How the abundance or lack of choice affects relationships
Maybe around a month ago I watched a video by Sheena Iyengar which is titled: The art of choosing. This video explained how being able to choose affects the outcomes of things we do or the decisions we make. The lack of or overabundance of choice really does have an effect on us. I suggest that everyone watch this video for it was very insightful to me. It helped me realize the answer to a question I have had for some time now.
I am fascinated with the culture of different eras, especially around the 1500’s. I would read about the painters, the poets and different aspects of those times. The poets were of some interest to me, since I like to write poetry as well. No, not for women (Or men for you twisted people out there) since I learned that this gift of poetry is really not appreciated. Never the less during that time period poetry was appreciated. A man could give a woman a poem and she would melt in his arms. The simple act of reciting the poem in front of her would bring about a flush of feelings and euphoria. Well, then again at least that is what I like to think, but I’m pretty sure (My past lives have shown me this). Try doing that in this day and age and maybe just maybe for about an hour or if one is lucky a day, it will be appreciated but then dismissed (not because of the act of giving the poem but because they have choices to accept things better than a poem from others). No, I’m not bitter I’m just stating the obvious. I also don’t want to hear about “your just not meeting the right girl” since this applies to almost everyone I know. Well, before I get of subject let me continue. Also, this applies to both men and women. I base then on a guy’s standpoint for ease or writing purposes.
At first I thought the problem was that women changed how they view what constitutes as a good man. In an essence they did change but it is not their fault. The culprit here was CHOICE. In the 1500’s there was no such thing as social networking, TV, cellphones, clubs (Like today), BMW’s etc… Society has been so overwhelmed by an abundance of choice that every decision we make is subconsciously altered by us to make a decision which may provide us with more or better choices.
Let us take a look at an example. Suppose you are a nice guy living in the 1500’s, you write a romantic poem and you give it to Beth which lives in a village with, oh let say a handful of good looking guys, no more than 4. Beth has never seen you before until this very moment (Your good looking). Now the other guys can’t write poetry. Beth will now be more inclined to go with you since the other 4 choices can’t write poetry, something she is very fond of. Had any of the others been able to write poetry then yet another chain reaction would have occurred in the mind and Beth would have chosen, let us call him Adam. Adam is the guy from the other town which came to read Beth the poem. Why would Adam have still been chosen? Simple, Adam provides more choices for her. Adam, is from another town, one which Beth has only heard of. If Beth leaves with Adam she will be flushed with all kinds of different things, she will have the opportunity to make new and exciting choices about things she has never seen before. She can now choose between different flowers which the new town sells, new clothes, new scenic landscapes to go to etc… In the old town she would have been happy with just a lily since that is all they have, she knows of nothing else. I hope everyone understands the point I’m trying to make with the flower. In this day and age women can choose between a vast variety of flowers which is why they have the option to choose which one they want. If you give them one they don’t like, then someone else will.
We can’t confuse this flush of choice with boredom. We can’t say that if Beth chose the guy in her village she would have been bored (even though she probably would have). It’s not that she would have been bored, it’s that she would not have had an array of different choices to make. Well let me retract that statement, maybe it would have worked out with the guy from her village since Beth was never accustomed to having so many choices. Having the ability to make a choice is what allows us to make a good or bad decision. If we had no choice we would always be in the same place. Now a day’s we always want more. We constantly seek for routes which would diversify our ability to make new and interesting choices. The problem is that the world offers way to many choices.
Most people break up because of this even if they don’t accept that fact. I can even prove this fact. We can pull up statistics in different cities, towns, countries etc… For example, people in other states, like small town usually stay together for a long time if not forever. Why? Is there some type of poison in major cities? No, the people in the small town just don’t have the amount of choices when it comes to a mate as people in bigger, more diverse cities. Let say I live in a small and I like Spanish women. Now in that town there are only 2 Spanish girls. I talk to both and I make a decision which was fairly easy to make since there were only 2 Spanish girls. Now lets say I try to make that same decision in Miami. I may never be able to choose, there are just way to many Spanish women here. If I choose one with black hair, then I go on to subcategorize and choose a slim one, then long hair etc… I can be choosing for a long time. Let say I finally choose one and 3 weeks later I meet about 10 different Spanish girls. I may be inclined to leave the one I’m with because I have 10 new exciting choices to choose from. We need to learn how to control ourselves. I’ve wondered why some people have been together since high school and still married until their 50’s (With no cheating). Those people have self-control. Why is it that we can be with someone so perfect and we ruin it just to try something new? Our minds are wired to move forward and look for “bigger and better” things. We need to have different options, choices or we get bored. The thrill of a new choice is what motivates us; the “what if” factor of making new choices is tangled with our rationalization of things.