Tag: marriage

Tonight-The Erotic Literary Salon-Live, Helen Fisher-Anthropologist Studies Love, Sex & Match.Com, The Psychology Of Loves That Last A Lifetime

Tonight join a full house of Salon attendees as we enjoy romance from a male’s perspective.

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“We are born to love,” writes anthropologist Helen Fisher. She claims, “That feeling of elation that we call romantic love is deeply embedded in our brains. But can it last?” The article below offers conclusions based on several studies.

The Psychology Of Loves That Last A Lifetime

Article by: Carolyn Gregoire Senior Writer, The Huffington Post

The trifecta of a romantic relationship — intense love, sexual desire and long-term attachment — can seem elusive, but it may not be as uncommon or unattainable in marriages as we’ve been conditioned to think.

“We are born to love,” writes anthropologist and author of Why We Love, Helen Fisher. “That feeling of elation that we call romantic love is deeply embedded in our brains. But can it last?”

The science tells us that romantic love can last — and more than we often give it credit for. As a culture, we tend to be pretty cynical about the prospect of romantic love (as opposed to the ‘other’ loves — lust and long-term attachment) enduring over time and through obstacles, and for good reason. Roughly 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, with 2.4 million U.S. couples splitting in 2012. And among those that stay together, marital dissatisfaction is common.

In long-term partnerships that do succeed, romantic love tends to fade into companionship and a love more akin to friendship than to that of a couple in love.

But no matter how cynical we are about the prospect of life-long love, it still seems to be what most Americans are after. Romantic love is increasingly viewed as an essential component of a marriage, with 91 percent of women and 86 percent of American men reporting that they would not marry someone who had every quality they wanted in a partner but with whom they were not in love.

This type of love is good for both our marriages and our health. Romantic love — free from the craving and obsession of the early stages of falling in love —can and does frequently exist in long-term marriages, research has found, and it’s correlated with marital satisfaction, and individual well-being and self-esteem.

Although science has given us some insight on the nature of love and romantic relationships, this fundamental domain of human existence remains something of a mystery. Love, particularly the long-lasting kind, has been called one of the “most studied and least understood areas in psychology.”

There may be more questions than answers at this point, but we do know that both being in love and being married are good for your physical and mental health. And psychologists who study love, marriage and relationships have pinpointed a number of factors that contribute to long-lasting romantic love.

Here are six science-backed secrets of couples that keep intense romantic love alive for decades and entire lifetimes. 

Life-long romance IS possible. 

Despite high rates of divorce, infidelity and marital dissatisfaction, it’s not all hopeless — far from it, in fact. A 2012 study of couples who had been married for a decade, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that 40 percent of them said they were “very intensely in love.” The same study found that among couples who were married 30 years or more, 40 percent of women and 35 percent of men said they were very intensely in love.

But don’t be convinced solely by what these couples reported — research in neuroscience has also proven that intense romantic love can last a lifetime.

2011 study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neurosciencelooked the brain regions activated in individuals in long-term romantic partnerships (who had been married an average of 21 years), and compared them with individuals who had recently fallen in love. The results revealed similar brain activity in both groups, with high activity in the reward and motivation centers of the brain, predominantly in the high-dopamine ventral tegmental area (VTA). The findings suggest that couples can not only love each for long periods of time — they can stay in love with each other.

Sustaining romantic love over the course of many years, then, has a positive function in the brain, which understands and continues to pursue romantic love as a behavior that reaps cognitive rewards, according to positive psychology researcher Adoree Durayappah.

“The key to understanding how to sustain long-term romantic love is to understand it a bit scientifically,” Durayappah wrote in Psychology Today. “Our brains view long-term passionate love as a goal-directed behavior to attain rewards. Rewards can include the reduction of anxiety and stress, feelings of security, a state of calmness, and a union with another.”

They maintain a sense of “love blindness.”

When we first fall in love with someone, we tend to worship the ground they walk on and see them as the most attractive, smartest and accomplished person in the room. And while we might eventually take our partner off of this pedestal after months and years of being together, maintaining a sense of “love blindness” is actually critical to long-lasting passionate love.

