Thursday, January 21, 2016

[ I've been on OkCupid since it first started in the dark ages before smart phones. My profile had turned into an essay of my observations, research, and beliefs on culture & relationships until I dumped it here. Happy reading!] :

I have to admit after dating in DC for several years, I have become skeptical of modern metropolitan guys. Why? For starters, the level of self-awareness is often laughable. Here's a typical, real profile excerpt: "Most people would describe me as a passionate, caring, smart, and hard-working individual. I'm independent to a fault and have been self-employed as...etc etc", but then you read how they answer the questions on OKCupid, or you meet them in person, and it becomes clear that they are as "smart" as the average DC gay, have little curiosity about life, they "care" mostly about their image, job, car, dog, and mom (usually in that order), "work hard" because they're materialistic, and are "independent to a fault" because they don't really get how true friends and LTR's are about being part of a courageously vulnerable, open, and committed team.

I'm proud of my Midwestern rural upbringing. Traditional (subsistence/ non-plantation) agrarian values trump urban values when it comes to teaching people how to be in a relationship; because rural culture fosters pro-social interdependent "Ubuntu" behavior. In contrast, city life is often structured in a way that promotes isolation, superficiality, and materialism. Usually ruralites have to function by the Golden Rule, as they must rely on each other to exist since every convenience is not at their fingertips. That's where they learn about commitment to human relationships, something that appears to me as increasingly rare in urban life. Too many city folk, even liberals, seem to cultivate an Ayn Randian superman lifestyle. That is, a smugness developed from cultivating material self-reliance, and an ignorance of pro-social behavior like friendliness, generosity, humility, practicality, manual/domestic skills, and compromise.

Lastly, I'd like to warn against a huge misconception I read in many profiles: Falling in love will not make you a happier, satisfied, or more committed person. Research shows that it is through generous, compassionate words & actions that we achieve the greatest personal happiness.

[edit]Robert Ingersoll et al. are 75% right when he said, "the way to be happy is to make others so." Surprise surprise, happiness is not all about you(rself).

You are responsible for your own happiness and your own integrity, and if you are committed to love you will not only fall in love, but your relationship will be much more likely to last.

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