Tag Archives: Marriage

Waking up to the Hoax

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This video changed my life.

It struck home for me. It showed me a perspective I had, it challenged it and tore it down.

In my culture, to be a viable/normal citizen, you go to school, go to uni, get a 9 to 5 job, get married, have kids, and climb the ladder at work. I never questioned this. Never.

I loved school in terms of the learning side of it. I enjoyed doing homework. I knew I was going to go to uni from the moment I went to primary school. All of school and uni was there so I could get a 9 to 5 job. I’d get married and have kids in there somewhere, then retire after being in the same job for my whole life.

That was what I thought I wanted. That was what I thought was supposed to happen. I never questioned this.

Until I saw the video.

At the time I saw the video, I’d already had three jobs (none of which I wanted to stay in), I’d never been on a date, and clearly there were no kids. At the time I saw the video, I thought I was a failure at life. I thought I wasn’t a viable citizen and people would look down on me for it. I was chasing after the things my culture told me to chase, and I felt like it was all a hoax.

The video showed me it was a hoax, and it gave me permission to not go after something I didn’t know if I even wanted. I’ve realized that I actually probably don’t want kids. If I met the right person and they wanted kids, sure I’m open to the idea. But I’m not even sure I care if I get married or not anymore. Single life is pretty good.

No longer am I chasing after something my culture tells me to chase. No longer am I chasing something I think  should want. Instead, I’m learning to sing and dance to the music of life- appreciating each moment rather than rushing to the next thing.

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Things To Hide: How Honest Are You?

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Is anyone completely honest? Is it even possible for anyone to be that transparent? Or does everyone have, for whatever reason, at least a few things they hide?

It might be because they’re ashamed to share something, whether it’s something they’ve done or something they don’t like about themselves. Or it might be because it’s better for everyone else that they don’t reveal something: they saw something they shouldn’t have or they know something no-one else knows. I’m thinking about things that don’t harm anyone if these things aren’t revealed; so it’s no moral code that’s being broken here. The only thing that’s being broken is the ability of a person to wholeheartedly reveal all of themself to another person.

Of course, none of us can completely share everything with another person due to our brains being encased in our bodies at a ratio of 1:1. No matter how much you share and how well you share it, I will never be able to understand it or experience it the way you do. We have the gift of communication and as relational beings we can relate to each other, but I will never know if what I experience is exactly the same as what you experience, close though it may be. It’s the whole when I see blue you may be seeing purple scenario, and even if we both saw blue, we may be seeing different shades of blue and never know.

Excluding the limitations of the physical design of our bodies and things like time and memory, I wonder if there’s anyone who is known completely by another person. I naturally think of people who are married or who have been with someone for many years. I used to think going out with someone meant they would know everything about you. This terrified me and it was the reason I thought I’d never go out with anyone; not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t think I could share everything with another person. If a prerequisite for going out with someone was you had to tell them everything – as I thought it was – then I was doomed to be alone forever.

I’ve come to realize though, that even marriage doesn’t mean two people will know everything about each other. Sure, they will probably know each other more than any other person, but they’ll always be learning new things about each other. People can go into marriage thinking it will fulfil them because, “At last I will be known completely,” only to realize that’s not how it works. I’m okay with this. I know not to look for fulfilment from another person; that’s too high a pressure to put on someone.

I had a friend tell me, “It’s not like that,” when I told her my fears about having to share everything with a guy if we were to go out. This made me wonder, “Well, what is it like then?” Because as much as I feared having to share everything, I also desperately wanted to. In one way I was relieved that I don’t have to reveal everything, but in another way I was kind of disappointed. I wanted to be known by someone, and now I found out going out with someone and even marrying them wasn’t going to guarantee that. Was there no hope for me to be known?

This wouldn’t be an issue if I was honest with everyone and had nothing to hide. I wouldn’t have this need to be known and this desire to share everything if I was already known. And it is this that brings me back to my original question: is anyone completely honest? Or is it just me who feels like no-one truly knows me?

Maybe it’s okay to not reveal everything. Maybe it’s just a personality thing. Some people are open books; others keep things inside. I’m quiet and introverted so maybe that explains why the thought of sharing everything terrifies me and why I feel like no-one really knows me. This would all be fine except I have a need to be known. Is this something of the human condition that we all simply want to be known? And is this because we were made to be known? I don’t mean that we’re all made to be famous, just that people will know us for who we really are.

I don’t think it’s just a personality thing for me, though, because it’s only certain things I don’t feel I can share: things I’m ashamed of, things I don’t like about myself, my fears and insecurities. Do I have more of these things than other people, or do I just fear sharing them more than other people? I worry about what people will think of me. I worry they’ll think badly of me. I worry they’ll judge me.

But I want to share these things because if I don’t, no-one will ever truly know me. Maybe all the things I want to share don’t need to be shared, but I always thought if someone wanted to really know me, they’d want me to share everything. Maybe other people don’t think people are hiding anything, because they themselves don’t hide anything. I, on the other hand, know I hide things so I assume others hide things too and I want to know them. It matters to me.

I want to know people and I want them to know me.

Good News For Online Daters

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Home / News / June 29, 2013; Vol.183 #13

News in Brief: Couples who meet online have fine marriages
Relationship satisfaction for Internet daters is similar to that of people who find potential partners in more traditional ways

By Rachel Ehrenberg

Web edition: June 3, 2013
Print edition: June 29, 2013; Vol.183 #13 (p. 19)

Engaged couples who fear revealing that they met their partners on the Internet can now justify their relationships’ origins with data. A new survey of nearly 20,000 people who married between 2005 and 2012 finds that Cupid’s arrow flies as true for online daters as it does for partnersm who meet through more traditional venues. Regardless of how they met, couples report similar levels of satisfaction with their marriage, a team reports June 3 in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The number of marriage breakups was also similar between the two groups.

Some unsurprising demographic trends emerged: People who met online tended to be older. Of the people who met offline, couples who met in places of worship reported more satisfaction with their marriage than did people who met in bars or clubs. The study, funded by the online dating website eHarmony, may diminish the stigma of online dating, which is still met with skepticism by many.

CITATIONS

J.T. Cacioppo et al. Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Published June 3, 2013. doi:10.1073/pnas.1222447110. [Go to]