Saturday, September 22, 2012

Eat, Pray, Love, Marry

I actually enjoyed "the sequel" to "Eat, Pray, Love" more than the original. Once again, fraught with emotional turmoil Gilbert writes her way through her crises. However, in this book, she has aged and become more mature--if not, still terrified of marriage. The book is called "Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage."

Her comments on love and desire are interesting. "The Buddha taught that all suffering is rooted in desire. Don't we all know this to be true? Any of us who have ever desired something and then didn't get it (or worse, got it and subsequently lost it) know full well the suffering of which the Buddha spoke.....As soon as you want somebody-really want him-it is as though you have taken a surgical needle and sutured your happiness to the skin of the other person...." (Gilbert, 96)

As she pursued the history of marriage in an attempt to make peace with it, she mentioned the "Dads and Cads theory." Women prefer to settle down and marry monogamous, dependable men men who are likely to be good fathers. When women are looking for an affair, they seek the "cad" the sinfully good looking but morally inept types. Either way, evolutionary biology wins. If the "cad" fathers her child she produces good looking children, who /have an increased likelihood of wooing mating partners and passing down their genes. If the "dad" fathers her child she has a dependable help mate to raise the child. And if the cad fathers the child, and the dad raises it, life still goes on.

I had read of the "Dads and Cads" theory, but had not known the catchy slogan. Apparently when women are ovulating (most fertile) they seek the bad boys (ie, the cad) but when women are not ovulating the "dad"-making men are more appealing. There is even an adjacent theory that extends to women on oral contraception. Their bodies think they are pregnant, so their hormones tell them to seek a "dad" style mate. I even read one article once, that advised women contemplating marriage to avoid hormonal manipulation (ie. oral contraceptives) to see if they were still attracted to him without modern pharmacology. Cynical, but interesting views on marriage in these studies and in the book (which I found more interesting than the book that launched the movie).

For more reading on "Dads and Cads" see below:
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