Saturday, June 26, 2010
So there you are on your third date, difficulty making conversation over a cappuccino and a warm salad of arugula too small when you start to hear (somewhere in the distance) on Sun, mournful sound barely discernible a bell tolls. As the sighs gal you courted vaguely and avoids eye contact, toll grows louder, and it reached a crescendo Hunchback of Notre Dame style as she yawns and looks at his watch.
Ask not for whom the bell tolls: it tolls for thee.
Well, if you have no idea of what I mean - you're a guy, after all, and guys are not very good at collecting evidence - Here are some foolproof signs that your girlfriend is about to make you ( very recent) history.
1. His friends are not as friendly as they once were. "Maybe she told her friends that she will leave you and the girls told their friends and acquaintances," says relationship expert Py Kim Conant. "All back a bit, because they fear that somehow you feel them that something is rotten in Denmark. "
2. She ups her weekly workouts. “If your significant other starts to increase her visits to the gym or adds a new workout routine, it may mean that she’s thinking of finding greener pastures,” says Tina de Lemp, president of B.Fit. “Often, women become lax with their workout schedules when they’re in a satisfying relationship.”
3. She’s not having as much fun you-know-where. “For guys, physical intimacy without love is not a new idea,” says Patricia from Florida. “But for a woman, it’s a big deal. Distance from physical intimacy means she’s pulling away, as opposed to a guy who can enjoy it passionately with someone he’ll never see again.”
I wish I'd talked less and listened more. When one person dominates the conversation, it means one of two things. He or she is nervous, doesn't like awkward silences and likely lacks confidence. Or, perhaps he or she is oblivious and just doesn't "get it." Regardless, talking too much is a turn-off.
I wish I'd been more open and lightened up instead of being a stiff. The guy was so gorgeous, all you could think of was what would happen if you screwed up and said the wrong thing. You did anyhow. He didn't ask you out again, and he never got to know the real you.
I wish I hadn't gotten sloppy from alcohol. One drink would have been enough. Instead, you got so wound up you threw down one or two more and ended up slurring your words.
I wish I'd been more honest about what I expect out of a relationship. You would've said what you think and not what you thought your date wanted to hear.
I wish I'd cooled my passions. Next time, you'll keep your hands to yourself and not be so touchy-feely. Neither men nor women want to be manhandled on the first date.
I wish I'd dressed more appropriately. One guy told a woman, when she rejected a kiss, "Your sexy clothes don't match your cold-fish demeanor." But some women would look sexy even wearing the dead sea scrolls.
I wish I'd used better etiquette. That piece of calamari that shot from your mouth and stuck on your date's glass of merlot was bad enough; you shouldn't have reached over with your pinky finger, gathered it up, and returned it to your mouth.
1. They really do love you just the way you are. Even though you may be spending hours getting dolled up for him, he probably thinks you're wildly sexy running around in your baggy sweats or waking up first thing in the morning with no makeup and messy hair. Of course, this doesn't imply that you should always look frumpy. After all, guys love those short black dresses just as much as we do. It's just that the more approachable you look, the more he'll approach you. So wear your hair soft and natural and skip the lipstick once in a while.
2. They aren't into details. Ever launch into a long-winded story about your day and see your date's eyes glaze over? Guys truly like it short and simple most of the time, and they get lost with all the details and prefer that you get to the point. Save all those extra words for chatting with your gal pals or for long drives when you and your mate have plenty of time to talk and to absorb.
3. They like it when you make the first move. Whether it's asking for a date or getting a hug, men like to be indulged and cared for, too. Now and then, be the one to make the dinner plans, kiss him or take his hand. Run a hot bath for him and suggest he relax for the evening. Call him at the office and ask him out on a special date to a sporting event he's been wanting to see.
4. They're into romance. Remember that famous line Kevin Costner delivers in "Bull Durham" and act accordingly: "I like slow, wet kisses that last for three days." While not all men are cuddlers, many confess that they love strong hugs, lasting kisses and staring into your eyes. So hold that hug a little longer. Give him a massage. Kiss his eyelids. Find those unique romantic things he loves, then do them! You'll both be glad you did.
5. They don't always have to pay. Every now and then, offer to pick up the check. Though some men are old-fashioned and prefer to pay every time, others are flattered when you foot the bill. If he buys dinner, offer to pay for dessert or for coffee afterward. Pick up tickets to a concert that you know he wants to see. Have something special -- like flowers or a wrapped gift -- delivered to him at the office. If money is tight, there's nothing better than a lovingly prepared home-cooked meal accompanied by candlelight and soft music.
