Last Thursday Patrick and I found ourselves as guests among a panel of others with HuffPost Live, a real-time network news source. This segment’s discussion surrounded itself around a recent study, which suggests that couples living together before marriage have a higher chance of getting divorced than those who wait until they are married to live together. (Yeah cause we’ve never seen anything like this come out before)
Regardless of one’s religion or spiritual beliefs, no one desires for a romantic relationship to fail. Time and again though, studies like these seem to make an appearance about every 10 years. So why aren’t people catching on?
Think what you may about cohabitation, but there is one basic point that failed to be articulated during this segment; what is the purpose of romantic relationships?
This is an obvious one. The reason people flirt, hangout, date and eventually marry one another is for companionship. We are all looking for another that we can share our lives with, someone to join us in the ups, downs, trials and victories. Life is better shared.
At our deepest level, we all want to be known by another. We desire to be accepted and loved for who we truly are. In turn, we also want to deeply know someone. We desire to know them so completely and intimately in order to better love them.
While there is plenty to say on the topic of children, ultimately a marriage finds a certain fulfillment in bringing life into this world. Regardless of whether you want children or not, the point cannot be denied that one of the basic purposes of marriage is to repopulate the world.
My relationship with Patrick is not meant to be easy. It isn’t even meant to always make me happy. Happiness is fleeting and moods are shifting, mine particularly. There are some days when Patrick annoys me to no end, and I’m sure there are plenty of times when he feels the same way towards me.
Relationships are meant to smooth out our rough edges. It isn’t until we are intimately placed face to face before another that we realize how imperfect we actually are. The same qualities that drive me to insanity about Patrick are the same qualities that attracted me to him in the first place.
I know it sounds hard and it is, but the joy that comes from this is truly lasting and like nothing I have ever experienced before. Love is not about making us happy at any given moment. It is not about making sure that my foolish insecurities are calmed. It is about sacrifice, choice and ultimately making us better, more generous people; better for each other and better for the world.