My friend who is one year older than me (24) is getting married today.
This has made me think about marriage and what it means to me, and to other people. In our society, where sex before marriage is taboo and “theoretically” illegal (but there are some people who still have sex before marriage) getting married is basically the only option people have if they want to have a sexual life.
I used to think about marriage as my only option to live with the person I love without problems, but now that my friend is getting married, and that so many things have happened in my life, I am sort of questioning the whole idea of marriage… and obviously the concept of love!
I am at a point where my opinions on love are not clear. I have been in a relationship for about 4 years, and things have been ok. But when I think about it, I just get the impression that love, when it gets to a certain point, where you begin to take things for granted, changes, and becomes something else… it becomes like a habit, you get used to being with that person, and even if there could be other options for you, you just can’t let them go because they became part of your life and you love them… but it’s not like the kind of love you used to have…
I do not know if this makes sense, and if it is the case with all relationships or do I feel this way because of my own experience, and other people’s experiences are different.
I wonder why do people still use the phrase “taking for granted”. How would you describe another relations if they’re not granted to you? How should you perceive a mutual love, not just from your point of view, but from both of you? Marriage seems more and more like a deal than love between two people. I was thinking about dreaming today. What love is exactly, it’s dreaming about love, dreaming about being and doing, a whole lotta dreaming that gives you comfort even if the only thing you do is dream and if a dream is not shared, it’s only yours, it’s not love anymore. You cant’ exactly feel good if you stop dreaming, so I guess thats’ what happens to people – their dreams become separate and their mutual love isn’t savoured anymore, that’s why they start to feel unhappy, they don’t even take someone else for granted, they don’t share their own love because there isn’t any, they stopped nourishing it. Anyway, what I’m saying is indeed what I think about love, in the real world it’s nothing more than a deal with conditional favors.
So I don’t remember all the technical terms in the article I read about this, but there are basically several stages of “love”, such as infatuation/lust (where you’re probably be having a lot of sex), then attraction, where you take a slight step back from all the sex and actually look at your partner and decide if they are good enough to keep around, and I can’t remember what the last stage is called but it’s basically when you’re old and you’ve just kind of accepted each other.
Love is just a feeling, and feelings change. Basically you’re hoping that once that initial feeling of infatuation dims, there’s still attraction and a desire to still live life with that person.
But I agree with what you’re saying about taking people for granted, once you develop a routine you expect it to continue and if it doesn’t you get upset, when in reality they could have been going out of their way to continue doing this routine because they love you.
But these are all just my subjective thoughts, someone else could view things differently.
@theroadahead, I do not totally agree with you about the idea that “love is just a feeling”. I think love is so many things… sometimes, you do not necessarily “feel” anything, yet you behave in a way that indicates your love for someone. It is not true to say that we are constantly aware of our feeling of love for someone, but our behavior most of the time shows that… except when we fight or have an argument… Which is something else that I do not understand about love.
Why do we hurt the people we love? Aren’t we supposed to look after them and protect them? Then, why do couples fight and say hurtful things to each other sometimes?? And I am talking about couples who ARE in love!
@kidvisions, I’m kindve at the same place you are, been in a relationship for like five years. To me it’s not that the love went away or that it was never really there, it’s more like the stages of life. At first its young and curious and wants to explore everything, then it grows and learns what causes harm and pain, and eventually it grows into a wise elder type of thing. It may look like an old wrinkled shell on the outside but inside there’s all this wisdom and experience that’s been accumulated over time. The thing is though, at a point you get so comfortable with another person that you don’t see them as so separate from yourself, and that’s where that stagnant feeling comes in.
@kidvisions, I felt that same thing when I talked to someone about it, we were talking about how love gets a habit when you are too familiar with each other…you get in a rut…so I totally want to avoid that feeling, but it’s really hard, because you also want to feel emotionally save and at peace with the person you love, though you don’t want it to become too familiar, as if the excitement has died…It means you have to exercize new energy in the relationship, new impulses, new things, so it doesn’t become too familiar…..
