Friday, July 13, 2012

Dating in Utah: Can Someone Just Pick My Wife for Me?

Hey everyone! how's life? I guess it's time to blog so let's get on it. So when you study psychology in college you learn all sorts of random facts about the way we interact as human beings, however I think that there is one particular statistic that still stands out in my mind when it comes to relationships. I was sitting in my social psychology class minding my own business and out of nowhere, my professor dropped a bombshell about marital satisfaction in love marriages vs. arranged marriages. It turns out that couples in arranged marriages report feeling significantly more satisfied with their relationships when compared to people who "fall in love" and get married. I couldn't make sense of it, I mean if people pick who they want to be with, shouldn't they be significantly more happy than people have no say in the matter? I started thinking about it a bit more and it made a bit more sense however, people in arranged marriages learn over time to love the qualities in their partner that makes them worth loving or in other words instead of feeling overwhelming "bliss" at the beginning of a relationship, they learn how to respect and find the good in their arranged partner to develop a sense of companionship and camaraderie over time and eventually grow to love their partner. In our culture, where we put such an emphasis on the romantic feelings and bliss that come from that "one true love", we lose focus on the fact that when it really comes down to it, for us to be happy, we have to find someone who can be our companion before they can be our lover if that makes sense. To be clear, I'm not saying that arranged marriages are the way to go and that there is no hope for people who fall in love, but I am saying that we need to take more time to really consider what's important in our relationships to be successful. If we took more time to step back and think about why we're really dating someone maybe we can begin to develop that sense of companionship instead of focusing on the "romantic" side of a relationship. I do believe in the power of love and I think that it can help us overcome a lot of difficulties in our life but if "love" really conquers all, it should be able to conquer a 45% divorce rate too right? I get that there are a lot of cultural influences that go into things like this but I find it hard to believe that if we really took the time to look a little bit deeper and find the things we really love at the core of a person, we'd have a much higher success rate when it comes to our own relationships. Something I've never understood about dating is the "friend zone", what's the point of this fear we have of dating people we know and genuinely enjoy spending time with because of who they are because we just aren't "romantically attracted" to them? The fact that we eliminate a lot of our best connections from romantic involvement just because we know them and know can be happy spending time with them but don't find them "attractive" is silly. Don't get me wrong, I have friends that I probably wouldn't date but I feel like I have a lot of friends that if I would have met on a blind date or under different circumstances I could have had a very happy and successful relationship with, but because we already know each other and we're already friends it somehow would make it impossible for that to happen. Doesn't that sound absurd to anyone else? Isn't getting to know someone on a real, sincere personal level 1/2 of the battle when it comes to relationships? Anyways I guess it's time to get off the soapbox for a bit... I guess my point is that I think a lot of the time we're doing things in reverse when it comes to dating, we're worried about that "special feeling" when we should be more concerned with who the person we're dating really is and letting that "special feeling" come over time out of a real desire and compassion for the person we choose to let be that special person. Hope that makes sense! So now onto my favorite part of writing this blog, posting random music on the end in the hopes that I might give someone a chance to discover something great and new!