6. They want to be themselves. Many men complain that they feel they are just projects for women to fix up and show off for their friends. If you don't like criticism and the need to be something you're not, he feels the same way. True, you may cringe at his choice of sport shirts or what he ordered for dinner, but it's his choice. True love sometimes translates to acceptance. Quiet down the nagging, and don't chide him about his friends or what's in his fridge. If he wants your opinion or advice, it's more than likely he'll ask.
7. They want you to be creative. When it comes to sex, most men are voracious about variety. Be a little bold when it comes to sexual interplay with your partner. Try writing love notes about what you'd like to do with him that evening, then position them in special places for him to find. When you're out on a special date, drop hints that you're wearing sexy lingerie. Be inventive and maybe even play a few light, safe games in bed, such as role playing that you're his favorite pin-up or actress. It's a little daring, but it can be wildly sexy and fun.
Whatever secret you want to uncover, there are hundreds of fortune tellers, palm readers, astrologers and psychics who'll be happy to share a glimpse into your future...for a fee. Admit it. You're curious.
Of course your parents think all those tea leaves, tarot cards and crystal balls are props for suckers. Your friends would laugh to know how tempted you were to give that woman in the mall five dollars to read your palm. And yet...
You are not alone. No matter how many times scientists debunk the work of those dabbling in the paranormal, 40% of Americans believe "there are lots of mysterious and unknown forces at work." On television millions watch Profiler and The X Files.
Afternoon talk shows tell of mothers who felt a pang of anxiety, and ran home only to find a small child just moments from sure death. Reality shows interview police who search for months for a body only to be led to it by someone who credits her psychic abilities. Are they lucky guesses? Credible evidence the stuff is real? Or the work of con men with a finely tuned antenna?
How do they do it?
- Fortunetellers are clever enough to pick up clues and tell you things about yourself you have no idea you're revealing. We all communicate how we feel about ourselves and others by how we gesture and move and use our bodies. Soothsayers are keen observers, decoding subtle signals like eye movements and facial expressions.
- Some of the insightful statements they say, like "You tend to be critical of yourself," apply to most everyone. The best story to illustrate this took place in the early 1970s in Paris. A man named Michel Gauquelin placed an ad offering free personal horoscopes. Later 94% of the recipients said their horoscope was accurate. Each person received the same horoscope...that of one of France's most notorious killers!
- Psychic professionals tend to speak fast, in a stream of consciousness style that produces ten times as much information as an ordinary conversation, increasing their chances of being right.
- They tend to make light of their errors in midstream. For example, "Do you wear a lot of blue? No? Does someone really close to you wear a lot of blue? No? Well, one of your friend is going to be wearing a lot more blue soon and she's going to need you to help her out of a tough situation."
- Sometimes they come up with a number or a date or a name. If their first guess is not accurate, they do what is called "retrofitting." Later they will say those numbers qualify as right answers when they'll correspond to your sister's birthday or the number of your house.
- Psychic phenomenon has been a source of awe since time began. What we do know is that regarding what these professionals in supernatural phenomenon say as anything more than an entertaining tool for self-discovery, (like checking your horoscope in the newspaper), is risky. Is there a weaver of the web in which we live? If there is, you won't find him on the web or answering a phone on a psychic hotline. And if he's so hot, why hasn't he won the lottery?
Each year about a million people commit suicide. And for every suicide, there are between 10 and 20 suicide attempts. Figures show that about three times as many women as men try to kill themselves, but that men are four times as likely to succeed (in part because they tend to choose more violent methods).
World Health Organization figures show that suicide rates among young people have been increasing alarmingly. They are currently the group at highest risk in one third of all countries (developed and developing). In the United States since 1950, teen suicide rates have quadrupled, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The problem is far from peculiar to youth, however. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that the highest rate for suicide is among the 75-plus age group. The mean age for the completion of suicide is 40.
Psychiatric disorders play an important part in suicide figures. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) claims that at least 90 percent of people who kill themselves have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric illness such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder or some other depressive illness. As teen suicides increase, it is becoming better understood that children also can suffer depression. In fact, some estimates suggest that one in 10 children will suffer a depressive episode before his or her teen years.
Important new studies are focusing on predicting suicidal behavior by examining levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. According to J. John Mann, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and chief of the Department of Neuroscience at New York State Psychiatric Institute, the brains of well over 95 percent of suicides are deficient in serotonin. The AFSP reports that there is “a clear relationship... between low concentrations of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleactic acid (5-HIAA) in cerebrospinal fluid and an increased incidence of attempted and completed suicide in psychiatric patients.”
