Member 2030
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Tania Kilin
Immortal since Dec 21, 2008
Uplinks: 0, Generation 3

I'm not evil, I'm inconsistent
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    Ah, such a beautiful word.
    We've all felt it, some of us are feeling it right now but after all what's it to it?
    Me, I have a tendency of questioning everything, I demand reasons for all my actions, I try to explain events, feelings, relationships, and of course love. And you know what I've discovered? Statistics is the way to go when you're trying to investigate social phenomena. Though not the most interesting of them (yes, to me love is extremely social, not individual), love is definitely the one we could all relate to, so I've decided to write about that.
    A friend of mine once told me that he would never get married because he strongly believed his soul mate was somewhere out there in the world, but the chances of him meeting that person were extremely slim, giving the fact that there's over six and a half billion of us on the planet. Also, he would not settle for second best, so he figured he'd never get involved in a serious relationship.
    This is an example of irrational thinking.
    I'm a rational person. I use statistics. Chances are the person you're with right now IS your soul mate. And the chances are really high, like touching the ceiling high.

    Your soul mate is someone you have a lot in common with, you share a similar background, you understand each other (verbally, culturally) you use the same codes (whatever codes: language, clothes, music and so on), you have common interests, you have common goals, you have similar values - family values, work values, abstract values. This means you were raised in similar families, in (almost) identical cultural surroundings, having similar values means you may pursuit similar careers (thus your paths will cross in school, college, work place), you'll frequent similar places (having similar tastes): clubs, pubs, cinemas, fashion shows, restaurants, star trek conventions, and so on, therefore you almost certainly will meet him/her if you haven't already.

    Statistics show that people almost always marry within their peer group. This means you'll probably marry (if haven't already) someone with the same social status as you, same level of education, same loisir preferences and so on.

    Funny thing, we've escaped the burden of arranged marriages, families planning their kids love life, so we're free to chose whomever we wish, but the paradox is things haven't really changed. Highly educated people will still choose to marry a highly educated person, and not because a perceived pressure from family members, but because they simply fall in love. As I've mentioned before, we fall in love within our peer group, we fall in love with someone we have a lot in common with.
    Let's check out our trust worthy friend, wikipedia:
    A peer group is a social group consisting of people who are equal in such respects as age, education or social class. Peer groups are an informal primary group of people who share a similar or equal status and who are usually of roughly the same age, tended to travel around and interact within the social aggregate. Members of a particular peer group often have similar interests and backgrounds, bonded by the premise of sameness.

    So you see, there's nothing to worry about. Falling in love with someone from a totally different culture than yours will never happen, you'll simply not feel attracted to that person (some psychological mechanisms may be involved here, such as fear of the unknown and the appeal of the familiar but the idea is the same). Stuff like this only happens in movies, yes I'm looking at you, overly rated Avatar.

    The second paradox about love: we're free to marry our loved one but marriages last a lot less than they used to when they were arranged by parents. Divorce is becoming a lot more common, family is losing its place as the "primary cell" of the social world.
    Well, precisely because we're free to marry whoever we want. The simple explanation: we value things that are hard to get, our mind tricks us into thinking that if it's hard to get, it must worth the effort, therefore we must cherish that "thing", make it last. Since we're all free to marry whoever we want, marriage is thus something easily obtained, it's not worthy of our appreciation, we've lost our motivation to make it last and to work things out with out partner. After all, if it doesn't work out, you'll just marry someone else.

    Back in the days things were different, divorce was not accepted so people had to work things out, make an effort to understand each other and respect the family. By working so hard to make things good, their minds started thinking "Well I must be in love with this person since I'm making such an effort to solve our problems". The result: people were actually a lot happier in their marriages than they are now. It's something called "rationalization", or "insufficient compensation".

    The complicated explanation: there was a shift from material values (which are pretty stable) to expressive ones (they're volatile). Meaning:
    1. I'm gonna marry this man because he has a lot of cash. As long as he has a lot of cash I'm gonna stay in this marriage and do my best to keep him happy (material values). The man will probably be rich till the end of his days.
    2. I'm gonna marry this man because I love him. As long as I love him I'm gonna stay in this marriage and do my best to keep him happy (expressive values). You could easily bump into your college crush tomorrow and realize he's the one you've loved all along, leave your husband, start a new life.

    Anyway, wow what a long post, I should probably get out more.

    Fri, Aug 13, 2010  Permanent link

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