A University of Geneva review of nearly 500 studies on compatibility couldn’t pinpoint any combination of two personality traits in a relationship that predicted long-term romantic love — except for one. One’s ability to idealize and maintain positive illusions about their partner — seeing them as good-looking, intelligent, funny and caring, or generally as a “catch” — remained happy with each other on nearly all measures over time.

They’re always trying new things together. 

Boredom can be a major obstacle to lasting romantic or companionate love, and successful couples find ways to keep things interesting.

Psychological research has suggested that couples who experience the most intense love are the ones who not only experience a strong physical and emotional attraction to one another, but also who enjoy participating in new or challenging “self-expanding” activities together, Psychology Today reported.

“Novel and arousing activities are, well, arousing, which people can misattribute as attraction to their partner, reigniting that initial spark,” writes Amie Gordan in the Berkeley Science Review.

They avoid neediness by preserving their independence. 

Neediness is the enemy of long-lasting desire (an important component of romantic love), according to psychologist and Mating in Captivity author Esther Perel. In a popular TED Talk, Perel asks, “Why does sexual desire tend to fade over time, even in loving relationships?”

Neediness and caretaking in long-term partnerships — which can easily result from looking to the partnership for safety, security and stability — damper the erotic spark, Perel explains. But if couples can maintain independence and witness each other participating in individual activities at which they’re skilled, they can continue to see their partner in an ever-new light.

“When I see my partner on their own doing thing in which they are enveloped, I look at this person and I momentarily get a shift of perception,” Perel says. “[We] stay open to the mysteries that are standing right next to each other… What is most interesting is that there is no neediness in desire. There is no caretaking in desire.”

So if you’re looking to keep that spark going, give your partner the space to do what they’re good at — and make sure to take the opportunity to observe them in their element, when they are “radiant and confident,” says Perel.

Their passion for life carries over into their relationship. 

Psychologists have found that a strong passion for life can help to sustain passion in a life-long romantic relationship. The 2012 Stony Brook University studyexamining personality qualities that predicted long-term passionate love found that individuals who exhibit excitement for all that life has to offer are more likely to find success in their romantic partnerships.

“People who approach their daily lives with zest and strong emotion seem to carry these intense feelings over to their love life as well,” Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., wrote in Psychology Today. “If you want your relationship to have passion, put that emotional energy to work in your hobbies, interests, and even your political activities.”

They see their relationship as a journey together towards self-fulfillment. 

Whereas individuals used to be more likely to look to marriage for safety and security, the societal standard has shifted such that more men and women enter into marriage looking for self-actualization and personal fulfillment. Such a marriage can be more satisfying for both partners, but requires each partner to invest more time and energy into the partnership for it to be successful.

“The average marriage today is weaker than the average marriage of yore, in terms of both satisfaction and divorce rate, but the best marriages today are much stronger, in terms of both satisfaction and personal well-being, than the best marriages of yore,” Eli J. Finkel, a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University wrote in a New York Times op-ed, describing this shift from companionate to self-expressive marriages.

Rather than looking to marriage to serve our basic needs for survival and companionship, we’re now seeing marriage as a vehicle for self-fulfillment. This new directive can help to facilitate long-term romantic love, so long as each partner is willing and able to put more of their resources into the relationship.

“As the expectations of marriage have ascended Maslow’s hierarchy, the potential psychological payoffs have increased,” Finkel noted, “but achieving those results has become more demanding.”

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/21/psychology-of-lasting-love_n_5339457.html

U.S.|Gay Marriage Supporters Win Supreme Court Victory

Great victory but, I wish that meant the haters think differently. People who hide behind their religion are the worst offenders.

Even Anti-Gay Activists Predict Victory for Same-Sex Marriage at the Supreme Court

Supporters and opponents agree on one thing—gay marriage will win the day. (They did, today)

By    Tue Apr. 28, 2015 1:01 PM ED

As oral arguments in the highly anticipated gay-marriage case Obergefell v. Hodges got underway on Tuesday morning, hundreds of same-sex-marriage supporters gathered outside the Supreme Court to celebrate what they were convinced would be a major victory. A few dozen gay-marriage foes showed up as well, including members of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, but even they seemed resigned to the fact that their pro-marriage-equality opponents would prevail.