@tanner, @phoebs, @peacelove, After reading your posts, and thinking well about the issue of love and marriage, I think that part of the problem is that we human beings tend to always seek what’s better, thinking that the grass will always be better on the other side, which is probably not going to be the case most of the time, just like in the ten rules of becoming human ;http://www.bluinc.com/free/human10.htm
“”There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”
@kidvisions, yes i feel that need too, it is totally annoying really, i always feel somewhere else is better or something else is better and most of the time i even know it isn’t at the same time, yet i confuse myself thinking something else is better knowing it isn’t……………..i really don’t understand that need to find something better while in fact it even isn’t better at all…it becomes the same after a while or sometimes even disappointing due to the high expectations you’ve set on the “new experience”…..yet i still somewhere believe something is better than where i am now, so that makes me move towards new things…………….but maybe i could also be happy with how situation is right here right now……………..how are we suppose to be happy with the here and now if we think something else is better?
@kidvisions, I think there’s two relevant perspectives on this:
First: @beyond I really like what you said about the dreaming thing. In all of the failed relationships in my past, our dreams did not match, and the one I am in now, theyre really do. It has made all the difference.
Second: Biological. Oxytocin is the neurotransmitter secreted by the brain when one feels “love.” It is comforting, extremely happy, and just like many other positive neurotransmitters, addictive. Another tendency of human beings is to habituate to anything in their lives that is consistent. THis is an evolutionary adaptation mechanism. For instance, tap on your arm in the same place repeatedly, eventually the sensation dulls. If consistently you are being subjected to oxytocin due to “love experiences” then eventually, naturally, you will habituate.
On the bright side, finding love in sharing the experiences of life with someone is where long lasting love can be found… in my opinion at least.
“In marriage, if you live together, happy, and get old, there is the issue of who goes first, who dies first. Human attachment to your children and partner. And it becomes an obstacle to peace of mind. Whether right or wrong, we monks think that way. What do you think? You should join the monkhood (long laughter).
The attachments bring trap. Whether it is to a person, to substances or whatever, it is a trap. Monks are detached. One of the practices in all major religions is detachment. Don’t have too much attachment, and you’ll be contented. You have it in Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, all major religions. You should be contented. Wealth, money, friend, family, contentment is best. It’s the key to peace of mind. Some of my friends are billionaires, but their minds is on more, more money. Contentment means some kind of personal check, but it doesn’t mean we no longer have desire. But attachment and desire should be separate. Without desire, then life is meaningless. Desire for good, for more service to others, desire for more benefit to others. That makes your life more meaningful. Without desire, then you’re a robot. No further progress. Genuine desire, with reasons, with logic, that’s proper desire.
Anger also can be two types. One anger comes spontaneously. That’s okay. But the anger that says this person is my enemy, I have to hit back, that is bad and is based on ignorance, lack of holistic view. If you behave well to your enemy, practice forgiveness, and reach out in all sincerity, one day the enemy and you may become best of friends. We should not close that possibility.” – Dalai Lama
Marriages work best if they’re based more on compatibility than love. And you usually fall in love with people you’re very compatible with. So don’t worry if things get boring sometimes because every emotion goes away and then comes back. Like when life feels pretty good for a few days, maybe even weeks, then something bad happens and life just goes to crap for at least a week. Then a little later there’s another really great day or month. Any old couple still in love will probably tell you that there were times when they didn’t love each other and then fell right back in love. So it’s better to find someone that you can still care about even when they’re at their worst and someone who can handle you at your worst. It just has to be a constant openness to that person. If you start to cut yourself off and tell yourself “Ugh, I’m so unhappy with this person.” then it’s not gonna work out. Or that’s what I truly think based on observations. I’ve never been married or anything.
Marriage is just a man-made concept and there is absolutely no reason to stick to it. Why do you even want to ‘legally’ be together on a piece of paper? If a couple wants to stay together, they will stay together… married or not. Sex before marriage is absolutely fine, because marriage is a fake and limiting concept. I’m also seeing a few people I know starting to get married. I know I never will. I don’t know if I will ever stick to one person for my whole life. You can love many… Love and addiction/dependence is different.
Forget what society told you about love and relationships…
Ignore the boundaries.
Do what you like. I don’t even see the point of getting into a ‘relationship’ . Why label yourselves as ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’… rather just be it, be together without putting silly words on it. Honesty is important, but everyone should be able to be with who they want to be at any time… I think societies views on relationship is ridiculous hah.
Just my opinion
@kidvisions, I feel you there. I’ve been married 3 years to someone I’ve known a total of 5 years. Right now it is boring, sexless, routine and annoying. I know he won’t clean the bathroom and he knows I don’t want to watch superhero cartoons, but we still ask each other to do those things. I know he hates cooking, and he knows I hate making the bed.. but we still ask each other to do it.
