A Word on Crushes and Commitment

I write regularly about the colorless slog that is abiding love. You can read some of those pieces here, here and here.

This lovely article from The Book of Life, On the Madness and Charm of Crushes, so beautifully deconstructs the descent into private madness that is a crush, I just had to share it. With the requisite pathos to legitimize my own beliefs about romance, the author writes,

We need to swap the Romantic view for the Tragic Awareness of Love, which states that every human can be guaranteed to frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us – and we will (without any malice) do the same to them. There can be no end to our sense of emptiness and incompleteness. This is a truth chiseled indelibly into the script of life. Choosing who to marry or commit ourselves to is therefore merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for, rather than an occasion miraculously to escape from grief.

The above passage reminds me of my husband and I picking out wedding rings during our engagement. The jewelry shop, owned by Catholics, naturally, had a set of silver rings embellished with a crown of thorns. I didn’t know what variety of suffering I was entering into on my wedding day, but I knew suffering was on the horizon. Self-awareness was not the source of my knowledge—I was young and had little—neither was awareness of my husband’s flaws—at that time I thought he was perfect. I just knew the crown-of-thorns was the metaphor we needed.


My husband found the rings macabre and I lost the argument. Instead, I had my nearly-forever-divorced parents’ rings melted and formed into my ring, which I lost a few years later. I now wear the ring my Russian grandfather (whom I never met, but who was generally thought of as a scoundrel), gave to his third wife, not my grandmother. Make of those facts what metaphors you will.

The author continues,

A caustic view of crushes shouldn’t depress us, merely relieve the excessive imaginative pressure that our romantic culture places upon long-term relationships.

Stay committed. Enjoy the read.


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