anil dash on choosing love

i’m really into the thinking of anil dash these days. this past weekend i stumbled on a recent episode of design matters that he was interviewed on. this is the first of two posts about that.

the first point he made was about his parents, their arranged marriage, and how is has shifted his views on love. although he talked about what it’s like to have a different “goal” for their relationship, it didn’t change his thoughts in the way i expected. he basically ended up pointing out the ridiculous falsity that so many people fabricate around their “soul mate.” paraphrasing here:

you mean to tell me you found your soul mate in your high school of 80 people? and your best friend growing up just happened to be the person whose house you could get to on your bike? these things aren’t us getting lucky: they’re circumstance and us choosing to get our needs met given what we have in front of us.

and when i really think about it, it’s so true. it’s like, you mean to tell me that out of the billions of people on the planet, you found your soul mate in your tiny town? this narrative/story would be fine if it were a rarely occurrence. but it’s like… the story of love and romance in america. and, ironically, it seems like it comes more from conservative and small town america than anywhere else.

the lengths we go to to uphold the narrative that love is found and not chosen are unbelievable. spencer and i talked the other day about how much healthier society would it be if we had films and movies that held up the beauty and stories of being in a 40-year loving relationship instead of heralding the two week story of falling in love (shoutout to bell hooks for thinking about this stuff years ago).

imo, the takeaway: we should just be honest: love is a choice. i wonder why american culture keeps this other false narrative front and center? (hunch: patriarchy)

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