I am poly, and allowed to date and have sex with whoever I want so long as they are not harming me, and he is allowed the same things..but even in an open relationship the same thing happens. I get a rush from that “full of lust/infatuation” stage and I can deal with the “admiration/respect” stage, but beyond that I am bored with anyone, not just my husband.
In short, marriage is going to be disappointing. Women especially are fed these ideas about happy households and how marriage should be from a very young age. When you find out that it’s ‘just marriage’, you’ll be crushed. I’ve tried to move on from that disappointment and focus on improving myself instead. Marriage may not be great but I still have a lot left to show the world.
“Marriage” is just a ceremony made up by us humans and now there’s a piece of paper to back it up. Yes it’s nice and I’m sure weddings are fun but I don’t think it will be any different than being in a long term-live in relationship.
My man and I have lived together over three years, we’ve had our ups and downs but in the end we always come back stronger. The key is communication. Don’t EVER marry or move in with someone you can’t openly communicate with. As for not liking doing things @mskisa, if it bothers him or you why don’t you guys just do it then? My boyfriend has NEVER cleaned the bathroom but I don’t get in a huff over it because he does most the dishes and laundry (laundry is one main thing because it’s hard to lug down in an apartment and I’m a small person).
You’ve got to find out what works and what doesn’t experiment or things will get old and boring. And yes there will be times when the libido is low, but there will also be times when it’s high. It all depends on both partners personal and work lives apart from each other as well. My boyfriend and I have been very busy with work and my son so sex has been about two or four times a month. But then once we get used to being busy it will pick up again I’m sure.
“Marriage” should be no different than any long term relationship that piece of paper will turn into dirt one day so what does it really mean? NOTHING. It’s the relationship that counts. Bros before hoes- be a bro not a hoe. My boyfriend is my best friend, don’t care how lame that sounds.
@aliwine, 100% agreed. Marriage is paper, and means nothing. Commitment is commitment, no need to bring pen and paper and the federal government into my love life.
@mskisa, It is good that you’re each your own person, but both want to share your responsibilities and interests with each other. My boyfriend and I do the same, and when he doesn’t want to listen to Eminem with me, I frankly don’t give a damn (but yes, I ask). I also only clean the bathroom, empty cat pans, and mop the floor. I frankly don’t give a damn. We are in harmony on what each of us does and enjoys, but mainly, we enjoy each other.
If you do not enjoy your spouse, something is wrong.
@kidvisions, As for taking it for granted, that goes without saying. You, however, are the only one to blame for this. You must remind yourself of the amazing thing that you have, and just how amazing it really IS, and when you do this, that initial head-over-heels-in-love feeling comes back. Just because you have it, and it’s there on a regular basis doesn’t lower the overall greatness of what it truly is. Just because I have a bed every day doesn’t make sleeping that less appealing. I look forward to sleep. Everyday. and I look forward to my boyfriend, every day.
Romantic love is a myth. Until you are perhaps in your forties, live in love seems to have a shelf life. This is something most people patently deny, in word and deed, and my guess is that those people who deny this and refuse to take the extra effort and energy to move on to the next phase of their lives, are unfulfilled. Some love is abiding, some is fleeting, but hey, it’s all “real.”
When one is mature enough to truly love, love ceases to be something one has been consuming, like a sweet, for their own pleasure, and selfish needs. Love becomes an abiding sense of concern and interest for another, a compassion and curiosity about who they are and how they became the way they are as you know them.
In short, real love is something that puts you in a natural space where you feed and nurture and are fed and nurtured in return.
Love is got by loving. (not lusting, needing, using, helping, changing, curing, controlling, etc.). When you need love, give it freely and see what happens.
@mskisa, MsKisa, you are correct, except that it’s little girls who are fed this. When one becomes a woman, they should be educated or insightful and experienced enough to know that it is a myth. If they choose denial and have a love for shiny objects or a life of servitude, it’s no one’s fault but their own if they find that marriage does not fulfill them.
I can’t speak for other people, but I myself would like to get married someday…I’d like to have a girlfriend/wife someday, and maybe even kids if I know I can support a family. Not because I believe in ownership of another person at all…but because I believe in love, and I believe especially that if a relationship results in children, that they should have a mother and father who love each other, the kids should have some stability since they don’t have a say in if they’re born or not…they should have somebody who gives a damn if they live or die. I understand some people want to be independent….but ultimately I believe families are good.