Families logo

Love Has Become Rational

Modern marriages are not failing, love has just become more rational.

By Relentless Kindness LilaPublished 3 months ago 12 min read
Canva Photos

Deep down we all want to feel loved regularly. We forget that even the love from our parents at times was not felt every moment of every day. We seek to feel understood, valued and wanted. We want to believe it is possible to create a family of our own that is better than the one we were born with.

To fall in love, one often suspends our rational thoughts. One allows assumptions of high standards and endless forgiveness and grace. We also want to feel validated and correct about our choice of a partner and dating apps have taken the need for rational selection ten steps further than ever imagined.

I had heard that divorce rates are rising and that the majority of the filings are made by women. Perhaps this shows the importance of looking up actual studies because I found that we are actually in a decline in divorce rates and nowhere near the peak that occurred in the late 70’s early 80’s. A study produced by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, “Divorce Rate in the U.S.: Geographic Variation, 2022” authored by Jaden Loo, illustrates current divorce rates by state and the national average. To my surprise, most of the more “liberal” states were not at the top of the list which made me question the rhetoric I have been hearing about divorce.

The National Center for Family and Marriage Research has also found that the first-time divorce ratio is tied to education and race. One thing I know for sure is that those two variables are also strongly related to cultural views about self-esteem and submission. My subconscious perception, which is influenced by conservative rhetoric, caused me to assume that as education increases for women so would the ratio of divorce. I was shocked to find the opposite is observed in the data. The study found that women with a degree have a lower divorce ratio and women who do not gain education after high school have a much higher divorce ratio.

This is surprising to me because conservative values often undervalue education for women and hold a great deal of respect for women who submit and do not even consider divorce as an option. Women who do not seek a higher education often find dependency on their partner to be the glue that holds them together and a sign of loyalty and devotion. So I found it surprising to see a study that indicates that women with a higher education are filing for divorce less than those without an education.

This helped me to understand the trends in modern relationships through a new lens. Women in general are more educated than ever before in history. Even a high school diploma was not commonplace just 80 years ago. As women become more able to express rational opinions and use rational decision making they will feel more confident about their life choices and perhaps shape clear and specific expectations of others.

Ping-Pong with two balls...

I find that marriage presents a ping-pong match where both players are expecting to play with their ball, only to realize their mate also shows up to play with their ball simultaneously. The skills developed through marriage can develop amazing cooperation, clear communication, executive planning, and higher functioning as an individual. When two people can show up daily to play together and enjoy their lives it is nothing short of beautiful.

I was taught growing up that how you show up for someone doesn’t depend on how they show up for you. So, if I continue with the Ping-Pong analogy, I should show up as a player who learns to cooperate with whoever my mate may be. I should learn to flow with their skill level and cultivate the ability to bring out the best game possible through radical acceptance and endless patience with myself as well as my mate.

The thought of having a choice of who one’s best mate would be seems like a privilege for many. For some who hold honor as a prized value, it can even seem irrelevant. Honor seems to be acquired by struggling and living a life of hardship. So there is a perception that if you are stuck with a difficult mate and you are the one making everything happen you are deserving of honor. But if one doesn’t take the time to be selective about their partner, is it truly honorable to then suffer the consequences? Furthermore, if life brings you to a crossroads is it wise to not re-evaluate the future together in a loving way? Isn’t it possible that it is more loving to end a relationship that you do not value? Critical thinking skills are a must to decipher these complexities and the paradox of life and monogamy.

Many women just wait to be chosen because they don’t want to be selective as it is perceived as mean. Today many women fear being the trigger for more Incels to develop and just want lonely men to feel loved. I find myself wanting to honor the idea that love is an action and that I could love even the most difficult of men because of my vast ability to love, (…ego much? lol). But my rational brain tells me that I am responsible for making choices in a way that is actually to the benefit of my well-being.

One must select a mate that can grow, learn, listen, respond, observe, and who enjoys self-improvement on their own accord. Someone who grows in one’s presence and doesn’t wilt or whither when met with correction. Someone who provides a space of importance for you in their life, and genuinely can lean on you for support. One must select a mate who wants to feel loved and enjoys giving love.

Women who have a higher education have intellectual strengths to offer their partner and interact with men who have a lot of these qualities. Life presents many challenges and critical thinking skills are truly more of a help for your mate than doing the dishes. Some men don’t realize this either because their ego tells them they should be smart enough to make all the decisions. But even the most powerful and smart men in the world have advisors. It is smart to get differing perspectives to make the best choices. One needs to be able to trust their partner can make good decisions as well. But if one partner gets all the practice at making the decisions, the other will soon be out of practice and grow dependent.

Needs vs. Wants

A woman needs to be able to interact and be seen for all of her strengths regardless of what her partner needs; and vice versa. Men often offer women things they do not need and we find ways to appreciate and even delight in them for fun. Some men have figured out how to enjoy things they do not need and allow a Woman to bloom just for the enjoyment of it.

Women who have a higher education often have to move once or twice and have experience building new friendships, organizing their personal space, solving life problems like parking tickets, or managing a budget. All the changes they go through to attend a University begin to teach them the difference between their wants and needs. They learn the difference between assertiveness and aggression, pacifying responses, and genuine compassion, and learn to distance themselves from problematic men/people rather than pleasing them.

