#1, Jan 19, 2012 2:15pm
I wrote this about a month ago or so, but it came to mind after reading "Conjugal Love is Not an Act of the Will" and perhaps is relevant enough to post here.
Katie van Schaijik
#2, Jan 19, 2012 3:05pm
Yes, very relevant--thanks, Dominik! Thanks, too, for breaking the ice on the student forum.
I know what you mean about how frustrating the "you just know" answer is. It's a true answer, but not a very helpful one.
I hope by the end of the course you'll have a better and more concrete sense of what that "knowing" means in practical reality.
Here's one thing I'll say already now: You never "just know" on the spot. Even in cases of love at first sight (which I think is a real phenomenon), there's no sustitute for the role of time in courtship. But I wouldn't give so precise an amount as the husband you reference here gave when he recommended two years.
I totally agree that marriage is such a commitment that you ought to be sure before you enter it.
Jules van Schaijik
#3, Jan 19, 2012 7:50pm
Interesting post, Dominik.
I feel ambivalent, however, about the advice you were given during the talk you mention. While it is true that time is needed to test one's love for another person and to truly get to know him or her, it is equally true that one can wait too long. The courtship period, the "season of singing", is given for a reason. It is a time of grace, a time full of life and promise, and energy. It is a time when one is enabled to act boldly—I don't mean rashly—to fully give oneself to another person, and venture on a new life together. No amount of time can eliminate the risk aspect of marriage. It seems to me that some degree of "divine madness," as Plato calls it, is required to take that risk. Thoroughly "reasonable" people would never do it.
I'm not expressing it very well. But perhaps you can see what I mean, and why I don't like the idea that one should wait until the luster wears off.
#4, Feb 5, 2012 6:25pm
Jules van Schaijik, Jan. 19 at 7:50pm
IWhile it is true that time is needed to test one's love for another person and to truly get to know him or her, it is equally true that one can wait too long.
I absolutely agree. And how about the pre-courtship stage? Sometimes, when a man and a woman become interested in each other, the man can wait too long to express himself, and miss the proper timing. I like the metaphor of seasons; it's organic. While we must wait long enough for the rose to bloom, if we wait too long, we will miss the opportunity to enjoy it.
#5, Feb 5, 2012 6:27pm
Katie van Schaijik, Jan. 19 at 3:05pm
I am glad that you said this! I have heard so often that married lovers "just know-" it is the most frustrating answer! Especially for rational-minded, over-reflective philosophers (like us), it is difficult to tell us to "teleologically suspend" our rationale, and "just know"! I feel that a proper balance between intuitive knowledge and reflective reson needs to be struck in order to effectively weigh the "marriage" question.
#6, Feb 5, 2012 6:30pm
Dominik, it is interesting that the speaker said that two years was the time it took for the "love-blindness" to wear off.
In many psychological studies, researchers claim that anywhere from 3 months to about 1 year is the time that the chemical feeling of "inloveness" to wear off. I think this is a valuable realization that we must face: the butterflies are not biologically designed to last. In the analogy provided by many a scientist, feeling continually "in love" is akin to feeling continually intoxicated!
#7, Feb 5, 2012 6:36pm
“Marry not when you can’t live without the person, but instead marry when you realize you can live without the person.”
This is a very valuable piece of advice. Many thinkers on the topic tend to differentiate between "need love" and "gift love." the former is love based upon need; the second is gift. That is when knowldege plays into our choice to love: love is a mature decision when it is based on the former realization that we in fact can live without them.