Today we're talking with Fadi Hattendorf, author of What is Love? Perspectives on Love
FQ: What are your feelings about the ever-growing popularity of internet dating?
The ever-growing popularity of internet dating shows how far we have come, although we still have a long way to go. It shows how independent we are at the same time dependent on the internet. I think online dating can be fun but I don’t know how serious it can be and how long it can last. Online dating can an easy way to find someone worldwide and chat with so many singles. Those singles may not be singles after all and/or may be in complete different profiles. The best impression someone can get may be an unrealistic opinion of the other.
FQ: Do you think relationships are based on “doing what you’ve seen?” (i.e., if a person comes from a loving household that had grandparents, parents, even siblings with happy marriages - do you have more of a shot at having one of your own?)
Generally speaking, if a person comes from a loving household that had grandparents, parents, even siblings with happy marriages that person can be in a similar household and happiness. It can be contagious just like smile. For example, if parents use bad words around a child, that child may use them without knowing the meaning and believes it is okay to use those words when it is not.
FQ: Single parenting is very real in this country and has been since the 1980’s. In many ways, it is the “chosen” method for some women who don’t want a man in their lives. Do you have any feelings about this particular issue? Such as, should all women get married, or stay in a ‘bad’ situation in order to raise children?
Marriage is not necessary for everyone. I don’t think anyone should be forced to stay married or marry for the sake of someone or something. Though, the reality can be different.
Sometimes you are better off alone than living with someone who continuously hurts you, uses you and disrespects you. Each of us is a precious human being. There is a better person waiting for you at the next corner.
While it is good to have both parents to raise a child, a single parent can do a wonderful job as well. If one parent is abusive or careless, the child may be in better hands with one parent.
FQ: Is it truly possible to rebuild trust once someone has proven themselves to be a liar or manipulator, as some of your stories show?
It really depends on many factors such as the behind the scene of the action that lead to the person to become a liar or manipulator. On the one hand, if it is becoming a habit, then it is difficult to rebuilt trust. We shouldn’t be taken for granted. On the other hand, someone can try to rebuild the trust but ultimately is depends on the people involved and the level of the damage. It should be possible to have faith and hope in each other again.
FQ: The top cause of divorce (stats given by Divorce Solutions as well as the ABA) is money. Do you believe that there is a way to work around finances destroying a marriage that is, otherwise, just fine?
I believe two people can work around finances unless they have married for the money. Money is not everything in live. Money alone won’t buy you happiness. However, if one person is spending and the other is saving or if one person is working and the other is spending then this can be a source of dissatisfaction and frustration.
FQ: In your opinion, why is it that such a large percentage of women feel they have to (not need to, or want to) get married? Are we, as a people, just too in love with love?
I think it is a natural instinct in women. How many girls do you see playing with dolls versus cars? We are pressured by family members, relatives and even the society. A wedding is a dream of many girls. Women tend to have the need of wanting a solid family. Some women feel incomplete without marriage, others feel validated by it. We see marriage as a mean of sharing, loving and a wonderful companionship. We want some assurance of a future with someone. We still believe that we have to marry first and then have a child.
FQ: The section on cultural love was extremely interesting. With the prejudices that still exist in this world, is it even possible to overlook a factor that is as big as religion when picking a mate?
I would hope so because we are getting more tolerant. But I don’t know if religion can be completely overlook when picking a mate. There are various reasons. We want to avoid conflicts such as: I’m going to this church, you are going to a different one. I pray to God this way, you the other way. While I’m fasting, you are eating all day long. How about the kids? Which way should they choose? However, this depends on the religion and the part of the world the we live in.
Thank you for your wonderful questions and your interest in reading the book.