I saw this essay going around the internet again so I wanted to see what you all thought about it!
I don't agree with everything that Alain de Botton says (though I loved his collection 'Essays on Love') but he brings up some pretty interesting points!
This is his essay called "How We End Up Marrying The Wrong Person." I'd love to know your thoughts!
One: We don’t understand ourselves
"All of us are crazy in very particular ways. We’re distinctively neurotic, unbalanced and immature, but don’t know quite the details because no one ever encourages us too hard to find them out."
In my words: We need to understand our strengths, weaknesses, all of our faults and insecurities, how we react to situations, what we really want, what we really need. Without knowing that, it is hard to know what kind of person would work well with us.
"With such a poor level of understanding of our characters, no wonder we aren’t in any position to know who we should be looking out for."
Two: We don’t understand other people
"We need to know the intimate functioning of the psyche of the person we’re planning to marry. We need to know their attitudes to, or stance on, authority, humiliation, introspection, sexual intimacy, projection, money, children, aging, fidelity and a hundred things besides."
In my words: Just as we don't know ourselves, our partners don't know themselves either. Work together to reach a deep understanding before deciding to be together forever.
Three: We aren’t used to being happy
"As adults, we may then reject certain healthy candidates whom we encounter, not because they are wrong, but precisely because they are too well-balanced (too mature, too understanding, too reliable), and this rightness feels unfamiliar and alien, almost oppressive. We head instead to candidates whom our unconscious is drawn to, not because they will please us, but because they will frustrate us in familiar ways."
In my words: We often think of happiness as a wonderful vibrant feeling, but what if happiness is just feeling safe and content. Maybe we push people away when they're "boring" us when actually they are giving us the subtle happiness we need?
Four: Being single is so awful
"One is never in a good frame of mind to choose a partner rationally when remaining single is unbearable. We have to be utterly at peace with the prospect of many years of solitude in order to have any chance of forming a good relationship."
In my words: Don't be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. Society pressures us not to be single past a certain age, but do yourself a favor and don't give in.
Five: Instinct has too much prestige
"The romantic marriage dictated that how one felt about someone should be the only guide to marriage. If one felt ‘in love’, that was enough. No more questions asked. Feeling was triumphant. "
In my words: We all hear the love at first sight stories, but we should also consider being reasonable with marriage. Really think about how this person will work with you in every way, not just romantically.
Six: We don’t go to Schools of Love
"We go into it without any insightful reasons as to why marriages fail – beyond what we presume to be the idiocy or lack of imagination of their protagonists."
In my words: A lot of us just don't know how love works! Why do marriages fail, why do marriages stay together? How can you fix something when it is broken?
Seven: We want to freeze happiness
"We imagine that marriage is a guarantor of the happiness we’re enjoying with someone. It will make permanent what might otherwise be fleeting. It will help us to bottle our joy."
In my words: Circumstances change, life happens, violent bubbly happiness fades. You have to remember that as a married couple you are in it through everything. The rough patches and the fun times.
Eight: We believe we are special
"The statistics are not encouraging. Everyone has before them plenty of examples of terrible marriages. They’ve seen their friends try it and come unstuck. And yet we do not easily apply this insight to our own case. Without specifically formulating it, we assume that this is a rule that applies to other people."
In my words: We've heard that marriage is hard, but most of us think those couples weren't like you and your partner. You guys will make it.
Nine: We want to stop thinking about Love
"We hope that marriage can conclusively end love’s painful rule over our lives.
It can’t and won’t: there is as much doubt, hope, fear, rejection and betrayal in a marriage as there is in single life. It’s only from the outside that a marriage looks peaceful, uneventful and nicely boring."
In my words: Dating and being single and heartbreak and falling in love is all too much to deal with sometimes. Often people think that marriage puts an end to that crazy cycle."
So, what do you guys think?
I agree with a few of these points but a few seem a little off to me...
You can read the whole essay: HERE!