It’s because young lovers don’t have the skills — the will and commitment to clean up the wife’s vomit, listen to the husband’s endless fascination with football, stay by her side when she gets fired, when he has Alzheimer’s, when they lose a child — to turn the initial spark into a deeper burning. Love allows the deeper burning. — Peggy Fletcher Stack

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+valentine’s+day&qpvt=images+valentine%27s+day&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=914D84F97964B9F0A09C66943B8130DE73194043&selectedIndex=8

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/13/love-marriage-history_n_4774740.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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Love And Marriage: A History That Challenges The Notion Of ‘Traditional Marriage’

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Unlike in earlier eras, these days Cupid’s arrow — the ineffable nature of attraction — is considered essential to finding a partner. You don’t have to have the approval of family, faith or society. You can write your own promises, make your own money and chart your own future.

That’s the easier part, Herrin said. Making it last as a satisfying partnership is tougher.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/in-love-ed-ness-is-a-cultural-prejudice-not-an-ontic-what-is-real-necessity-sage-steven-kalas/

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/life/family/steven-kalas-unions-love-friendship-both-viable-choices

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The part of me that enjoys observing changing cultural patterns is more than intrigued.

In Western civilization, limerance, otherwise known as the experience of being “in love,” is the Johnny-come-lately of marriage and life partnership. It’s hard for modern people to imagine, but I’m here to say that, as recently as 100 years ago, limerance was not the first and most important criterion for measuring the possibility of a successful life union. I’m not saying people didn’t regularly fall in love, just saying that it wasn’t the be all and end all of the equation.

A hundred years ago, some folks fell in love and got married. Some folks got married and awakened two or 22 years later to find they’d fallen in love with their spouse. Some folks got married and fell in love with someone else, then either ignored the feeling or acted on it with clandestine affairs or by abandoning their marriage. Other folks got married and never fell in love with their spouse, yet continued faithfully in that marriage and died believing they had lived a meaningful and satisfactory life replete with benefits and blessings.

Put simply, the idea that the only valuable kind of life partnership is one founded on “in-love-ed-ness” is a cultural prejudice, not an ontic necessity.

In a time of a spiking population of middle-aged and late middle-aged divorced adults, all staring down the oncoming train of old age, I know a lot of people who are at least imagining if not rethinking the trade-off between the priority of limerance [daydream fantasy] measured against the very real benefits of friendship, faithfulness, mutual support, companionship and comfortable, satisfying sex (even if never cosmic — soul mate sex.)

It all comes down to choices. And, like all choices, saying “yes” to something means saying “no” to one or more other things.

For some people, negotiating the ideal of finding great love might have some sense of loss about it but still would be a fair and reasonable trade in exchange for finding a faithful friend who would walk them to the grave. For others, negotiating the ideal of great love would seem like a betrayal of values. This group would be willing to walk away from the benefits of a warm, more practically negotiated “friendship marriage” so they could preserve the ideal. Their loss would be accepting and learning to manage loneliness, but they would die admiring themselves for never betraying the ideal, even if they never realized the ideal.

Both groups would do the opposite thing for the same reason: authenticity and self-respect. I’m saying that either choice can be meaningful and worthwhile, as long as we make that choice consciously, responsibly and authentically.

OK, so you’re not in love with him. The next question is, what do you value? What is the hierarchy of those values? What are you willing to say “no” to, so that you can say “yes” with integrity to something else?

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