According to a recent Huffington Post opinion editorial, we are living in a post-romantic age. What does that mean precisely? The article’s author, Dr. Pamela Haag, a director of research at the American Association of University Women, writes that our notions of romance have evolved over the past century to land us in a decidedly post-romantic age in which friendship and pragmatism play a greater role in deciding to marry than the now-quaint reasoning behind idealistic romantic love spurred on by physical attraction.
Of course, we all know that after we are together with our partner for a long period of time, the initial feelings of falling madly in love begin to fade. Still, Haag notes that in the past few decades, getting married based on this feeling is become more and more unpopular. Haag argues:
“By the post-romantic inflection, marriage is becoming more like other types of relationships in our lives. There’s a kind of intimacy blur afoot, whereby one type of relationship blurs more easily into another, with less emotional distinction or singularity assigned to marriage. Post-romantic spouses act more like friends; friends (with benefits) act more like spouses; colleagues become “workplace spouses,” spouses become professional collaborators, and so on.”
Haag attributes these cultural changes to various factors, including the fact that women, who are more educated now than ever before, no longer have to get married to ensure economic stability. Couples no longer have to get married to have fulfilling sex lives, since the stigma of pre-marital sex has all but disappeared. Even raising children outside the confines of marriage has become more acceptable.
Since traditional reasons for getting married, and the ones we attribute to feelings of an idealized one-of-a-kind love, are gone, more common reasons for marrying now are for long-term companionship and support. This explains why more couples are falling into the “assortative mating” category marrying based on similar interests, education, and levels of income, and not necessarily on feelings of love or attraction. Gone, too, according to Haag, are the pressures of being married forever. There is less expectation from spouses, even when it comes to fidelity.
What do you think? Is marriage in this modern world changing as drastically as some say it is? If you are married, what were your reasons for doing so? If you aren’t, do you see yourself getting married, and what are you justifications for it?
Kitty Holman, regularly writes on the topics of nursing colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org.