I can understand how that sounds depressing, but it isn't intended to be! For a long time I've thought those are the two most important things in life, yet I've never been able to quantify them. How does one define love?
In a romantic type relationship there seems to be only two stages; lust and comfortability or complacency. My grandparents generation seems to have stuck together from the teenage years until death under the vows of marriage. Most people in my parents generation seem to be getting divorced half way through life, and remarried within 5 years to the person they stay with until the end. My guess is this time period will continue to shrink. Perhaps the "7 year itch" is really the biological time when it's time for us to move on? I wonder if this length of relationship will continue to shrink with the generations after me.
There also seems to be a rebellion against the institution of marriage starting most heavily with my generation. If you're not practising a religion, getting married under the religion banner doesn't make much sense unless to satisfy the wants of the older generation.
Then comes happiness, which seems provably bio-chemical in any debate I've had on the issue. Although North American society insinuates happiness should be the ultimate state, I'm not convinced. The society we've built for ourselves is hardly ideal for most people. Short of chemical treatment, the quest for permanent happiness seems like a lost cause.
As I've thought about it for quite a while, the goal for me now is to be interested. This applies to everything; not just my partner(s), but work, and life in general.
A few questions to leave you with, as I begin my quest to be interested;
- Is keeping people interested part of your organization's goals and objectives?
- How do we keep our partners interested in us, and us in them?
- How do we stay interested in all of the things that we do?
- If you're not interested in your partner, or work, why are you there?