“There are broad subjects with a lot of areas to explore, but what I continually get is stories about Facebook during midlife marriage stress. People in their thirties, forties, fifties, experiencing a lack of passion, claustrophobia, kids taking all your attention, and the kind of fantasizing that Facebook brings out in them.”
–Daniel Jones, editor of The New York Times column “Modern Love,” on the most common relationship stories he receives. If you’re experiencing any of the above, take comfort, but don’t write an essay about it and pitch it to “Modern Love.” Think more along the lines of “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage,” one woman’s essay about using exotic-animal-training techniques to train her husband. It was the most emailed “Modern Love” column of all time and was turned into a book. [NYmag.com]
In case you needed a reminder, it’s widely considered poor etiquette to plagiarize a breakup text message. Especially from a scene in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Especially if the woman you’re dumping has seen the movie. In fact, just don’t send a breakup text at all. There are other ways to get the job done. [Huffington Post]
So you’ve finally found The One (or at least The One For The Foreseeable Future) and you’ve committed to a serious relationship. Now what? In our new weekly column, Life After Dating, women discuss the unique joys and challenges of coupledom.
This time of year it’s natural to think about starting fresh and making changes, and not just because of the ubiquitous “New Year, New You” ads for Weight Watchers and laser hair removal. If you’re in a serious relationship, it’s a great time to think about doing a State of the Union on your relationship and reflecting on the little ways it can be improved. I’m not talking about cheesy crap like “spend 20 minutes a day staring deeply into each other’s eyes” (although that’s nice, I suppose), I’m talking about using the new year as an excuse to check yourself and make sure you’re doing what needs to be done to keep the old relationship machine well-oiled and running smoothly. And yes, that does include accepting his ear-cleaning habits, as weird and compulsive as they might be… Keep reading »
A depressing new study conducted at the University of Toronto explored couples’ real motivations to have sex. Researches found that they were able to group peoples’ reasons for doing the deed into two categories: approach (“I want to increase intimacy” or “I want to feel better about myself”) or avoidance (“I don’t want to feel guilty” or “I don’t want to get into a fight about it”). As you might have suspected, the couples who approached sex rather than avoided it tended to feel more satisfied in their relationships. But still, this made us sad. Whatever happened to having sex just because it’s fun and exciting? Last time we checked it was one of the few purely enjoyable activities for grown-ups (cue the existential ennui of adulthood.) We happen to think sex should be like a carnival in your bed, which is why we’ve come up with these strange and wonderful ways to make it feel more like one, and convince even the most sex-avoidant couples that sex can and should be FUN! [WSJ via NYMag.com] Keep reading »
If you’ve been in a relationship with an expiration date—a romantic situation that can come up when two people decide to explore their connection in the face of something like an upcoming move—you’ve probably daydreamed about having just a little more time with your lover. But it can be surprisingly difficult to transition from just-till-you-go to long-term-possibility when those daydreams come true.
Five months ago, when my partner told me he would rather stay with me than take the distant job opportunity that had been looming over us from the start, I was so giddy that I didn’t consider how the basic nature of our relationship was going to change. And I certainly didn’t understand how tough that transition would be. When we had a deadline, the relationship only needed to be strong enough to last until then; when we were deciding whether or not we’d ditch the deadline and forge ahead into the future, we had to judge whether the relationship had the potential to become something worth uprooting his life plans for—and, though less obviously, mine too. Now we’ve turned what we thought was a fling into something with longer-term stability; these are the things we considered when we did: Keep reading »
A few years ago, I had to swear off dating musicians. I’d been dating them since high school, both casual guitar-noodlers and career musicians who had songs on CW shows and their faces on T-shirts. Again and again I’d fall for the sensitive guitar player who wears eyeliner … and again and again the same patterns would repeat themselves that led to us breaking up. I have nothing but the nicest things to say about most of them as people. Don’t take my swearing-off musicians as a warning, per se. On the contrary, my loss is your gain — the more for you! Just make sure you know these 12 details first. Keep reading »