I recently reposted about people equating your accomplishments with your deserving to get married. It’s been bubbling in my mind ever since a friend sent me an article entitled ‘Why the Smartest People Have the Toughest Time Dating.’ I assume it was follow-up to a conversation in which she’d said something like “Well if you’re going to blacklist an entire population for dating, I can see why it would be engineers.” For which I duly clonked her over the head with a campus newspaper.
The reason I was thinking about this article was because item #1 is “Smart people feel they’re entitled to love because of their achievements.” (#1 is that you’ve spent too much time becoming accomplished and not enough practicing socializing, so you don’t know how.)
Now, if we change love/date to love/marriage…
Now, to be honest, it never occurred to me that I deserved the love/marriage thing. Or that I needed to. I mean, isn’t that what happens? You’re old enough, you’re physically and mentally capable, you want to, so you get married. Right? (I guess that’s “deserving” simply by existing.)
Except, we’re told, 10% of chronologically, physically, and mentally capable young women aren’t going to get married (and we’ll believe it for the sake of argument), so what did I ever do to make it into the lucky 90%?
Somehow, even I am not convinced that baking a delicious cake or constructing a cute Purim costume automatically makes me more deserving. And when you boil any accomplishment down, it’s just another Purim costume. Being able to solve differential equations in his head is an accomplishment I can admire, but it hasn’t gotten my classmate a girlfriend yet. On the other end of the spectrum, Maureen Dowd is a great writer, but she can’t get herself hitched either.
So I was wondering, is there anything alone that makes a person deserve to get married?
Thought experiment time! (I had to throw this in so I can put myself in the same sentence as Schrodinger and Galileo.)
Let’s split the human persona into three categories: the external (looks, fitness, charm, physical appeal); the internal (character, personality, ‘clicking’); and the extensive (efficacy, accomplishments, charisma).
(Yes, I know this is turning into a massively eggheaded post and a clear demonstration, according to cited article, of why I’m not married yet, but… yeah.)
So, would you marry someone if they excelled in only one of those categories, but was a complete null in both others?
EG: would you take a repulsive jerk if (s)he was rich and successful? Or a good-looking jerk who can’t even tie his/her shoes? What about someone with great morals and personality but a complete loser in every other way? And so on. (There being 3! permutations, I leave you to consider the other 50%.)
…so, (if you’ve come to the same conclusion I have), how does one deserve love/marriage?