Closely associated with depression and suicide is alcohol and drug abuse. Many people suffering depression choose to self-medicate, and they often do so through substance abuse. Mood disorders and substance abuse go hand in hand. One study showed that depressed women were twice as likely to develop alcohol abuse as those without depression. A vicious cycle results: depression can lead to alcohol abuse, and alcohol abuse can lead to deeper depression. The risk of depression-related suicide is thus increased by concurrent alcohol and drug abuse. So while researchers attempt to develop tests that will reliably establish brain serotonin levels as a predictor of suicide, individuals themselves can make changes in their lives that will help increase neurotransmitter levels and decrease suicidal tendencies.
Depression is sometimes not caused by external events, and is instead caused by your particular genetic makeup, in other words, your brain chemistry. Fortunately, there is treatment for both kinds of depression.
Depression is one of the most common psychological problems, and one that most of us have experienced to some degree. It is estimated that one person in every family has experienced a depression severe enough to warrant psychological treatment.
Some symptoms of depression include a depressed mood, loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable, weight loss or weight gain, alterations in sleeping patterns (e.g., insomnia), feeling lethargic or agitated, feeling worthless or hopeless, being unable to concentrate, and loss of usual levels of energy.
Depression can also be manifested in loss of concentration and memory, beliefs that things are bad and cannot get better, or a negative view of yourself.
Treatment and Outcomes
Depression can be treated by a combination of medications and therapy. Referral for a medication evaluation, if appropriate, will be part of the treatment plan.
I help you learn to manage depressing thoughts and feelings, which helps you have more energy, be more productive, and feel more in control of your life.
Forget thunderbolts and the guy pushing that big rock up a hill for like, his whole life. Did you ever notice that gods in Greek mythology had an awful lot of relationship problems? The Trojan War, after all, was all about one woman, Helen of Troy.
You might think, "Okay, but that was hundreds of years ago. And besides, those were myths." But take a look at some of these relationship troubles from Ancient Greece and judge for yourself. We’re all still fighting about the same stuff!
Who does he think he is...god?
Actually, according to Greek mythology Zeus was the god of all gods and Hera was his wife. Hera was really insecure around Zeus–and she had good reason to be. It seemed like every time she turned her back, and sometimes when she didn't, Zeus was cheating on her with some goddess or another...and sometimes even with a mere mortal (a human)!
Hera: How can he say he loves me and then cheat on me all the time? Sometimes he even disguises himself in the form of another animal...like a swan...just to weasel his way in. He should try a RAT disguise.
Zeus: Yo! I'm the god of all gods. I can do whatever I want!
Love & War Advisor: Zeus, shame on you. Really, it doesn't matter who you are, cheating is always wrong if you and your partner have made a decision to be faithful to each other.
And Hera, this has happened many times before. You have to realize that the situation may not change, so you've got to decide if you want to put up with this sort of behavior. And believe it or not, there are other gods out there. They may not be "the god of all gods," but they might be more godly in their treatment of you. And that's important in a relationship.
Let's assume you are single and haven't spoken to your ex in ages. There are as many ways to react as there are reasons why your ex would call. Covering all possibilities would require a novel, but here are three common scenarios:
1. You're the one who got dumped
In Situation A, you receive a phone call from the person who broke your heart. So why the call? Let's assume the ex is a woman. She's likely to have a soft heart for anybody she was ever involved with. Trying to reach you with a phone call is an apparent sign of that.
Most of the time, a woman views breaking up as a gut-wrenching decision. She's not likely to dump a guy unless he is a terrible boyfriend (sorry, if I'm being harsh). There is little a man can say or do once a woman has her mind set on ending the relationship. In order to ease the pain, she will convince herself that her decision is 100 percent right.
There are times, of course, when women regret these decisions. Then we pick up the phone and call. So, if you got dumped and your ex is calling you, it generally means she doubts her decision or regrets what she did.
What's your move?
If you have any pride (especially if you got dumped for somebody else), you politely say you are busy and hang up the phone. If she calls again, you do the same. This tells the ex that not only have you gotten over the breakup, but you're happier than you've ever been. Hanging up the phone repeatedly is your own little form of revenge.
But what if you would like a second go-around? Then play the game as cold as ice until your ex comes running back... begging.
After the prom and a college courtship, the quarterback proposes and of course, the cheerleader accepts. Sure, it reads like a fantasy. In essence, that is what it is -- an idealized depiction of marriage to your first love.
But guess what? It may be possible to have it all with the first person you fall for. You may not buy the dog and cat, live in the suburbs or spawn a large brood, but maybe you can make it work with the right person.
Is the grass greener?
Let me school anyone who is pondering marriage with your first sweetheart while obsessing about what else is out there. Nothing much, I regret to inform you. Look, you may meet many wonderful people who stimulate you, but is it worth dumping the love you have now?
