The main idea I took from the previously posted quotes is that a person doesn’t have to be married or even in a “romantic” type of relationship to experience life-giving relationships. This is because marriage/romance isn’t the ultimate relationship, and because people can have deep, life-giving friendships. These ideas seemed really good to me; they seemed to make sense and to fit.
Personally, once these ideas sunk in, it felt like a weight had been lifted—it was great news. I hadn’t really been consciously aware of it, but I did have the notion that I wouldn’t really experience the kind of life-sharing relationship I desired until/unless I was married (or with the person whom I would eventually marry). Once pointed out, these ideas seem almost so obvious I wondered that I didn’t wholly see them before. Now, I know intellectually that marriage won’t fulfill every desire a person has. But it’s easy to slip into feeling like your waiting for what you really desire, as I had.
A little while after this, due in part to personal experience, I began to think, “This all sounds good in theory, and it may well be right, but is it practical in our culture?” Along with this, I was continuing to try and digest these ideas, and determine what I thought of them. I at least saw some truth in them, so they were creating a paradigm shift in my mind. However the subject of friendships and relationships is a broad and complex one. So moving a few ideas requires considering the effects on a whole lot of other intertwined ones. So I’m still trying to sort out exactly where my new paradigm will settle.