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That said, I’ve seen some decent people get worn down by life and turn bitter and negative; so sometimes, even with due diligence we can’t plan for everything. So I can already foresee myself carefully analyzing any future prospective partner’s character and rationalizing myself into a relationship rather than simply going with the flow to see what happens. “Finally, Brooks brings up a moral view of marriage – an institution that is designed to make us better people: The everyday tasks of marriage are opportunities to cultivate a more selfless love.

“Don’t focus on irrelevant factors, like looks.” Hmm. Everyday there’s a chance to inspire and encourage your partner to become his or her best self.

I can only presume it’s from a combination of our evolutionary drive to seek the fittest genes when procreating along with social pressure to succeed. But I’m not sure if a life lived like that is any sort of achievement.

Instinctively, on some human level it has to be a good thing to have something or someone who motivates you enough to push yourself to be the best person you can be.

Even in the earliest societies, the economic advantages of living in families were clear.