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FWIW, the essay you were pretending to write is excellent in many ways. But I think, as often happens to Catholics, that you're working with a bougie paradigm that is just out of date. The publication from 2006 (almost 20 years ago) is a message in a bottle drifting in from a different world. Precious few people want to get married, still fewer permanently or exclusively. Many view the benefits through that pre-19th century "building alliances" lens, although it's more about things like accessing health insurance, and less avoiding falling victim to local warlords. Marriage and romantic love spin further apart in the zeitgeist every day.

It's why marriage is now a quintessentially "respectable middle-class" phenomenon; they have too much to lose, and too much still to strive for, to forgo the economic benefits of a wedding. Thus, as the middle class has hollowed out, so too the marriage rate.

To give you insight into my point of view, I'm not sure how private these Substack comments are, so I'll just say I'm interested in your work for obvious personal reasons. And I think the Church is technically positioned as well as it could be for this re-evaluation. The most traditional of all Christian approaches regards sex itself with a tolerant, faint disgust; it almost matches the vibe in a culture where nobody (almost) is actually having regular sex. A re-discovery of the superiority of solitariness is necessary - a ressourcement to our first traditions. C. West, call your office... or, better yet, let's have somebody else do it.

I understand that being dumped as a friend or a lover is miserable, but you're better than the LiveJournal-style bad break-up essay, which, despite its redeeming qualities, this is. I'd apologize to myself and reconsider if it's fitting.

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