Identity for women still often centers around men, and boys, all their adolescent life. I believe that at the age of 13, a girl gets bored if they are not intellectually challenged and learn to focus on boys as a way to bring more fun to their lives. This may also be the case for teens in general. There is a danger of developing a habitual need for validation by men due to the amount of time spent getting instant gratification by pleasing them from the age of 13–25 just to be valued by them. That is twelve years of practiced habits that do not originate from their critical thinking skills and have a big impact on their well-being.

For those who do pursue an intellectual interest, there are at least eight years of self-discovery to be had that can cultivate an identity based on their interests. This timeframe is also crucial for young men as well, it would benefit them greatly to cultivate plutonic friendships with young women not centered around the idea of a potential partner. (These years are relative, just using the timeframe of early adulthood brain development to show the important timeframe of identity forming.)

Those that seek out intellectual challenges will cultivate new habits and learn to identify the difference between their needs, and their wants. Women who seek out intellectual challenges will begin making choices that are best for their wellbeing and every (straight) seeking man should want to be with a woman who truly believes being with him is good for her.

Men who feel unseen or not selected also need to go through this same process of identifying their wants and needs. To begin to be rational about the mate they choose to play with may not be as instantly gratifying as love bombing but far more rewarding as it will lead to their personal growth. Not only are women more educated than ever, but there are also more gorgeous women than ever. With cosmetics and body modifications being what they are today, men’s perception of what will hold their attraction has changed greatly.


Men did warn us: “Men are visual creatures, boys will be boys, and men have needs”. Many men have no experience observing their own thought patterns and are highly distracted by appearances. Often rhetoric among men projects the notion that they are uncontrollable mammals, more similar to a representative of the K-9 species than George Washington. Where is the Female, Incel movement? I am sure “Beulah” in the cafe’s kitchen would be a great partner but these “Incels” are willing to pull society down just cause “Stephanie” and “Lindsey” don’t like their sticky handshake. (No offense intended to all the Beulahs, Stephanies, and Lindseys in the world…)

It is sad to see some men habitually forming expectations and fictional realities of partnership to the point they truly think less of themself for not having a partner who could model. A lot of men suffer from depression when the initial attraction wears off and they realize their expectations don’t match reality. But many don’t use critical thinking skills to observe their shift of reality, they unintentionally devalue their partner and begin feeling obligated by the relationship rather than gratitude.

To be honest, this is normal for both partners. At some point, both partners in a marriage will realize that the expectations they had going into a marriage do not match the reality to some degree. Unless both people are rational and allow space for rationality in the process of falling in love. At that point, both partners must use critical thinking skills to find understanding and not allow their partner's identity crisis to degrade their self-worth. It is okay to face your partner's criticisms with silliness and confidence!

Partners who do not have as much experience distancing themselves from their emotions are more likely to respond explosively to these major disappointments. It takes practice to understand that your partner’s thoughts and feelings are not caused by something you did or did not do for them. Your partner is responsible for their own self-reflection and emotional management.

This is a common situation in relationships. Those who develop introspective skills to find the root of their disappointments, and their personal responsibility to create positive changes, will prevent themselves from devaluing their partner. These are the couples that can find a deeper love than they ever realized was possible. Because dependency is not the glue. A woman can not depend on her partner to define her self-worth or value. A man can not depend on his partner's self-expression and attractiveness to define his self-worth or success. Understanding, respect, and responsibility to cultivate your own self-worth are the glue.

The rise of AI chat-bot girlfriends and boyfriends should show society that many people find fantasy relationships to be low-stress, highly engaging, and free from accountability. Many men say this is what they want in a relationship. Why don’t we see more men filing for divorce if they are so disappointed with their real relationships?


Many who suffer from low self-worth may just avoid being the one to feel the additional guilt of ending a relationship. When either partner is struggling with their identity neither wants to add the “bad guy/ the problem” to their growing list of things they don’t like about themselves. So, they try to make the best of it which, doesn’t mean change… In most cases it just means to feel honorable for the struggle… after all, no relationship is perfect, right?

Many men don’t choose a partner for the intellectual connection. Men have a vivid inner world that may feel busy. They do not feel a need for daily stimulus from their partner as they need space to allow their thoughts to settle, and one can satisfy intellectual connection with other relationships. But intellectual connection plays a much bigger part in long-term intimacy for women than they realize.

For many educated women, they may find a partner that does engage their intellect and perhaps this is where the true secret of a satisfying marriage is found! To have a modern marriage means that a woman can find a partner that understands her deeply. To have a partner that sees her whole as a fully functioning adult that can withstand their own deepest fears and fully share themselves as well because they know the strengths of their partner.

To be in a marriage where a woman is not challenged or intellectually seen as a partner, where finances are seen as too complicated to collaborate on, is where a partnership will fail. Are you seeking the feelings of love without rational reasons of why you enjoy your partnership? If so you are only projecting your hopes and expectations onto someone who is deserving of being loved as a whole individual.

Being in love does not end when the attraction wears thin. Being in love means you find each rational part about someone truly interesting, enticing, and stimulating. Love is rational. Lust is fictitious. Be selective. Learn to love yourself so that you will recognize it when someone learns how to love the whole of you too.

(I do want to be inclusive but I lack personal experience with same-sex partners. I hope anyone in a committed relationship finds this useful. Please feel free to comment below.)

valuesmarriedhumanityfact or fictiondivorcedadvice

About the Creator

Relentless Kindness Lila

Born in a beautiful town in Arizona where the cowboys and the hippies meet. I walk with one foot in front of the other, exploring the difference between fear and freedom. I am growing into a fearless force of relentless kindness.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.