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I’ve been reading scattered bits of history lately.
It is easy to forget how our modern conceptions of romantic love aren’t typical of human history. Or even the majority of the world’s contemporary population.
So many people were married to serve prudential, political and familial directives. What struck me was how many of these unions led to happily shared lives. Probably not the majority. But how many affairs of the heart nowadays flourish forever?
People bond foolishly and ignorantly. Too little experience. Often blinded by raptures of satisfied lust. Or mere fear of being alone.
How many people do you know who’ve chosen to live together because of rational consideration of compatibility? From valuing mutual esteem? Not that those aren’t often weighed.
But who really decided to share their lives with someone else because of sober consideration?
We want the magic. The mania. The intoxication: though we’d never be so foolish were we drunk or high on liquor or drugs.
Sadly I don’t see an edifying lesson in this less voluntary unions. But I somehow feel there is something to be learned. I’m just not sure what.