26 Apr Romance vs. Commitment – or both?
“Choose Your Love, Love Your Choice” a simple but profound statement regarding marriage. It also brings to mind a guest speaker in my diversity social work class while I was earning a master’s degree. The guest speaker was born and raised in India but came to the United States to earn his undergraduate and graduate college degrees. While he was in the states he said that he adapted quickly to the western culture of “romance.”
He loved the idea of being able to fall in love and not to be betrothed to your spouse from infancy, which was customary in the village he grew up in. He related his personal story of how he decided to go against his parent’s wishes to marry the girl that they had selected for him. Instead he fell in love with a classmate in college and decided to marry, only to be disappointed to find himself divorced several years later when his wife fell out of love with him. A couple of years after the divorce he returned to India and married the girl that he had been betrothed to.
The speaker related his concern of how in Western society that the emphasis on marriage was placed on love and romance and not commitment. He noted that in his culture, marriage was about commitment, and love came as a byproduct of the commitment. He said that the couple was dedicated to making a successful life together and raising children that were an asset in the community. The speaker’s comments were to help the students understand the benefits in both customs, that love and romance are important but so is commitment, and that when love and romance have waned that the commitment is still there to rekindle and maintain the relationship.
Take a look at these brief testimonial videos from the Marriage Commission and Awakening America Alliance – their message deserves much broader exposure. In contemporary western culture, we see way too much “love and romance” and not nearly enough “commitment.”