Think about it: unless you are in an abusive or dysfunctional relationship with no room for personal growth, it is not a good proposition. Forget about your concerns of monogamy. If the sex is good now (or the foreplay if abstinent) and you both are open, willing to experiment and please each other, sex with anyone else will leave you empty.
What if you, well, regret it?
I know, I know; the curiosity is killing you. Just stop and think a minute -- with your brain. The best sex is with someone with whom you share a deep bond, where the comfort level is high and the rapport is honest. I assume you have all that with the love of your life.
So why consider shelving the marriage plans or long-term commitment because you want to be with more than one woman before you die? The bottom line is that real love is priceless. Don't let it slip away.
What you'd be missing
A final note for the Doubting Thomas in you. Think about a future with your current sweetheart and first love. Marriage, family, a home -- the whole nine yards -- or whatever it is you aspire to as a couple.
Now imagine that you cave into your desire to experience more and leave your first love. What would life be like then? Yes, after braving the difficult transition period of being alone, you may find comfort in the arms of another person.
You may have more lovers than a movie star. Fine. What then? It takes a strong person to stick with one love for an entire lifetime. If that first love is the real deal, do not succumb to the temptation of the more-is-more value system. This could be the truest love you'll ever find.
Fortunately, the rules only seem different. In reality, not much has changed. Below I will share my list of 10 strategies for successful dating. You may find these strategies old-fashioned or counterintuitive, but they work.
1. If you are a woman who generally pursues men first, stop and allow men to pursue you.
Likewise, if you are a man who waits for women to ask you out, take the first step and ask them out instead. A woman pursuing a man sets up an uncomfortable power dynamic that is difficult to change later.
2. Early in the relationship, stay away from verbal foreplay.
Engage in sexual-type talk only after you know each other well, at least a few months into the relationship. These types of conversations can become the central focus of your interactions, making it harder to experience other parts of your relationship.
3. Don't have a sexual relationship until you are committed to and love each other.
This may seem old fashioned; however, relationships are partnerships. Although sexuality is a part of a relationship, it is not a good foundation on which to build one. If you build your relationship on sex, it will most likely fall like a house of cards.
4. In the beginning, limit your time together.
See or be on the phone with each other in moderation. How is a house built? Brick by brick. How have you developed friendships? Over time. Does an intimate relationship deserve any less?
5. Spend more time courting in person rather than by e-mail or phone.
Electronic communication has an aspect of anonymity and safety. It allows for a false sense of closeness. If this is your primary mode of communication, you may feel awkward with each other in person.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Yet there are perhaps few concepts so misunderstood and abused. In the name of love people sometimes flounder, when they could have intelligent direction; dissipate, when their energies could be spent constructively; exploit, when they could, and should, cooperate. Some people regard love as a blind force that can be neither understood nor controlled. Others see it as an excuse for indulgence or for the satisfying of narrow self-interest. Only a few, relatively speaking, learn the full meaning of the term and are able to use well the full power that love provides.
Nature and Function of Love
Love might be simply defined as any sentiment of attachment that is centered upon any person or thing; it is a pleasurable feeling, in other words, and it is directed toward some object. The love object might be entirely nonmaterial, as when we say that one loves some standard, principle, or cause that he shows a strong devotion for; he can love democracy, for example, or peace, or the Christian Church. Similarly it can be said that one loves a certain type of activity such as swimming, reading, or listening to musical concerts.
Again, the love object might be material though nonhuman, as when we say that one loves ice cream, or new hats, or horses. Finally, the love object might be a human personality. There are many varieties of this latter also: there is self-love; there are filial and parental loves; there are friendships everywhere, regardless of age, sex, or social relationships; and there is the sweetheart love of courtship and marriage. Broadly considered, love exists whenever and wherever people obtain satisfactions from the objects and the activities that attract them.
It is to the narrower usage of the term, to sweetheart love, that attention is now being turned. Though love is of many types, it is only that which relates to marriage that will concern us here.
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The love of the majority arises from sentimentality and has no time for the training of the will. It quite lacks strong, selective will. Today it drops the one once welcomed as the ideal wife, and tomorrow takes the cowardly position of transferring its affection to another woman. And such conduct is not considered strange; for folk fail to comprehend the creative feeling of passionate love. I venture to declare that passionate love is bound to be ethical.
When I declare that love must be ethical, I do not imply that love must be sacrificed to morality, but that love in its essence is above the sexual act. Where-fore, when one considers the various psychic relations, has regard to social relations as well, and settles one's own personal attitude, then in the ardor that flames up above these and as a result of the great determination to create a new order, passionate love itself emerges.
