No man is defeated without until he has first been defeated within. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Question #41477 posted on 12/14/2007 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I think in a quest to be more resonable about love, I have become too resonable. I am in a relationship and a proposal is imminent. Being so resonable about the idea of love I think I may have let this get too far. When I think about my boyfriend I feel no strong feelings. When I think about marrying him I feel--that he would be a good father, that I could always respect him, and that I could be happy if I resolved to be. I feel like I have put my emotions aside and that I am just being completely logical about our relationship.

I know that if I married him that I would care for him more than I do myself. I would cherish him, and follow him. I also know that there would be no honeymoon phase of our relationship. That the way I feel about him now must only be able to grow into something more. How wrong is this? Am I cheating myself and him of something more, of something greater than this? What are your opinions? Do I need to feel giddy or excited to love him enough to marry him?

- tired

A: Dear tired,

You didn't say anywhere in your question whether or not you wanted to marry him. So, let me tell you a little story:

Once upon a time there was a very practical young lady. At various times, she became involved with several young men who, in turn, wanted to marry her. Many of these young men would have made wonderful husbands, and the young woman would not have done ill to marry any of them. Each of these young men, in turn, expressed an interest in marrying her, and invited her to pray about the decision.

The thing is, though, that when considering the situations, the young woman realized that she didn't want to pray about the situation, and, in fact, wasn't sure she wanted to marry any of them. She didn't not want to marry them, specifically; she just not feel any real desire to marry them. So she broke off the relationships and left the country for a few months.

Several years later, the young woman dated someone else, and after a somewhat tumultuous courtship, realized that she actually wanted to marry him. She didn't expressly think about what kind of person he was (he was a wonderful person) or what kind of husband and father he would be (he was destined to be a great husband and father) or indeed whether she loved him (she did, very much) - those were things she had already taken into consideration when she decided to date him. From a very stoic, logical perspective, she just knew she wanted to marry him, much like someone knows that they want to take a walk or eat french fries or watch a movie - only stronger, and more lasting.

So, they got engaged, and then married and the young lady was happier than she ever imagined she could be. And still is.

So, I guess the moral of the story is that, with all your practicality, remember that it is impractical to be married to someone you don't want to be married to. It doesn't matter if he fits some formula; you should want to be married to him.

If you'd like to talk more about it, feel free to email me at theboardcleaninglady at gmail.com.

Sincerely,

The Cleaning Lady
A: Dear,

As a practical girl myself, I can understand the worry that all the fun and romance and spark would fall by the wayside. Thing is, I think they're important, at least a little. I'd like to be excited about it, and unless I miss my guess, most guys would probably like to marry someone excited to start a life together. I know I'd like to marry someone excited to be marrying me.

I may occasionally mourn the death of the arranged marriage simply because the current trend seems to be that people think they'll find their perfect complement, and then live a good life with a no-work relationship, and I don't think that's true. An arranged marriage sounds like something that needs a lot of work, and if people enter into a marriage knowing that, I'd guess they'd be a little more willing to roll up their sleeves and put in some effort. I'm guessing you know that a marriage isn't all pastels and pretty birds and fairytale castles, and you've got a good idea of the solid, no-nonsense things that will be useful.

But the enduring reason I don't really support arranged marriages is that there's not a lot of room for picking someone you really feel compatible with, someone you'd like to start a life with. I think Cleaning Lady hit it right on the head. If the idea of marrying him isn't something that really appeals to you, don't do it. If, when you get right down to it, you do want to marry him, (and you don't just want to marry his father skills and respectability,) then go ahead and do so.

-songs of inexperience