This oneís not really a problem. Itís more of a philosophical question. Can you help me answer it for him?
Q: Hi Meredith --
I enjoy your columns & chats. I would like to know why singles in their 20s and 30s cling to this outdated romanticized notion of "finding your perfect match and spending the rest of your life with them" when the reality is, that idea fails 50% of the time. I understand this idea is constantly promoted throughout popular culture & the media, but in any other field, a process with a 50% failure rate would be discarded in favor of something better. Would anyone ever seriously consider making other important decisions in their life by flipping a coin? Of course not. So why don't people wake up to the truth? Or is it, as Jack Nicholson said, they "can't handle the truth"?
-- Just Wondering
A: Hi Just Wondering. So, youíre not so hot on love these days. Anything you want to tell us? Recent break-up, perhaps?
I don't have the most recent divorce statistics in front of me, but letís say youíre right. Letís say 50 percent of marriages fail. Doesnít that mean that 50 percent succeed?
Itís true -- most romantic relationships end. That doesnít mean those experiences arenít worth having. Would you suggest that people donít have long-term relationships? That they begin every relationship with an exit plan? You say "a process with a 50% failure rate would be discarded in favor of something better." Um, what other process would you recommend?
Iím with you Ė I think most people have over-romanticized the soul-mate concept, and that movies with perfect, happy endings have warped our expectations. That said Ė itís human nature to want a partner. To want security. To want commitment.
I donít think you can compare participating in an adult relationship to flipping a coin.
Lighten up, Just Wondering. Itís Valentineís Eve.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.