In other words, passionate love must be that which wells forth from one's personality as a starting point, from the creative feeling of the other personality--the discovery and creation of "you"--and from the high intention to develop a new order. Therefore, it is impossible for one easily to shift from one lover to another. If one has many loves, it must be concluded that one has a multiplicity of selves; and such a one we call insane.
Our discussion of the daimonic has shown that self-affirmation and self-assertion, obvious aspects of will, are essential to love. We discuss them together in this book because they are interrelated in ways which are crucial to the personal lives of all of us, as well as specifically to psychotherapy.
Both love and will are conjunctive forms of experience. That is, both describe a person reaching out, moving toward the other, seeking to affect him or her or it—and opening himself so that he may be affected by the other. Both love and will are ways of molding, forming, relating to the world and trying to elicit a response from it through the persons whose interest or love we covet. Love and will are interpersonal experiences which bring to bear power to influence others significantly and to be influenced by them.
Love and Will Blocking Each
The interrelation of love and will is shown, furthermore, by the fact that each loses its efficacy when it is not kept in right relation to the other; each can block the other. Will can block love. This can be seen particularly in the "will power" of the inner-directed type of man, as he appears in Riesman's studies. This was the man who was often the powerful captain of industry and finance in the early decades of this century and was our link to the great emphasis that was placed on individual will power which characterized the end of the Victorian Age.
This was the period in which a man could talk of his "unconquerable soul" and could proclaim, "I am the captain of my fate." But if my soul is really unconquerable, I shall never fully love; for it is the nature of love to conquer all fortresses. And if I must cling to being the master of my fate, I shall never be able to let myself go in passion; for passionate love always has tragic possibilities. Eros, we have seen in an earlier chapter, "breaks the limbs' strength," and "overpowers the intelligence in all its shrewd planning."
Indeed it is often the case that pair relations with "outsiders" get started during the engagement. These "outside" affairs received a great deal of public attention during the war and were generally thought of as purely wartime aberrations, but like a good many social phenomena they seemed products of the war because they have been much more visible. In actuality these quasi-subsidiary pair relations have become a typical adjunct of the engaged pair relation.
It must not be imagined, however, that the only pair relations having important consequences for the engaged couple are those with other potential mates. Here again what are commonly supposed to be peculiar attributes of the (in this case, "disloyal") love affairs are for the most part attributes of the dyadic relation itself. A young man engaged to be married may have a strong pair relationship with his mother, his father, a brother or sister, a friend of his own age and sex.
While none of these possibilities represents in our society an appropriate heterosexual love object for him, yet pair relationships with one or more of these will have consequences for relations between his fiancée and himself -- consequences most often not essentially different from those engendered by an outside love affair. The pair relationship between any persons tends typically to have an exclusive, all-or-none quality with respect to the emotions and loyalties of the two people. Hence the coexistence of another pair relationship involving only one of the partners tends to constitute a threat to each relation unless and until some form of accommodation is evolved.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Quite recently, in many parts of Japan, lovers, finding this whole-souled love unattainable, have sacrificed themselves; and there are certain thinkers who dispute the eternal validity of the principle of monogamy, regarding these cases as disproof of it.
However, I think quite otherwise, for in situations where lovers attain control over their environment, mastery of their passions, and consciousness of true human nature, their character union will, in any period whatever, be recognized necessarily as valid, and therein a perfect monogamy is realized. I therefore do not say, add one and one, and arrive at unity, but rather, that that which is essentially one cannot be divided into two. The two souls aflame will be perennially ardent. This is what I term monogamy.
When desire is separated from love and from marriage, it becomes that divisive love which is real lust, that which draws men's lives down to the horrible bottom of hell. For example, a man who upon marrying makes lust his sole aim, no matter who his mate may be, descends along the way of least resistance, so long as he can satisfy his own lust. He cares not a whit what the character of his mate may be or how society regards his conduct. He lives solely to indulge his own selfish desire, and is a mere slave to mean, mechanical instincts. Marriage to such a man is a sort of private prostitution: when he tires of his wife or the prostitute with whom he is familiar, his lust demands new means of satisfaction. He is reduced to seeking for more stimulating, defiling practices.
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There are quite different understandings of the nature of loving. Monastics throughout the world, for example, have held that the most fundamental experience of love comes not from relations with other people but from an inward experience of Being itself. Such an experience has been described as bliss, enlightenment, mystery, or light. Within Christianity the term agape is used to denote the love of God for human beings. It is a Christian contention that we are obligated to love others—indeed, that we can be commanded to love others because we have been loved by God.