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court is considering the legality of same-sex-marriage bans; the case turns on the question of whether the 14th Amendment guarantees the right to same-sex marriage and whether states are required to recognize same-sex unions from other states. After the oral arguments, the New York Times reported that the justices were closely divided on whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. A decision is expected at the end of June.

Ben Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church 

“I know it’s a fait accompli,” said an unhappy-looking Ben Phelps, 39, a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas-based group known for its anti-gay activism and categorized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Phelps and a small group from his church were protesting on the outskirts of the rally. He held two signs, one that read “God Hates Fags” and the other “Same-Sex Parents Doom Kids.” Phelps predicted the court will rule in favor of same-sex marriage “because we’re in the days of Sodom.”

David Grisham of Repent Amarillo 

About 30 yards away, David Grisham, the leader of an anti-gay-marriage group called Repent Amarillo (an outfit the Texas Observer described as a “militant evangelical group that advertises itself as ‘the Special Forces of spiritual warfare'”), shouted into a microphone: “Folks, I’m telling you right now, you’re going to lose your rights if you don’t wake up.”

“I believe the Supreme Court will rule in favor of gay marriage,” Grisham told me after passing the mic to another member of his group. The result, he predicted, would be “persecution for Christians.” He added, “The structure of the family will continue to break down” and “society” will unravel with it.

Gay marriage supporters surround anti-gay protesters.

Grisham and Phelps were in the minority. The overwhelming majority of the crowd had gathered at the court to support marriage equality. “I’m confident,” said Maria Mascaro, 34, who drove down from Philadelphia to attend the rally. “There’s going to be a cocktail after this.”

Albino Periera, 50, and his husband, Joe Kowalcheck, 36, as well as their two dogs, Lola and Nero, made the trip to DC by car from Ormond Beach, Florida. “We’re all very optimistic,” Kowalcheck said. “It would be hard to go backward.”

Nero, gay marriage supporter 

Many supporters were optimistic that Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the 2013 opinion striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, would be the swing vote in favor of marriage equality. “Public opinion is so in favor” of same-sex marriage, said Barbara Stussman, 48, of Maryland, whose daughter is a lesbian. “I think [Justice] Kennedy takes that into account.” During oral arguments, however, Kennedy expressed concern about changing the conception of marriage that “has been with us for millennia,” according to the New York Times.

“I think if [Kennedy] found DOMA to be discriminatory…he’ll find state bans to be discriminatory too,” said Jeremy Cerutti, 35, a lawyer from Philadelphia. “This is our 1960s moment.”

Opponents of gay marriage likewise see this case as a watershed moment.

“This is the case,” said Grisham of Repent Amarillo. “This is like a Roe v. Wademoment.”

 

For Single Women, An ‘Infinite Variety Of Paths’

NPR: The Changing Lives of Women

singleladies-v51_slide-091f7a8de07376bb1a6a4a9720ad9dd262133a6e-s4-c85

Over time, the image of the single woman has evolved — from Mary Tyler Moore to When Harry Met Sally to Sex and the City to 30 Rock‘s Liz Lemon.

Writer Rebecca Traister says until very recently, getting married marked the beginning of a woman’s adult life. But in the past few decades, there has been a dramatic jump in the average age women get married — from around 22 to around 27 — a change that’s been profound.

“We have now shifted our vision of what an adult woman’s life path usually entails, and it now entails some period of economic, social, sexual independence,” says Traister, a senior editor at The New Republic and author of an upcoming book about unmarried women. And she says that while the shift in marriage patterns is mostly a good thing for women, it can also be seen as a destabilizing force in society.


Single In America

105 million: Number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2013

53 percent: Percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older who were women in 2013

62 percent: Percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older in 2013 who had never been married

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Interview Highlights

On the messages associated with the rise of single women

The lack of marriage is being blamed for almost every social ill — whether it’s gun violence, whether it’s poverty, whether it’s the dropping birth rate. You have demographers worried about the fact that as people marry later, they’re having fewer children. Single women come in for an enormous amount of blame, politically and culturally.

So that’s one set of messages. Another set is this kind of glamorization — whether it’s Sex and the City, which is now 10 years old, or whether it’s theNew Girl or Mindy Kaling — you see all new depictions of women living independently and having interesting, varied lives.

