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爱情是命运安排还是你的选择?

更新时间:2017-3-9 11:06:38 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What Romantic Regime Are You In?
爱情是命运安排还是你的选择?

Polina Aronson spent her first 16 years in Russia. There, people tend to regard love as a sort of divine madness that descends from the heavens. Love is regarded, as the sociologist Julia Lerner put it, as “a destiny, a moral act and a value; it is irresistible, it requires sacrifice and implies suffering and pain.” Russians measure one another by how well they are able to bear the upheaval love brings, sometimes to an absurd degree.

波莉娜·阿伦森(Polina Aronson)在俄罗斯度过了人生最初的16年。在那里,人们倾向于把爱看作一种从天而降的神性的疯狂。正如社会学家朱莉娅·勒纳(Julia Lerner)所说,爱情被认为是“一种命运,一种道德行为和一种价值;它是不可抗拒的,它要求牺牲,意味着折磨和痛苦”。俄罗斯人通过承受爱情带来的动荡的能力来衡量彼此,有时达到荒谬的程度。

But when she was in high school, Aronson moved to America, and stumbled across an issue of Seventeen magazine. She was astounded. In America she noticed that people tended ask: Does a partner fulfill your needs? Do you feel comfortable asserting your rights in the relationship? Does your partner check the right boxes?

但是,上高中后,阿伦森搬到了美国,她偶然翻看《十七妙龄》杂志(Seventeen)的某一期。她感到震惊。她注意到,在美国,人们经常会问:你的伴侣能满足你的需求吗?你赞成在恋爱中主张自己的权利吗?你的伴侣具备你想要的东西吗?

Aronson concluded that she had moved from the Russian Regime of Fate to the American Regime of Choice.

阿伦森认定,她已经从俄罗斯的“命运制”转向了美国的“选择制”。

“The most important requirement for choice is not the availability of multiple options,” she writes in Aeon magazine. “It is the existence of a savvy, sovereign chooser who is well aware of his needs and who acts on the basis of self-interest.”

“选择最重要的要求不是有多个选项,”她在《万古》网络杂志(Aeon)上写道,“而是有一个精明的、有主权的选择者,他/她非常了解自己的需求,根据自我利益行事。”

The Regime of Choice encourages a certain worldly pragmatism. It nurtures emotionally cool, semi-isolated individuals. If the Russian model is too reckless, the American model involves too much calculation and gamesmanship. “The greatest problem with the Regime of Choice stems from its misconception of maturity as absolute self-sufficiency,” Aronson writes. “Attachment is infantilized. The desire for recognition is rendered as ‘neediness.’ Intimacy must never challenge ‘personal boundaries.’”

选择制鼓励某种世俗的实用主义。它培养情感冷静、半孤立的个人。如果说俄罗斯的模式太鲁莽,那么美国的模式涉及太多的计算和招数。“选择制的最大问题源于它错误地认为成熟就是绝对自立,”阿伦森写道。“依恋被认为是幼稚的表现。对承认的渴望被视为‘缠人’。亲密永远不能挑战‘个人底线’。”

Indeed, a lot of our social fragmentation grows out of the detached, utilitarian individualism that this regime embodies.

事实上,我们的很多社会分裂源于这个体系所体现的分离的、追求功利的个人主义。

The dating market becomes a true market, where people carefully appraise each other, looking for red flags. The emphasis is on the prudential choice, selecting the right person who satisfies your desires. But somehow as people pragmatically “select” each other, marriage as an institution has gone into crisis. Marriage rates have plummeted at every age level. Most children born to women under 30 are born outside of wedlock. The choice mind-set seems to be self-defeating.

约会市场成了真正的市场,人们仔细地互相评价,留意对方的不良表现。重点是审慎地选择,挑选满足你愿望的合适的人。但不知为何,当人们从实用主义的角度“选择”彼此时,婚姻作为一种体制就陷入危机了。所有年龄层的结婚率都暴跌。30岁以下的女性所生的孩子大多是非婚生的。选择心态似乎在自我毁灭。

Even those of us who have had humbling experiences in this realm can look at those who seem to have this lifelong thing figured out and see a different set of attitudes and presuppositions, which you might call a Regime of Covenants. A covenant is not a choice, but a life-altering promise and all the binding the promise entails.