Our present Western understanding of love, however, is more strongly sociopsychological. Whatever self-love we have acquired depends on our having been loved by others. Our parents, friends, and lovers have significantly shaped, if not totally determined, our capacity to love. Thus, our experience of having been loved provides us with inner prescriptions as to how we should go about our own loving. It is not possible for us to grow and develop unless our basic human need for love and acceptance has been met adequately.
To most people, love means caring for others, looking after them, seeing to their well-being, "for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, . . . till death us do part" 6 People often assume that because caring is very much related to the amount of time spent with those we care for, the longer the relationship, the more caring there will be and the more loving. Thus, they ask: "Isn't it important that marriage be for life?" "Must not any partnership last a long time for it to become a deep and meaningful experience?" "After all, what do people know about love who have not had the responsibility of caring for another person over the years?"
Indeed, caring is a significant part of what we mean by "working" at a marriage, and it is an important part of any intimate partnership. For this reason this book has a lot to say about loving in partnerships. But such a conception of caring for others must be balanced by an awareness that the members of a partnership also must work toward their own self-actualization. Caring for one's partner is only half of the relationship, for it is also important to care for and nurture into being one's own creative, growing self.
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In reality, few have investigated the objective facts to determine the home conditions associated with early dating or analyzed the behavior patterns of either early or late dating. Necessarily, a first effort can do little beyond scratching the surface; still if it is found that measurable differences in family and social patterns exist between early and late daters, further inquiry may be expected to delineate more fully the nature and significance of these differences.
For a number of years, the writer has been studying dating behavior among high school and college students, an article showing that among five thousand students the initial age of dating varied with the age of those furnishing information but was practically the same for boys and girls. More recently, dating has been investigated in the high schools of three cities of approximately one hundred thousand population, located in distinctive sections of the country: Ohio, Texas, and California.
We may have several friends, for example, people with whom we have dinner or lunch somewhat frequently, with whom we gossip and exchange personal opinions; but these people in turn may, because of geographical location or time schedules, have only little to do with one another. This situation is more likely to occur in a metropolitan setting than in small cities or towns. Nevertheless we have to keep in mind the shifting meaning of the term "friends." Here it does not suggest great intimacy of relationship.
On the other hand, if one says that one is without friends, this statement has a much more definite meaning. It ordinarily suggests that the individual has no group of acquaintances with which he has much social intercourse.
Changing one's friends is not necessarily the result of being rejected by them, or even of having decided to reject them and to select a new group of friends. The change may come about merely because a change of residence makes it difficult to continue seeing them.
We would expect friends to be of more day-to-day utility in finding new acquaintances and in meeting eligible suitors, if only for the reason that the divorcee is in day-to-day social interaction with her friends. We should not, however, reason too easily from these facts to the picture of the urban environment as being a rootless one in which the elder generation disappears. Actually there is a close association between (a) the family helping the respondent to meet eligibles, and (b) friends helping the respondent to meet eligibles.
Are the engagements throughout our society simply slight variants on this theme? In Plainville, James West found that engagements are, in contrast to the above type, highly secret affairs. Only the immediate families of each of the pair know of the approaching marriage. Even in communities much less rural and isolated than Plainville, the engagement while not secret may be simply a scarcely perceptible aspect of the growing emotional involvement of two people who have been "going steady." Then again, in many individual cases, an engagement may have largely the function of cloaking sexual exploitation of one of the pair by the other, or, in other cases, a camouflage mutually worn in order to gain freedom from community sex regulations and controls.
What does it mean to be engaged? From the foregoing it is obvious that a good deal of ambiguity and haziness surrounds not only the act of becoming engaged but the very state of being engaged. Perhaps no situation in any society is ever completely defined by the symbols which relate to it, but the engagement situation in our society is one which is left almost completely undefined by its symbols. The symbols are commonly the wearing of a ring or fraternity pin, the announcement of engagement at a party and in the newspaper, exclusive courtship over a long period of time, the words "I love you. Will you marry me?" and so on.
Monday, June 14, 2010
The studies predicting marital success implicitly assume stability in marital relations throughout the marriage. However (as Pineo's investigation indicates), because couples generally marry at a time when their relationship is most integrated, it is possible that this integration declines over the years. Indeed, the concept of permanent availability suggests that (a) interests change during the marriage, (b) involvement in the particular mate-lover relationship is erratic, and (c) marital integration tends to decrease over time. Presumably, in a society in which marriage is established on the basis of mate-lover roles and common concerns, the lower the integration, the greater the tendency for the couple to emphasize views consistent with permanent availability.