On the reality of shifting marriage patterns

I think we make a mistake when we create binary between “you’re either married or you’re unmarried.” Once you lift the imperative that everybody get married at age 22, what you get is an infinite variety of paths.

It’s not simply some argument that single life is inherently better than married life. The fact is there are all kinds of married lives and all kinds of single lives, and more people are now free to go down a variety of paths.

On this “mass shift”

You basically have the creation of a new population. One clear example is that single women actually in 2012 made up 23 percent of the electorate, and they voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. You have women who are earning money in places where they’d never earned money before. You have women who are single who are having babies out of wedlock. More than 50 percent of first births are now to unmarried women. It destabilizes the power structures that had existed before because to have women living independently in these ways — voting, having babies, earning money — it removed some of the power that had traditionally belonged to men, who have long been in economic and political power.

On how much of this shift is about the economy and not necessarily a choice [a 2010 Pew study shows that marriage is still a life goal]

I think the fact that women have unprecedented economic opportunity, that they are now permitted to, and in fact in many cases expected to, go out and earn money, they are busy doing other things. That does not mean that many women and men don’t still have the desire to partner, to fall in love, but the actual economic tolls of marriage and motherhood — which are very real — mean that often they’re electing not to take on those tolls of marriage and motherhood early in their careers when they are now in the position to be out stabilizing themselves economically. …

It’s not necessarily politicized, it’s a human sense of “I don’t want to get tied and distracted by my emotional life right now as I’m establishing myself as an adult.” That doesn’t mean that the desire for love, partnership and companionship is removed. The kinds of strategic choices that women across classes are making — about when to marry, when to have children, how to commit themselves to their career, how to make money — doesn’t mean that any of them don’t yearn for companionship. But there are also a series of practical choices now available to them, ways of balancing the different things they can do with their lives, that often mean that marriage doesn’t necessarily have to come first, and in fact in many cases, it doesn’t make strategic sense for marriage to come first.

http://www.npr.org/2014/09/30/352661280/marriage-pattern-shifts-seen-by-some-as-destabilizing-society

The Psychology Of Loves That Last A Lifetime

Interesting information both for personal use and writing erotica.

Article by Carolyn Gregiore

The trifecta of a romantic relationship — intense love, sexual desire and long-term attachment — can seem elusive, but it may not be as uncommon or unattainable in marriages as we’ve been conditioned to think.

rbk-long-marriage-01-lgn

“We are born to love,” writes anthropologist and author of Why We Love, Helen Fisher. “That feeling of elation that we call romantic love is deeply embedded in our brains. But can it last?”

The science tells us that romantic love can last — and more than we often give it credit for. As a culture, we tend to be pretty cynical about the prospect of romantic love (as opposed to the ‘other’ loves — lust and long-term attachment) enduring over time and through obstacles, and for good reason. Roughly 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, with 2.4 million U.S. couples splitting in 2012. And among those that stay together, marital dissatisfaction is common.

In long-term partnerships that do succeed, romantic love tends to fade into companionship and a love more akin to friendship than to that of a couple in love.

But no matter how cynical we are about the prospect of life-long love, it still seems to be what most Americans are after. Romantic love is increasingly viewed as an essential component of a marriage, with 91 percent of women and 86 percent of American men reporting that they would not marry someone who had every quality they wanted in a parter but with whom they were not in love.

This type of love is good for both our marriages and our health. Romantic love — free from the craving and obsession of the early stages of falling in love —can and does frequently exist in long-term marriages, research has found, and it’s correlated with marital satisfaction, and individual well-being and self-esteem.

Although science has given us some insight on the nature of love and romantic relationships, this fundamental domain of human existence remains something of a mystery. Love, particularly the long-lasting kind, has been called one of the “most studied and least understood areas in psychology.”

There may be more questions than answers at this point, but we do know that bothbeing in love and being married are good for your physical and mental health. And psychologists who study love, marriage and relationships have pinpointed a number of factors that contribute to long-lasting romantic love.

Here are six science-backed secrets of couples that keep intense romantic love alive for decades and entire lifetimes.

Life-long romance IS possible.

