Why You Will (Eventually) Marry the Right Person by D. Teller
(Link): Why You Will (Eventually) Marry the Right Person by D. Teller
As 2016 drew to a close last month, I opened my newsfeed with dread, braced for more gloomy tidings. Sure enough, amidst the news round-ups and “best of” lists was The New York Times’ most popular article of the year: “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person.”
…For readers not familiar with the article, written by best-selling philosopher Alain de Botton, allow me to summarize. The author begins with the perceptive, if bleak, observation that humans are terrible at choosing good mates.
We are flawed, lonely people with poor self-awareness and an even poorer grasp of what makes other people tick.
We believe that we seek happiness in love, but we are actually seeking the familiar destructive patterns of our childhoods. We rebuff “balanced, mature, understanding and reliable” marriage candidates in favor of people more like our crazy relatives.
…Where de Botton’s article goes wrong, however, is in its benighted conclusion that since we all make mistakes in choosing mates, we should universally abandon the ideal of romantic love. Forget marital bliss: Humans must accept the fact that we will likely end up bound to someone who, at the very least, cannot make us happy and who will, more likely, contribute substantially to our unhappiness.
…If such a pessimistic philosophy is still comforting today, it must mean that many of us believe at least one of the following:
- a) divorce is unacceptable,
- b) it’s worse to be single than trapped in a bad marriage, and
- c) a happier union is an impossibility.
Very unfortunately, I would argue that our society pushes quite hard for us to believe all three of these things—despite ample evidence to the contrary.
…Through such language and attitudes, we communicate that divorce is shameful. It is better to quietly tolerate the consequences of our bad marital choices than risk being stigmatized.
But then, wouldn’t it be even better to avoid the mistake altogether by remaining single? Not so fast, says society. We push Cinderella stories and diamond ring fetishes onto girls and young women for a reason. Our patriarchal society wants to perpetuate the status quo, and so we label single people— especially women— as somehow defective or selfish. (The latter criticism is also leveled against people, especially women, who choose not have children.)
You can read more of that page (Link): here.
(Link): Why Do We Still Have to Justify the Choice to be Child-Free? by H. Freeman