Love or divorce?
The summer months and wedding season is fast approaching. The suit will come out, the iron, the tie, the uncomfortable shoes and the black polish. We will gather in chapels and churches, in registry offices, old mansions and beer gardens to celebrate our friends’ big day, while avoiding the summer rain showers in Wales. There will be speeches and readings, and you may well hear, at least once this summer, the reading below.
‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’
This is what the Bible has to say about love, and it seems from the popularity of the verse, that many married couples in Wales (and beyond) share the same sentiment. However, what do the participants of Generation What have to say about this topic of ‘love’?
If we look at the question of living without love, we can see that the data suggests that Europeans are relatively in agreeance. Apart from the Czech Republic and Italy, we see that the rest of the sample indicated that they would not be able to live in a relationship without love. Therefore, can we interpret that old concepts of love continue to hold their own in contemporary society?
Two interesting questions ask participants what their opinion is in regards to being loyal (faithful) in a relationship. 82% of people said that it was “essential” to be faithful in a relationship. Another question asks whether people had been in more than one relationship at the same time. The data suggest that only 11% of people who took part in the study had done so. It therefore appears that the concept of loyalty is continuing to hold his ground.
However, what about divorce?
The data suggest that society continues to place prestige and status on the concepts of fidelity. Yet, at the same time, it is possible to interpret that there is a pragmatic element to the concept of marriage. Since the 1970s, the process of divorcing became simpler; this resulted in an increase within divorce rates. However, more recently we have seen a decrease within the divorce rate, as couples decide not to get married, and live together instead. Does this suggest that love isn’t as ‘patient’ as that?