就连我们这些在该领域经验不多的人,也可以在那些似乎已搞定这件终身大事的人身上看到一套不同的态度和假设,你可以称之为“契约制”。契约不是选择,而是改变生活的承诺以及这个承诺所带来的束缚。

The Regime of Covenants acknowledges the fact that we don’t really choose our most important attachments the way you choose a toaster. In the flux of life you meet some breathtakingly amazing people, usually in the swirl of complex circumstances. There is a sense of being blown around by currents more astounding than you can predict and control. Mostly you’re bumblingly trying to figure out the right response to the moments you’re in.

契约制承认这样一个事实:我们选择最重要伴侣的方式与选择烤面包机的方式并不相同。在人生的洪流中,你会遇到一些让你心潮澎湃的了不起的人——通常是在复杂的漩涡中。你会有一种被电击的感觉,超出了你的预期和可控范围。大多数情况下,你在慌乱地试图弄清这种时候你的正确反应该是什么。

When you are drawn together and make a pledge with a person, the swirl doesn’t end; it’s just that you’ll ride it together. In the Regime of Covenants, making the right one-time selection is less important than the ongoing action to serve the relationship.

当你们被拉到一起,共同做出承诺时,那个漩涡并没有停止,你们只是要一起驾驭它。在契约制中,比做出一次正确选择更重要的是不断努力为这段关系服务。

The Covenant people tend to have a “we” consciousness. The good of the relationship itself comes first and the needs of the partner are second and the individual needs are third. The covenant only works if each partner, as best as possible, puts the other’s needs above his or her own, with the understanding that the other will reciprocate.

订立契约的人往往具有“我们”的意识。关系本身的良好状态是第一位的,伴侣的需求是第二位的,个人的需求排在第三位。只有每个伴侣都尽可能地把对方的需求置于个人需求之上、知道对方会做出回报,契约才能成立。

The underlying truth of a Covenantal Regime is that you have to close off choice if you want to get to the promised land. The people one sees in long, successful marriages have walked the stations of vulnerability. They’ve overthrown the proud ego and learned to be utterly dependent on the other. They’ve faced the ways they are difficult to be with and tried to address them. They’ve gone through all the normal episodes of confession, apology, defensiveness, forgiveness and loving the other most when there’s nothing lovely about them.

契约制的根本真理是,如果你想到达承诺之地,你必须停止选择。长久成功的婚姻中的人已经走过了那些脆弱的站点。他们克服了自负,学会了完全依赖对方。他们遇到过难以应对的情况,努力克服了它们。他们经历了所有正常的表白、道歉、辩解和宽恕,在对方毫无可爱之处的时候给予他/她最多的爱。

You only do all this if you’ve set up a framework in which exit is not an easy option, in which you’re assured the other person’s love is not going away, and in which the only way to survive the crises is to go deeper into the relationship itself.

只有在你知道退出不是一个容易的选择时,在你确定对方的爱不会消失时,在你知道化解危机的唯一方式是更加深入这份感情时,你才会做所有这些。

The final feature of a covenant is that the relationship is not just about itself; it serves some larger purpose. The obvious one in many cases is raising children. But the deeper one is transformation. People in such a covenant try to love the other in a way that brings out their loveliness. They hope that through this service they’ll become a slightly less selfish version of themselves.

契约的最后一个特性是,这段恋情不只是关于它本身,而是服务于一些更大的目标。在很多情况下,最明显的目标是养育孩子。但更深的目标是实现自我转变。订立契约的人努力去爱对方,在这个过程中激发了自己的可爱之处。他们希望因此变得不像从前那么自私。

The Covenant Regime is based on the idea that our current formula is a conspiracy to make people unhappy. Love is realistically a stronger force than self-interest. Detached calculation in such matters is self-strangulating. The deepest joy sneaks in the back door when you are surrendering to some sacred promise.

契约制基于这样一个想法:我们现在的恋爱方式是一个让人不快乐的阴谋。爱情实际上是一种比自我利益更强大的力量。在这种事情上,冷漠的计算是自我扼杀。当你屈服于某种神圣的承诺时,最深的快乐会从后门偷偷溜进来。

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