poverty because we allow some people to just come and usurp the wealth that they didnt earn...
I didnt quite get your message as it first it seemed you were saying that marriage was what was left from our bigger unions as communes, that it itself was an isolated little union. And then you seem to condemn the deconstruction of marriage myth. I say myth because it has long been portrayed as a solution to loneliness, something that will provide an individual with all their needs, happily ever after etc. When in fact one ends up trading loneliness of one for the loneliness of two. What's the value of that? Wouldn't we be better of maintaining a wider circle of contacts, instead of locking ourselves in those prison cells for 2?
I work from home, so I feel less enslaved :) But really, what enslaves us is the very nature of this life. You are enslaved once you are born. You are an addict having to work to get a fix. And thats no conspiracy by any group, thats what this world is all about by design.
Hi, John, seems like a good read, thanks.
I will have to put off reading it for now, but what I already agree with is this phrase in the beginning of the book: "Since the main purpose of marriage is no longer the raising of children but the seeking of something emotional, the big question is whether creating the community pot really increases the likelihood that your emotional goals will be achieved."
Incidently, I came across this video not too long ago http://youtu.be/2-myk23yTyM
Cites some articles on how financial independence of women negatively correlates with their getting and staying married.
I still remember one moment back in school when one of our teachers decided to have a lecture on 'how to live properly' with our class. Maybe I was being told by my parents how things should be before that moment, but it was never in a bold and bossy manner. This man, however, decided he was the authority on the matter of life's purpose and said 'the role of a woman is to be a mother, that's her utmost goal and a highest achievement'. And I was sitting there thinking to myself "what a stupid game! So I'm born just to play some script that is already written, known, has been performed countless number of times and I have to perform it too? What's the point of me being here if nobody expects me to be an individual, nobody wants to see how this woman will choose to live her life, but instead they expect me to become something they want to see?" I remember the feeling of protest.
Financial independence means everything. Beggers can't be choosers. They need to meet the expectations and pretend to be something they're not. Thank FSM :) lots of women today don't have to be beggers. If men don't like me the way I am I can just tell them to deal with it and if I'm really desperate, order an escort , haha :). That never happened, but hey, never know what the future brings! :)
Not only do women have to to conform to mens expectations when their livelihood depends on them, but they also tend to convince themselves it's what they want anyway. When we can't change the situation, we try to find positive aspects of it and make ourselves believe we're lucky, not screwed. Same way people who become permanently disabled will claim the tragic accident was in fact beneficial to them in some way. That's because they don't have a choice any more. When we do have a choice and making it one way or the other doesn't entangle any harsh consequences, we're much more free to admit we don't appreciate being subjugated, told what to do, what to dream of, deprived of the freedom of movement etc.
Ok, I'm going to buy Sex at Dawn for my Kindle and read it. Been planning to do it for a long time. Besides, I'm on my shopping spree lately.
adaptive strategy you mentioned is SO VERY true! The almost Stockholm syndrome
yep. some call it sythesizing happiness. synthetic happiness.
i agree with everything else you said, but we've side-tracked from the subject)))