The assertion is frequently made that married couples develop new interests over time and in this way compensate for the loss of romantic attachment. Some of the findings in marital prediction studies support this contention. For example, Burgess and Wallin found that a favorable attitude toward children and a desire to have several children are effective predictors of high marital adjustment. Sharing outside interests after marriage is also related to high marital adjustment. The suggestion is made that certain strategies of family organization can maintain high integration. These strategies involve specific values in family life: the welfare of the children, the home, or the parents' relationship to the community.
As the selections in the chapter on solidarity in the nuclear family will indicate, however, there are many interests and commitments that compete with those in the nuclear family. The husband and wife continually encounter conflicting demands and temptations. With the passage of time, unless common interests in children, leisure-time activities, or a home are developed, husband-wife commitments may decline.
We don’t recognize how much it is an integral part of attraction, but beneath what we say and do, there actually lies a whole level of flirting that literally goes without saying! Body language is incredibly powerful and it’s by far the most neglected area of seduction. It mirrors your mood and emotions, and transfers them to the person you’re with. Allow me to show how you can present great body language by modifying your emotional state.
In the 1960s, the prominent psychologist Albert Mehrabian found that only 7% of communication is determined by words. He left 38% to tone of voice and 55% to body language! His distribution has since been contested, but the consensus about the powerful impact of body language still stands over four decades later.
For your flirting and attraction, body language plays a twofold role, and it’s the classic chicken-egg situation, really:
First of all, your how you feel shows in your body language, and second of all, you can use your body language to influence how you feel
By contrast, there is some feeling in most circles that when the couple is older, neither party to a steady dating relationship "has the right" to hold the other in exclusive possession, unless there is some possibility of eventual marriage. The social definitions are, then, that the older or the once married do not have an infinitely wide number of potential marriage partners, or time to find them.
Therefore, they should not stay, or hold others, in a steady dating relationship if there is no chance at all of marriage. A basic assumption of our society is, as we have analyzed previously, that almost all will get married, and that almost all should get married. Thus, relationships are disapproved that hinder adults from entering the statuses, and thereby the role obligations, that are prescribed for them.
For these reasons, we treat both steady dating and remarriage in this chapter, locating some of the factors that appear to be associated with these steps toward resuming the previous status of "married mother." Here, we look at the 303 divorcees who had not yet remarried by the time of the interview.
Let us first state the obvious, that frequency of dating is associated with steady dating: 68% of the frequent daters (more than once weekly at the time of interview) are steady daters, while 38% of the medium daters (Once weekly to once a month), and only 5% of the infrequent daters are also steady daters. It is useful to state the obvious, since the obvious is not always correct.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Attending a college or university is in itself an occupation, so that vicinal proximity is given meaning by the underlying factor of occupational propinquity. Then, too, the relative sameness of their socioeconomic class backgrounds gives college students more interest in common, more likelihood of speaking a "common language," and a greater sharing of common "social definitions of the situation" -- all of which quite obviously facilitate heightened participation and social interaction.
While recognizing that college students tend to come to a large extent from a relatively small stratum of the outside society, we would be blinding ourselves to important factors in mate selection if we were to ignore the existence of stratification on the college and university campus. However narrow in comparison to the breadth of stratification in our outside society the segments from which college and university students are drawn, there nevertheless exists on most campuses a fairly complex class structure, indigenous to the college itself and considered as a little society. 19 This class structure, on the one hand, tends both to reflect and magnify the relatively slight class differences in the larger society from which the students came and, on the other, to be a function of goals, many of them conflicting, peculiar to the campus in question.
There has been much over-simplification of this problem of social stratification in connection with descriptions of courtship patterns on college campuses. It has frequently been assumed that fraternity affiliation and football feats are the principal factors in placing the individual on the college social scale. It is further assumed that this scale has virtually universal recognition on each campus and that those who do not accept its validity consciously and overtly are merely those who rank low on that scale and who are thus manifesting nothing more than a "sour-grapes psychology" when they maintain they do not subscribe to the values such a scale objectifies.
More often than not today there are variations on this theme of love and marriage. The romantic part of the scenario hasn't changed. Boy and girl still meet, date, and fall in love. But young people have options today that their parents generally did not have. For one thing, when the time comes, they can move into an apartment with a mate without getting married. While many parents still disapprove of such behavior, there are others who hardly take notice of the unmarried couple who live in what used to be called sin.
Another option is that the husband may stay home and do the chores while the wife works fun time, not merely part time in a department store to make a few extra dollars for Christmas or to help the budget, but in a career that is every bit as much her right to pursue as it is her husband's. There may not even be any children, ever, in the picture anymore. More and more couples are postponing having a family until they feel the time is right. Some have made up their minds that children won't fit into their plans at all. Finally, for those who cannot live happily ever after, there's divorce, with or without remarriage. Divorce has long been an option, of course, but it is more frequent and acceptable nowadays. More than one-half of all teenage marriages have, in fact, ended in divorce.
