Why We Need To Rethink Romance

married couple

We think some couples want to upgrade marriages like they do iPhones.

Ross Douthat wrote an interesting Op-Ed piece in the The New York Times titled "The Way We Love Now" which analyzes the state of love, marriage and romantic contentment in 2009. Douthat wonders if we as a society have morphed into a culture of bed-hopping, cheating hearts and sexless, impossibly unsatisfied curmudgeons. Cheating Myths Debunked

Oh, lucky us! Both sound so appetizing!

These two really attractive and glamorous options are epitomized, he says, by the philandering Jon Gosselin, Mark Sanford, and Mel Gibson, versus a more stable (albeit bored) nuclear family of stifled everyday wives and husbands. You know, the ones with picket fences and nonexistent sex lives. Where "pragmatic anxieties" trump hot date nights and fulfilling romance, he writes. What We Learn From Gov. Sanford's Love E-mails

As if it couldn't get anymore depressing, Douthat then brings class into the mix. He goes so far as to assume the "hyper-educated, socially-liberal elite" are both "highly-educated" and "highly risk-averse" while the (cough, cough) lower-educated, aforementioned show-bizzy types are the ones with the balls to stray once confronted with marriage malaise.

When it comes to divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births, Americans with graduate degrees are still living in the 1950s. It’s the rest of the country that marries impulsively, divorces frequently, and bears a rising percentage of its children outside marriage...Better, perhaps, if this dynamic were reversed. Our meritocrats could stand to leaven their careerism with a little more romantic excess.

We disagree it's a class, education or some kind of creative/slutty gene in politicians/entertainers that causes an increase in post-marriage sex partners. Rather, perhaps, marriage produces the same kind of discontent most feel once they reach 30 and think they haven't achieved enough.

It's the modern day cry baby of more, more, more and different, different, different. Sort of like constantly channel surfing your endless satellite options and turning on the A/C in 70 degree weather, only to discover you're too cold and liked basic cable just fine.

And why wouldn't we feel that way? Afterall, we upgrade our wardrobes, homes and iPhones with wild abandonment—why not our spouses?

While we are huge proponents of free will (i.e. divorce), perhaps many of these malcontented would benefit from writing down all the good things in their marriage and viewing it as a seasoned companionship rather than an adolescent, starry-eyed fling.