Friday, February 22, 2019

Do Not Base Romantic Relationships On Practicality

"Forming or maintaining a relationship on the basis of practicality may serve well with classmates and coworkers, but this will not do for romantic relationships, which actually do require romance. Once practicality takes root as the couple’s primary concern, short-term material goods (money, chores, schedule, sex) supersede long-term immaterial goods (virtue, understanding, life goals, general happiness). In the practical arrangement of cohabitation, two people will mutually seek to maximize their own interests through each other. This may have the appearance of marriage, but it is only a parody: the love and generosity one would expect devolves into lust and greed.

By turning people in on themselves and their own interests, the focus on practicality essentially objectifies both parties in the relationship. Consider the analogy some give for cohabitation: just as one would test-drive a car before buying it, one should live (and sleep) with another person before deciding to marry. What, exactly, are people imagining when they think this? Do they really think they can test-drive a person by living with him or her for however many months or years? Only if they view other people as objects to be used and marriage as a material investment that will likely lose value over time."

Auguste Meyrat, How Cohabitation Traps People Into Using Each Other

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