Summary - Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person - The New York Times
Romanticism, the idea that “a perfect being exists who can meet all of our needs”, is a “harsh philosophy” that we need to abandon so that we can appreciate ourselves and our partners more fully, leading to healthier relationships and reducing loneliness.
In place of the Romantic view, we should adopt a “philosophy of pessimism”, where we value “the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity” — someone who is “good at disagreement”.
For many reasons, marriage “ends up as a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully avoided investigating.”
Every “human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us — and we will (without any malice) do the same to them. There can be no end to our sense of emptiness and incompleteness. But none of this is unusual or grounds for divorce. Choosing whom to commit ourselves to is merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for.”
“We should learn to accommodate ourselves to ‘wrongness,’ striving always to adopt a more forgiving, humorous and kindly perspective on its multiple examples in ourselves and in our partners.”
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