Despite high rates of divorce, infidelity and marital dissatisfaction, it’s not all hopeless — far from it, in fact. A 2012 study of couples who had been married for a decade, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that 40 percent of them said they were “very intensely in love.” The same study found that among couples who were married 30 years or more, 40 percent of women and 35 percent of men said they were very intensely in love.

But don’t be convinced solely by what these couples reported — research in neuroscience has also proven that intense romantic love can last a lifetime.

2011 study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neurosciencelooked the brain regions activated in individuals in long-term romantic partnerships (who had been married an average of 21 years), and compared them with individuals who had recently fallen in love. The results revealed similar brain activity in both groups, with high activity in the reward and motivation centers of the brain, predominantly in the high-dopamine ventral tegmental area (VTA). The findings suggest that couples can not only love each for long periods of time — they can stay in love with each other.

Sustaining romantic love over the course of many years, then, has a positive function in the brain, which understands and continues to pursue romantic love as a behavior that reaps cognitive rewards, according to positive psychology researcher Adoree Durayappah.

“The key to understanding how to sustain long-term romantic love is to understand it a bit scientifically,” Durayappah wrote in Psychology Today. “Our brains view long-term passionate love as a goal-directed behavior to attain rewards. Rewards can include the reduction of anxiety and stress, feelings of security, a state of calmness, and a union with another.”

They maintain a sense of “love blindness.”

When we first fall in love with someone, we tend to worship the ground they walk on and see them as the most attractive, smartest and accomplished person in the room. And while we might eventually take our partner off of this pedestal after months and years of being together, maintaining a sense of “love blindness” is actually critical to long-lasting passionate love.

A University of Geneva review of nearly 500 studies on compatibility couldn’t pinpoint any combination of two personality traits in a relationship that predicted long-term romantic love — except for one. One’s ability to idealize and maintain positive illusions about their partner — seeing them as good-looking, intelligent, funny and caring, or generally as a “catch” — remained happy with each other on nearly all measures over time.

They’re always trying new things together.

Boredom can be a major obstacle to lasting romantic or companionate love, and successful couples find ways to keep things interesting.

Psychological research has suggested that couples who experience the most intense love are the ones who not only experience a strong physical and emotional attraction to one another, but also who enjoy participating in new or challenging “self-expanding” activities together, Psychology Today reported.

“Novel and arousing activities are, well, arousing, which people can misattribute as attraction to their partner, reigniting that initial spark,” writes Amie Gordan in the Berkeley Science Review.

They avoid neediness by preserving their independence.

Neediness is the enemy of long-lasting desire (an important component of romantic love), according to psychologist and Mating in Captivity author Esther Perel. In apopular TED Talk, Perel asks, “Why does sexual desire tend to fade over time, even in loving relationships?”

Neediness and caretaking in long-term partnerships — which can easily result from looking to the partnership for safety, security and stability — damper the erotic spark, Perel explains. But if couples can maintain independence and witness each other participating in individual activities at which they’re skilled, they can continue to see their partner in an ever-new light.

“When I see my partner on their own doing thing in which they are enveloped, I look at this person and I momentarily get a shift of perception,” Perel says. “[We] stay open to the mysteries that are standing right next to each other… What is most interesting is that there is no neediness in desire. There is no caretaking in desire.”

So if you’re looking to keep that spark going, give your partner the space to do what they’re good at — and make sure to take the opportunity to observe them in their element, when they are “radiant and confident,” says Perel.

Their passion for life carries over into their relationship.

Psychologists have found that a strong passion for life can help to sustain passion in a life-long romantic relationship. The 2012 Stony Brook University study examining personality qualities that predicted long-term passionate love found that individuals who exhibit excitement for all that life has to offer are more likely to find success in their romantic partnerships.

“People who approach their daily lives with zest and strong emotion seem to carry these intense feelings over to their love life as well,” Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., wrote in Psychology Today. “If you want your relationship to have passion, put that emotional energy to work in your hobbies, interests, and even your political activities.”

They see their relationship as a journey together towards self-fulfillment.

Whereas individuals used to be more likely to look to marriage for safety and security, the societal standard has shifted such that more men and women enter into marriage looking for 

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/21/psychology-of-lasting-love_n_5339457.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063