Even if relatively few of you are planning to get married immediately, you have probably discussed the possibility -even if you've vowed that you will never do such a thing. Most teenagers will marry one day, however, and most will have what is known as a traditional wedding -- complete with minister or rabbi or priest, best man and maid of honor, wedding cake and veil and wine and reception and honeymoon. It's important to take a closer look at this serious relationship that is the cornerstone of the family, this social institution that unites one man and one woman to the exclusion of others, and at some of today's marriage options.
Marriages aren't always the natural result of falling in love. People marry for other reasons, even in the United States, where romance generally precedes a wedding. A family might arrange a marriage for business or financial reasons, a king might marry a queen from another country to form a political unit and to solidify power, a young woman from a foreign country might take an American husband to avoid deportation.
An old Czech expression leaves little doubt about the weak role Cupid sometimes plays: "Choose your wife not at a dance, but in a harvest field." Some people, because of their own or their culture's taboos about engaging in premarital sexual intercourse, marry so that they may be free to enjoy sex. Others who believe in "doing the right thing" marry because the young woman in the relationship has become pregnant; marriage in a case like this is a way of averting social disgrace.
The first prerequisite in recognizing love is to know its true meaning and nature. We have tried to explain love as the natural involvement of personalities, one with another. Instead of being a mysterious and uncontrollable force, as some believe, it is a normal unity based upon interdependence, and it grows out of need fulfillment, habits of association, and achievements in adjustment. If this view is correct, then love does make sense; and can be understood and controlled. The title of this chapter is significant; successful loving is a matter of learning, which takes time and requires both study and effort.
The question, then, is not just, "Am I in love?", but "What kind of love?" and "How much?"
The kind of love one is able to give makes a great difference in the degree of happiness he is able to achieve in marriage. Narcissism, or self-love, won't get him very far. Homosexual love will only serve to block his adjustments to the opposite sex. Romantic love will leave him infantile and subject to serious disillusionment. And there are other kinds that can make for similar maladjustments. Duvall and Hill point out that "puppy love," when taken too seriously, may lead to a dog's life. The only kind that can make for lasting marital happiness is the type that has been called conjugal love. This is the mature heterosexual love that we have been talking about. It is founded upon cooperation, and it is dynamic enough to change or grow with adjustment throughout marriage.
Courtship is both the art of making love and process of love involvement; considered broadly, it extends all the way from when boys and girls are first attracted to each other to the time when married mates bid each other farewell at the sunset of life. There is a more narrow usage of the term, however, one that views courtship as being separate from both dating and marriage.
According to this usage, dating refers to the early friendship activities of young people whereby they seek to have fun in pairs (emphasis upon friendship and enjoyment, not marriage); courtship connotes a more advanced stage in these boy-girl relationships, the stage just prior to marriage where the emphasis is upon choosing a mate and preparing for what lies ahead; and marriage is the consummation or end result of what has gone before. Dating evolves somewhat gradually into courtship as the marriage prospect becomes more real, and courtship gives way to marriage when the mates decide that the involvement process has gone far enough and has been successful enough to be made permanent. We are interested here in the dating and courting processes of the premarriage period.
Parents and teachers sometimes blunder, and young people flounder, for failure to understand adequately the customs and value systems of each other. As "time marches on," oldsters tend to lose track of the feelings and problems of the oncoming group. With males and females made differently, and trained somewhat separately, sex antagonisms are bound to develop. Consequently each generation is partially blind to the new one emerging, and each sex, to a degree at least, is ignorant of the other.
To come to any real understanding of how modern youth think and feel about the various patterns of courtship behavior, it is necessary to let them speak for themselves.
The start of any event is important to its outcome, and marriage is no exception. The intricacies and difficulties of modern living are many, and the person who gets off on the wrong foot or makes a poor start in any of life's episodes may find himself handicapped all the way through. Just as the first attitudes and habits acquired by the child are the ones that do most to shape his personality, so the earliest adjustments in marriage are the ones that set the stage and add color to the relationships that follow.
A large part of the start depends upon the nature of the premarital preparation that has gone before--how maturely each of the mates has developed, how well they are matched, how far their love involvement has progressed, how successful was the transition and the launching of their marriage. All of this is background and cannot be changed. Neither can the mates always alter or improve the immediate circumstances and environments that are to influence them. What they can do is to start marriage with the idea of improving upon their past and of rising above their present circumstances. It isn't enough to have made a good preparation. Successful marriage requires a "carry-over," or continuation, in terms of both attitude and effort.