Thursday, March 31, 2011

College Couples Parting With a Handshake

I have been re-reading the wonderful anthology of marriage and courtship texts, Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar, collected by Amy and Leon Kass. In the selection from Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind is this gripping complaint:

When I see a young couple who have lived together throughout their college years leave each other with a handshake and move out into life, I am struck dumb.

Bloom fears that they suffer from true apatheia, from numb, passionless souls. I think the cause is not quite as bad as that. I think many college students have absorbed an ideology that they should not settle in to adult life until they are old - say, 30. College couples have all the normal human desire to find their mate and get on with life, which in any other culture and time they would just go ahead and do. They have an idea, though, that they should go experience things before they find their spouse.

The married couples who come to my "Family Life" class are subversively suggesting, by their very lives, the alternative idea that experiencing things with your spouse makes for a great adventure.


Victoria Wheeler said...
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Victoria Wheeler said...

Yes! Although I could be a bit biased.

Nonetheless, while I don't think it's as horrible and soul-crushing as it makes it sound, I do think there are real, substantial problems with getting that deeply intimate with someone during college, then cutting it off. I don't think it means the people are horrible people, apathetic, or even numb, but I think it hurts a lot in ways that society often glosses over.

Benjamin said...

From a married perspective, I agree that it can be a lot more fun to have someone to experience all the "fun" things with in your 20s. The big hurdle is when the kids come along. It's certainly possible to do the "fun" things, but it becomes a tad more complicated, logistically/administratively-speaking... ;-)