Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day?

My daughter on Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day?

What is this day really about? We like to talk about it being a day to celebrate love, but it is really a day to celebrate romance. So often, I think Americans (and Westerners in general) equate the word "love" with romance and passion. However, many cultures view love and marriage differently. They view it more as being a good team member. It is more of a partnership between two people who care about each other. There is a recent article in the Atlantic called "Marry Him" about how too many women are looking for the perfect man who looks perfect, acts perfect shares the right interests and has that spark that makes their heart flutter. This is creating unrealistic expectations. Here is an interview with the author of the article. How do you feel about this? Do you think that our vision of love is too romantic and not practical enough?

When I was in high school my school brought in this speaker/author to talk about the difference between love and infatuation. Here is his book. He explained that biologically, we have a rush of emotions when we "fall in love". This is romantic love and infatuation. But it isn't real love. It wears off. Biologically he said it will last for 6 months or so and then it wears off. After that, you see the other person more realistically and that means you have to make a conscious choice about being with this person. That is what real love is - it is a conscious choice to care about someone. Even when we are upset or angry with the other person we still choose to care about them and thus we still love them. The author of the book includes a list of a dozen or so key aspects of a relationship to examine. I found this blogpost that lists the key criteria to distinguish between real love and infatuation. The book was really a good source for me to sort through all of these emotions when I was going through high school and college. You can get it used from amazon for like $4.

For more sociological insight into Valentine's Day checkout this link.

1 comment:

  1. I "love" this blog so much that I even wrote my own blog about Valentines Day, but everything that the speaker said is so true, how people think that they've found that perfect person and think they're inlove. I don't think people are practical enough about love in highschool and thats why feelings fade so quickly.