Relationship Cost/Benefits

Okay, so I've thought on and off in the past about how funny our dating/love/relationship practices really are when you think about them objectively.  So then I decided to compare the three major relationship options with their pros and cons.  Because why not?

MONOGAMY

The gist: meet someone, decide you want to be with them in a special kind of way and if they want it too, you get to know each other better and better until they are your "one and only" and you pretty much know everything there is to know about each other and love each other and are among the most important people in each other's lives, if not straight up the most important.  Then one of two things happen: one or both of you decide it's not working anymore and you probably cut them out of your life entirely (except on Facebook, because that would be a little extreme) or maybe you try to be friends, relapse into romantic happenings, and get all hurt again, repeating the process until you finally cut them out of your life all together; or you grow old together until one of you dies.  Then this process repeats with someone else until you die.

The pros: while together there is (ideally) lots of trust and togetherness and that wonderful feeling of exclusivity that makes you all smug and feeling sorry for everyone else, low levels of sexual confusion, autonomy of choice of who you're with, and social understanding of your relationship.

The cons: If you aren't good at talking about lots of random details, you can be with someone for a really long time and get all way-too-close and then find out something vital that means you can't be with that person, unclear roles in a relationship or expectations of what it all means, and the empty horribleness when you have to rip someone out of your life if it doesn't work out.

POLYGAMY

The gist: You start off with one significant other, then add more as necessary.  Generally in polygamous livin' divorce/break ups aren't really done, so when problems arise, you just add a spouse.

The pros: People who practice polygamy seem to have pretty steady ideas of what's expected from a relationship and their role within it, if you're one of the sister-wives you get a set of people who totally get what you're talking about to complain to/overanalyze the relationship with, and you will not have to deal with the whole gaping hole of losing someone.

The cons: Jealousy, the whole sexist thing that tends to go along polygamy (but doesn't necessarily), and having to share or be shared would be tiresome once and a while.

ARRANGED MARRIAGE

The gist: Your parents or whoever decide who you should marry and then you do it.  You never divorce.

The pros: Both parties definitely know what their expectations of the relationship, because if you're agreeing to let your parents choose your mate you know exactly what the goal of your relationship is, so you probably won't have to to deal with any terrifying heartbreak, and you might even come to love the person.

The cons: Not knowing the person you're promising to spend the rest of your life with is kind of risky, and while you'll probably avoid terrifying heartbreak, you might be lonely and loveless for the rest of your life.

So... take your pick I guess?

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