It’s a well known statistic in certain circles that more than half of marriages end in failure, and of those more than eighty percent of the divorces are initiated by women. If you are at all familiar with this particular line of thought, then you recognize it as part of the “red pill” mantra, or “men going their own way”, or the “manosphere”. While I don’t necessarily subscribe to much of what is said in this area of modern philosophy, I do agree with the idea that, in our modern era of convenience and fantasy, most of us have highly unrealistic expectations of what it is to be in a relationship.
The industries centered around artistic expression have always conflated the idea of love with infatuation, doing its best to convince us that the only form of true love is the one where both people throw themselves at each other completely and forsake everything else. This is a nice little fiction, but cold hard reality has little patience for such ridiculous ideas. Those kinds of feelings might last for a while, even a couple of years, but eventually reality rears its ugly head and people are forced to really look at each other. This is where the relational “rubber meets the road”.
What most people today don’t understand is that a successful relationship has little or nothing to do with how you feel. Most times our feelings are what get in the way of making a good relationship last. Those feelings of missing something are inevitably what cause one person to decide they would be better off on their own, or even better finding someone new to fulfill the desires their current partner isn’t satisfying. It is a short-sighted viewpoint that hurts not only them, but the people who have invested in them.
This is where people today, especially women, tend to blow things up. They have been sold this fantasy that a relationship is supposed to be passion or affection or being made to feel “special”. Those things are nice to have, but if we’re going to be brutally honest they simply have no business as a primary part of a good, long term relationship. As we’ve seen in the last several decades, our fixation on chasing a feeling has done little but ruin our chances at a life with someone. It’s great at starting a relationship, but tends to get in the way later on.
It is quite rare to meet someone you truly “click with”, and when you find someone like that it is highly advisable to keep that person close. When it is someone of the opposite sex, you have met a potential spouse; a best friend with similar goals and interests that you want to start building a life with. You come to a mutual understanding that the energy you would otherwise be spending on finding a mate will now be redirected toward getting the both of you to a mutually agreed destination. This is the true purpose of something like marriage.
I’ve heard it said many times that we always see the couple go off to live happily ever after, but no movie ever comes back to show them twenty years and several kids later. The disservice this causes in our society is this idea that the person we end up with is the same person we will have throughout the rest of our lives. This is a lie. As much as we don’t like to believe it, everyone changes over time as life slowly alters our perceptions and habits. Sometimes it’s a few small changes; sometimes it might be drastic, life altering changes. Sometimes it’s for the better; other times it’s for the worse. Regardless, the person you met in your twenties or thirties is unlikely to be the person you have to live with through your sixties and seventies.
Too many people today base their relationships on how they feel rather than realizing what they really get out of this mutual agreement to be with someone else. All they see are the negatives that come with unfulfilled desires, not the positives that come with having someone there to support them through the hard times. The mundane details of combined resources propelling them toward a common goal get lost in the mists of failed dreams or the disappointment that the person isn’t going to live up to what they hoped for. Anything positive gets drowned out under the pall of unreasonable expectations.
In the end, until people return to seeing relationships as a social contract rather than an outlet for passion, the general dissatisfaction will continue to be prevalent. People need to stop worrying about these things that don’t really matter and start paying more attention to the things that actually work. Passion fades and romance loses its charm eventually, and once that happens you have to have something more solid upon which to lay the foundation of your relationship. It’s all in where you place your focus.