Monthly Archives: July 2014

Words from a wise woman

“While we were yet sinners Christ died for us….”  That right there sums up everything about how Christians ought to behave towards those whom they consider to be “other”.

— Alana

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Call for Submissions

What would you like to see us write about?

What’s on your mind, that you might like to write about?

What’s going on in the world that just needs written about?

Do you have a favorite saying—be it by a desert father, or by your father—that you think would make a good Wednesday quote?

Did you see a link you think might interest or amuse us, or that might go well on a Friday roundup?

We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to submit things via the contact page or Facebook.

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Linkage: Marital Edition

Choosing Transformational Marriage [Ethika Politika]

Suffocating Marriage [Commonhealth]

3 Questions to Ask Before Your Wedding Day [Verily]

A New Icon of Marriage [Alastair’s Adversaria]

In Greece and Portugal, couples are less likely to bicker over household chores compared to other European nations. Quartz suggests this might be due to low rates of cohabitation. [Quartz]

 

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Words of Wisdom

“From this day, from this hour, from this minute, let us strive to love God above all, and fulfill His holy will.”

— St. Herman of Alaska

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Guest Post: Dating in your 40s

Stephanie is our guest blogger today, and brings with her excitement and experience. Most of The Orthogals’  writings come from the  twenty- and thirty-something crowd, but we know that the over-forty demographic needs to be represented as well. Stef does not identify as a “typical forty-something”, but admits that her share of dating disasters should count for something. When not keeping her friends in laughing fits with her stories and animated style, she enjoys the active cultural offerings of her Midwestern college town.

I have a very robust inner third-grader.  My “i3g” generally serves me well; it’s kind of like having an internal fun magnet.  It reminds me of the mystery of how my dad can make open parking spaces magically appear in front of him, and my mom has a sixth sense of when there’s a sale in the vicinity.

Maybe my dating life would be more successful if I put my i3g on the case.  I really think I was a lot smarter when I was about eight.  The younger version of myself wouldn’t put up with some of the things that I do now, things that we are taught as adults to accept.  For one, my i3g wouldn’t go out with someone “just to be nice,” even when not interested in the other person.  She also wouldn’t spend an excessive amount of time worrying about her appearance or trying to be cool.

And let’s talk about cooties.  Your i3g knows they’re real.  When the thought “that person has cooties” goes through your mind, it means that something is creepy–a boundary has been crossed and things are not right.  The adult world might tell you that you are jumping to conclusions and that you need to override that sentiment.  But your i3g knows that things are amiss–listen to her!

Dates:  Most of the stuff that’s considered part of the standard repertoire for dates is somewhere on a continuum between stressful and boring–certainly not anything fun that brings out the best in each of you.  Or maybe the fun activities *don’t* bring out the best in my date, in which case I’d like to know that, as it would be a whole lot more helpful in getting to know someone than some contrived, artificial situation.

Here’s a quick checklist for anyone wanting to take me out:  Does it involve roller skates, bubble wrap, ice cream, animals, or bluegrass music?  Count me in.  A big no:  overpriced pretentious food, excessive air conditioning, shopping, or anybody asking me, “And now what exactly is it that you do?” in a snotty tone of voice.  I’ll make sure I need to stay home and do laundry that night.

What about gifts?  You got me flowers to show me how you feel about me.  They died within the week.  Not really, I think, what you were trying to convey.  But you found me a heart-shaped rock when you were out hiking?  This tells me you were thinking about me even when I wasn’t there.  If you catch me a frog, we’re in business.  (Especially if it’s a talking frog.  No, not one that turns into Prince Charming.  I mean a real talking frog.  That would be pretty neat.)

We should address another adult concept–the dreaded Friendzone.  Kids aren’t really concerned about this.  “So you don’t wanna be my girlfriend?”  Pause.  “Ok, how ’bout we climb trees instead?”  And everything is all good again.

I think I’ll approach dating with my i3g at the helm.  At the very least, I’ll have fun and end up with some good stories.  And maybe I’ll find someone out there with his own i3g–and no cooties.

