I was reading Old Twentieth by Joey Haldeman and one of the more interesting ideas were the formation of 10-year "marriage" contracts between immortal humans. Basically, people who lived forever needed to find a way out of "'till death do us part".
Which caused me to think about the establishment of 4-year Marriage Limits. Here's my thought hack_
You agree to marry someone, with a base contract of 4 years. After 4 years, you can either choose to renew your marriage or part amicably, with whatever you brought into the partnership, and an equal division of anything generated during the partnership's 4 year-term (business, residence, loans, etc.) Here's why_
- You won't take your partner for granted; they could always leave, so you'll always value them choosing you
- You won't take the relationship for granted - much like life & death, relationships are re-cognized when they have a visible end
- You'll have incentive to work out (if you've stopped) so your partner starts noticing you near the 3-year mark
- Less risk of divorce and infidelity. If you're in love with someone, and they're with someone else, you can always wait until their / your term is up...and see how you feel then.
- Forever is a long time... a REALLY long time, but if you're committed to someone, why not recommit your vows to them after 4 years? After 20 years, you'll have committed to them 5 times!
- Western civilization (if not most of life) is segmented into 4 year phases_ 0-4 for early child development, then 1st - 8th grade, high school, college (or post), and 2-4 rounds of work or research independently, until children, which result in another 3-5 rounds...From 18 - 50, a person could have 8 commitments
- Lastly...it's still a commitment. Whether it's a day, a month, a year, or the rest of your life, your committed to someone, so setting a limit to it doesn't cheapen it; it makes the commitment have definition and scope.
But what about blah blah blah?
Some Rough Facts
- life is short
- people can love many people : as my college professor of marriage said how sad is the person who can only love and see love in one other person in the world?
- people can get sick the sameness
- people DO fall out of love
- what's the difference between 32 years of marriage and 8 renewals?
- it's realistic, flexible enough to allow options, but committed enough to stay strong in the long-term
- is there a harm in it?
- anyone judging the value of a four-year commitment could be a stuck-up snob who believe in unrealistic ideals that force people to be unhappy
- here's an ideal worth believing in_ unhappiness. recognize it and build systems to adjust for it
- maybe you want to go back to college, maybe you plan to be somewhere else in 4 years, sell the company, move to asia, etc.
- you could always renew after a break_ i.e. 4 years together, apart 1 year, then together again
Anyway, it's an interesting thought exercise.