If this is all good, why do I feel that there is still something missing? Alas, I think it is because there's still some misconception about the type of people we marry. All too often, important matters of opinion are overlooked in favor of the passion of the moment. Religion, politics, money, and parenting aren't always the first discussions people have, and the last one in particular is a subject that's difficult to talk about without breaching the illusion of a platonic friendship. Yet, they should certainly be known before the committed relationship of marriage. Why, people might ask, should this matter if there are going to be arguments anyway? In my view, a marriage isn't necessarily about the fulfillment of feelings so much as it is about having a stable, positive relationship that produces something worth while. As much as I'd like to say that love is irrational, another part of me - the old man part - tells me that it's pragmatic.
So the strange analogy that my mind came up with, which was quite jarring at first, is that a marriage is sort of like a business deal. The wife comforts the husband's soul and the husband guards the wife's heart, but what are heart and soul for? When I think of my heart and soul, I don't think of emotions and feelings. I think of my will. So maybe loving someone isn't about falling heads over heals over them, or feeling them tug at your heartstrings, neither of which are behaviors that can truly be explained, but rather about things that can be explained. Like real world results. Like a bottom line in business.
Then I begin to think of my selfish desires. Think of the previous entry, A Bundle of Likes and Quirks, where it was established that people are far more than their personality traits, and that it's wrong to fall in love with those ideas, because the pragmatic objective of love is to care for a person. So what does it say about me if I find myself strangely attracted to someone and liking them on a sincere level. What does that say about me? Is liking someone the primary requirement for a relationship? Yet I wonder, based on my philosophy, if that's wrong, if I should be concerned at all with my feelings about the person, or if I should judge whether or not a relationship is worth pursuing based upon where it will go. I also called these initial urges selfish. Why? Once I think about it, basing love off of attraction is basically saying "I will be selfless so long as it benefits me", a contradiction. In the case of attraction, "love" is easy. What happens when love no longer feels desirable? What does that say about us with regards to our place among other human beings?
It seems to be that love should be an uphill battle. It shouldn't be easy; it shouldn't be convenient. it is, after all, the act of selfless giving, and selflessness is against our nature since by definition we can't be anything but ourselves. You truly have to make some sacrifices and go out of your comfort zone, all the while expecting nothing in return.
By these standards, a romantic relationship requires both parties to be strong. Imagine the man, a saint, and the woman, an altruist. After establishing their hearts and souls, they should be quite secure and in fact in no need whatsoever of each other. Yet, they go against their nature and choose, even if it might be odd, to give each other their love. Since they don't need each other, there's no needy desire for the other, although there is a desire to make the relationship work. After all, the relationship is an important tool for utilizing love. It's a business deal, and the couple are in the business of loving.
It's a heavy thought, and a bit jarring. For quite some time, all I have known has been the surreal pleasure of admiring someone's qualities, I've had my heart broken and I think I need to look for something else, something that will work, and one of the primary things I think I need to do is to love wisely and not look for something that feels right but something that's going to work. Or even better, I should stop looking. That old man in me keeps on saying "Son, just be a man," and since he's my senior, I respect him and have to admit he's right. So for now, it's best that I just do what I can for humanity without an agenda for myself, graduate from college, potentially join the army or air force, and when I'm ready and established accept a relationship the world will be better off for.