Monday, June 21, 2010

High School Sweethearts

People react to the story of high school sweethearts getting married and living happily ever after as though it's the best thing that could possibly happen to someone - Disney should be knocking on their door to cartoon-ize their life any day now. You'll hear me trying to suppress a shudder. Why?

Who in real life is the same person at 20 that they were at 16? Or even scarier, at 30 or 40 or beyond? Has at least one of them not changed enough to outgrow that major decision they made at 16? It seems to me like you're a new person every year from ages ~14-18.

I think that a partial explanation for the above point is that instead of being two distinct people who find each other and discover how compatible they are, they've become the same person by virtue of hanging off each other for the crucial fomative years and beyond. Instead of keeping and developing individual characteristics, they've spent a lot of their time trying to retain that other person. They've both pursued one goal: to become someone who is acceptable to the other - which means becoming more and more similar. Neither one has a chance to change or develop in their own way. That makes for shallow people and a shallow relationship.

Lastly, out of all the people in the world who might be "right" for you, you've narrowed down the possibilities to a certain group of people who happen to be in the same geographic area as you at a certain time in your life. 

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