The Things We Do For Love

“Love is rare,” says Peoples Jewellers in its current TV commercial for diamond engagement rings.

After about a week of semi-obsessively watching 90-Day Fiancé on TLC, I think they might be onto something.

There’s a part of me that looks at the women and men who have chosen to appear on this show, and gets it. And the other part wants to give their heads a shake. I met my partner online. And my ex-husband. And the guy I briefly dated a few months before I met my ex. I dislike the bar scene and I am an introvert with occasional extroverted tendencies. I chose to look for love online for the same reasons anyone else does, I suppose.

I think I’d have to know someone longer than mere weeks or a couple of months before I offer to sponsor them from overseas for a K-1 visa. I already know what my parents’ reaction would be if I ever asked them to take on that role for ten years after my wedding. “Hell no!” would be putting it mildly. Then there’s the whole basis for the relationship in the first place. The physical chemistry may be off the charts, but it’s no indicator that the guy or the woman of your dreams has a work ethic, or a healthy sense of spousal responsibility, or even wants children. Learning those things about another person takes time, and we all know our share of people who never show their true colours until the ink is barely dry on the marriage certificate, or quite often many years later.

At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge the impact of loneliness on a person’s overall health and well-being. A former Surgeon General of the U.S. backs the claim that chronic loneliness is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity. It’s sobering stuff.

I don’t have a crystal ball and I couldn’t tell you which of the couples on the current season of 90-Day Fiancé will get their happy ending. I can’t fault Annie for her dislike of living in a storage unit. I’d be super-pissed if I was Chantel and found out that my husband was sending money that should be supporting us back to his home country so that his mother and sister get to have a better life than we do. A rocky relationship is a thousand times worse when there are children involved; the negative impact on them goes without saying. Nicole encouraging her toddler daughter to call Azan “Daddy” when he fundamentally isn’t her father sets my hair on edge, especially when you consider that the adults have behaved badly towards each other and frankly Nicole seems to want the relationship more than Azan does.

Okay okay, I’m hopping off my soap box now.

What have you or a loved one done in pursuit of love? Feel free to post a comment (the usual rules of civility apply, please and thanks).