The Love Sick Society
English 1A 4/07/12 The Love Sick Marriage When we talk about marriage in this time period, we always expect there to be a sense of love behind this status, for the most part. However, where did this concept of “love” come from? Marriage in the past was very rarely associated with love. Love was seen as detrimental to the concept of marriage. In fact, in Ancient China, love was seen as “disruptive” and an act of being “antisocial” (Coontz 378). So the question we ask ourselves is, where did this idea of love in marriage come from? Why did it happen? How did this change marriage?
Stephanie Coontz seemed to challenge a lot of these questions. The idea of love is a very crazy idea when in terms of marriage, however as time pressed forward throughout history, this idea seemed to have created this whole new “love match” as a revolutionary idea to bring people together. But was it always like this? Where did it start? Before we dive into history of the love match, let us answer what truly is a love match marriage. What is this “love match? ” This whole concept of love match is about this extraordinary concept about marrying for love. Love” as in when a person cares or has feelings for that “special person. ” This idea is actually new compared to other models of marriage. This whole new concept of marriage, known as the “Love Match,” completely turned the institution of marriage on its head. Is this type of marriage actually working? Can we compare it to other models of marriage? All models of marriages have their flaws and perfections. There have been an astounding amount of different models of marriages but the love one never seemed to catch on, at first.
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Let’s look at these some of these different types. One of the most common types of marriage was the marriage for an economical join of family. This model of marriage dates back to ancient history. We have the Chinese who would marry to join two wealthy families to create a better income for both families. We also have the concept of royal power. During times of empires and kings, families married to rein more lands and to bring peace between two lords. This is completely different from marrying for love. These two models where arranged for them.
There was hardly ever any saying for who will get married. Love was by choice, for the most part. When it comes to the past two models, it seemed to work well, at times, but it brought a lot of stability to, not just the couple, but to the family and any other people associated alongside the marriage. Love only seems to benefit the couple. Where did this whole “love match” model start? It seemed like a drastic change from these models. So, when was the concept of love added to marriage? It is said to believe that the idea of love was actually not started until the 18th century. Love” as we know it today, was completely different from then. In prior times, the concept of love was not seen as interest and special bond between a man and a woman. Love was, for the most part, absent in most cultures at all. To the Chinese, dating back to the dynasties, love was actually seen as threat to the solidarity of the extended family (Coontz 378). Marriage was nothing like this in our time. The ideal concept was as the husband working to create financial stability and the wife to have the same choice (Edelman 430).
Love did not start or existed in marriage in the past. However, the concept of love seems to have started flowing in marriage around the mid-1700. The idea was not exposed to the public, yet but it was being flourished. There have been many radical changes as time passed on in places like China, Russia, and India. However, there was a place in the world where these radical ideas actually made a dramatic change in the marriage Where was love “created” in marriage? The concept of love was thought to have started in the Western culture; in Western Europe to be more precise.
Around the 17th century in the western cultures, the “movement of love” was starting. Divorce laws where created to make getting a divorce harder, couples waited to get married and chose partners close to their ages, the images of spouses changed, etc. (Coontz 384-385) It was a whole new revolution. They turned the whole marriage institution on its head. Can you image how this tremendous change was brought upon society? There were two heavy changes, as explained by Coontz, that happened in society that allowed the marriage institution to flower the “love match” model.
First change: young adults and teenagers face financial changes which allowed them to marry and whichever age the felt content to marry at. Second change: philosophical and political views were changed entirely in this area (Coontz 385). This created a whole new concept of what society was aiming for. People now aim for happiness, love, and at times, even intimacy. The “Love Match” marriage started off as an amazing break through to what society should be like. However, this whole new concept was still young. At the time, it seemed like a great idea.
In fact, at this time, blissfully, is seems like an amazing idea. However, the results according to our time are not the same results that the people from the Western Europe had in mind. Now that the foundation of love has evolved our image of marriage, how has it affected us? There are a lot of problems that we face nowadays in marriages. According to studies in the marriage industry, about 65. 9 percent of the women in the United states were married in the 1960’s with that percentage decreasing to 53. 4 percent at around 2006. (Popenoe and Whitehead 392) Here is the cruncher.
In the 1960’s, there were approximately 9. 2 thousand women who were divorced. In 1985, there 22. 6 thousand divorced women. The number decreased to 16. 4 thousand people in the year 2005, with the minimum range of age 15. (Popenoe and Whitehead 396) It seems as the years pass by, the less women want to marry or have a hard time finding the right spouse. You can see as to how young people can get married. Even though this brought upon a new model and change in society in terms of a good way, this “love match” model actually seemed to harm the institution of marriage itself.
As said in The State of Our Union article, Love has been described as the new marriage system as ‘emotionally deep, but socially shallow’” (Popenoe and Whiteman 401). It seems like this “love match” is a double edged sword. It has brought upon many positive changes which made some marriages closer, emotionally, but it also has damaged the institution of marriage in its entirety. Just as the double edged sword which can be very helpful if used properly, but harmful if improperly used. Love in itself is depending on the perspective of society and individuals.
As explained in the beginning, China saw love as disruptive to the family and an antisocial act in society. In the 17th century, it was a concept strong enough to change the views of the marriage institution entirely; even enough to change society as we knew it. With this in mind, one can only expect for love to work in this day because of how revolutionary love has become. However, it seems to only be decreasing the whole institution. In fact, marriage has lost a lot of its legal, social, economic and religious meaning as well with authority (Popenoe and Whitehead 400).
When it comes to people in general, it seems like people want to marry more often and get out of marriages more often as well. They want to live their life faster even though we had our life spans increased. (Popenoe and Whitehead 400) We live our life to fast and decide to bring in our choices before our lives have begun. Marriage was completely different from how it is today. Before, marriage was mostly matched on economic sense or convenience of any form. We have become a love sick society. Love has prevailed into our marriage institution; creating a new form of society.
However, it has also brought down this institution onto its knees. A revolutionary calamity that has brought upon a new order to this world in which it stands tall to this day. ? Work Cited Behrens, Laurence and Leonard J. Rosen, eds. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 10th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2008. Print Coontz, Stephanie “The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love” Behrens and Rosen 378 -388 Edelman, Hope “The Myth of Co-parenting: How It Was Supposed to Be. How It Is. ” Behrens and Rosen 429-435 Popenoe, David and Whitehead, Barbara Dafoe “The State of Our Union” Behrens and Rosen 390-402