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Quotable

If you are in passionate love and want to celebrate your passion, read poetry. If your ardor has calmed and you want to understand your evolving relationship, read psychology. But if you have just ended a relationship and would like to believe you are better off without love, read philosophy.

-Jonathan Haidt

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Priorities, Standards, and Lists

You know, there’s a difference between having high standards, knowing your core values, and being just plain picky.

It’s easy to make fun of lists, and some are patently ridiculous. But having a list can be a way to be upfront with yourself about what you value. I like Laura’s method of having 3 columns: needs, wants, and bonus.
That way you can say, “You know, I really cherish getting to talk art with loved ones, and it’d be amazing if he liked the post-impressionists too.” But you don’t have to say, “His idea of admiring art is noticing a new design on his soda can, that’s close enough” or “But this guy who’s almost perfect prefers Van Gogh’s Paris sunflowers to his Arles sunflowers, so clearly it’s not meant to be!”

You don’t want to be unreasonable or proud or snobby, but it’s important to be honest with yourself. What do you want? What do you need? Take a little time to think about it. Talk to married couples you admire. People-watch. What makes you grin, cringe, sigh?

What do you value? Do you need someone with strong manners, who always thanks store clerks and waitstaff and means it? Can you live with someone who isn’t a big reader, who gets his art and story and connection in another way? Do you have to have someone active, who spends his free time running on the trail / playing calvinball / lifting heavy objects for fun? Can you look past copious nose hair if he’s good with kids?

You’d hate to be settled-for, right? It’d be dreadful to know that your partner quietly thought less of you because you were different from what they’d hoped or expected. So don’t do that to someone else, don’t settle for them. If deep, insightful conversation is a big part of what you value in your friendships and something you want to be a big part of your life, then find a great conversationalist and don’t apologize for prioritizing it. If it has to be deep conversations about art, well, then it has to be about art.

Frankly, if you ARE being picky, then be picky.  It’s a sign of immaturity, and if your standards are truly so restrictive that nobody’ll fit into them, then perhaps you need time to grow up before you’re ready. (Cf. Mr. Ridiculous up above. He should not be dating. His list is a shiny red flag announcing that to the world. Thank heavens.) Go ahead and keep your list silly until you mature enough to re-evaluate.

We have to strive to balance realism and generosity towards others with a healthy regard for our own boundaries and needs. You’re allowed to need things, you’re allowed to want things, and you’re entitled to your boundaries. Anyone who says otherwise is not someone you want to date.

It’s good to have high standards for yourself too. If you end up with this Mr. Wonderful who knows which Van Gogh paintings are truly sublime (*cough* Starry Night Over the Rhone *cough*), you’ll want to offer him the best of yourself, right? So put in the effort and build the skills you value: communication, patience, kindness, competence, whatever.

He deserves someone who thinks he’s a prince. You deserve someone you think is a prince. So if you think he’s a frog, or you find his occasional croaks concerning, talk about it, but be prepared to let him go.

future

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Friday Linkage

6 Things Single People Are Tired of Hearing [Relevant]

What is love? [Aeon] (No one tell Fr. Andrew about this title)

Is human sexuality determined by evolution? [Aeon]

The Myth of the Alpha Male [Art of Manliness]. Another great Art of Manliness article that analyses what women actually find attractive traits in partners.

It’s Wedding Season: How to Make Sure Your Tears Look Like the Happy Kind [Reductress]

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Considerate > Sweet

So, lately I’ve been running into a lot of people who were more sweet than they were considerate.

That is, it’s awfully sweet that they want to spend more time around me, but if I’ve already said I’m tired and I want to go home, then it isn’t terribly considerate or respectful. It’s very sweet that they want to affectionately set a hand on my neck or shoulder or arm, but if I’ve already asked them to stop touching me, then it just isn’t okay.

I refuse to spend time around people who are so disrespectful that I find myself constantly having to defend my boundaries. They may be pleasant, funny, kind, interesting, wonderful. But I don’t have the time and energy to waste.

Even—or maybe especially—when it comes to nonsexual boundaries

 

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Love of being loved

But sometimes a woman’s love of being loved gets the better of her conscience.

Hardy, Jude the Obscure

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