Thursday, September 09, 2004

an end or a means?
Do you think it is okay to choose a partner on the basis of the benefits in material or status that will accrue to you by being in the relationship? Or are you the type that chooses to be with someone purely because you like their character and the way you get on together?

Clearly I have given you a polarised choice here. We are looking at opposite ends of a relationship spectrum, when in reality our decisions will normally contain elements of each. But I suppose some people can be closer to one end than another.

I mean, nobody can ever convince me that Anna Nicole-Smith married an 89 year old billionaire for love. On the other hand, this touching tale of continued commitment in the face of all life's difficulties shows clearly that a relationship built on more than selfish material expectation is entirely possible.

Now maybe I was naeive and only saw what I wanted to, or maybe I was misled, or perhaps we were both kidding ourselves. Either way, the experience of discovering my ex was way further over to the materialistic side of the spectrum than I was was not at all a pleasant experience.

This is not to say we are talking just about wealth here when I use the word materialistic. The issue is more subtle, since it is combined with the pursuit of dreams.

It sounds like such an innocent word, dreams. But when your desire to live a dream lifestyle that you cannot achieve for yourself causes you to have interest in someone who can provide it, clearly your motivation cannot be described as purely one of love.

Even if you do actually like the person involved, to some extent they will always be a means to you, and not an end in themselves.

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