recentpopularlog in

Copy this bookmark:





to read

bookmark detail

What Romantic Regime Are You In?
MARCH 7, 2017 | The New York Times | David Brooks.

In Russia, people tend to regard love as a sort of divine madness that descends from the heavens. Love is regarded... as “a destiny, a moral act and a value; it is irresistible, it requires sacrifice and implies suffering and pain....In America people tend to ask: Does a partner fulfill your needs? Do you feel comfortable asserting your rights in the relationship? Does your partner check the right boxes?

While Russians pursue a "Regime of Fate", Americans seek a "Regime of Choice".....The most important requirement for choice is not the availability of multiple options...but the existence of a savvy, sovereign chooser who is well aware of his needs and who acts on the basis of self-interest. Brooks sees those who have mastered the notion of lifelong commitment to belong to a third regime, one he calls the Regime of Covenants in which a covenant is not a choice, but a life-altering promise and all the binding the promise entails.....In the Regime of Covenants, making the right one-time selection is less important than the ongoing action to serve the relationship.

The Covenant people tend to have a “we” consciousness. The good of the relationship itself comes first and the needs of the partner are second and the individual needs are third. The covenant only works if each partner, as best as possible, puts the other’s needs above his or her own, with the understanding that the other will reciprocate....Covenant Regimes require a framework in which exit is not an easy option, in which you’re assured the other person’s love is not going away, and in which the only way to survive the crises is to go deeper into the relationship itself.

The final feature of a covenant is that the relationship is not just about itself; it serves some larger purpose. The obvious one in many cases is raising children. But the deeper one is transformation. People in such a covenant try to love the other in a way that brings out their loveliness. They hope that through this service they’ll become a slightly less selfish version of themselves.
romantic_love  David_Brooks  reciprocity  self-interest  serving_others  covenants  Russia  lifelong  marriage  relationships  commitments  sacrifice  transformational  parenting 
march 2017 by jerryking
view in context