Love in Marriage is a Relatively New Idea

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Love in Marriage is a Relatively New Idea

We think of love as the reason for marriage as a foregone conclusion. Historically speaking, that isn’t the case. Love in ancient Greece was thought of as a mental illness, as was it in Medieval Europe. In France in the Middle Ages it was thought to be cured with intercourse with the beloved or some other. Marriage on the other hand was to combine wealth and for political power. It was also to make children to work family farms. Parents would be shocked in those days if their children wanted to marry for love.

Physical attraction has always been a part of marriage. The world over and throughout history polygamy has been the most popular form of marriage. It even appears in the Bible with King Solomon and David who had many, many wives. In a certain culture in Tibet, the Na people have the women go to the next village to conceive. Then they raise the children with their brothers. The children don’t have any parents like we think of them. They are raised by the whole village. Like that African saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Too much love within marriage was thought to poison throughout ancient and medieval times in the West. However with the American and French Revolutions we saw a change in mindset. People were concerned with their personal freedoms and the pursuit of their own happiness, as Jefferson so eloquently put it. Working for a salary instead of on the farm helped break marriage away from the economic sphere and to the sphere of the heart. Only in the middle of the nineteenth century did Americans begin marrying for love. They convinced themselves that it was the only reason to marry and that it had always been so.

The largest group to marry was the returning G.I.s and their Rosie the Riveter’s just after World War II. The men worked and the women stayed home to care for it and the children. Salaries rose for men. But a lot of women found it confining. Enter the women’s liberation movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. Women flooded the workforce. Soon we saw no fault divorces, the biggest years were between 1978 and 1980. 67% of divorces are filed by women. Today we are seeing vast changes. Some wonder if it is the end of marriage as we know it. But no one is tying the knot in America today, or at least not saying they are, without being in love. To learn more on this topic read, Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage by Stephanie Coontz.

Can an Open Marriage ever really Work?

POLYAMORY

Can an Open Marriage ever really Work?

People come in all shapes and sizes. They have different wants and needs. Anthropologists say what was traditionally supplied us by a whole village such as warmth, guidance, financial sustenance, understanding, passionate love and eminent friendship we now seek solely in our spouse or significant other. But that’s a huge burden to carry. Due to the high divorce rate, the need for sexual novelty, the desire to try the same gender or emotional needs that their spouse can’t supply sometimes pivots them in the direction of an open marriage. It’s often when the needs of one person cannot be met by the other. It’s no one’s fault. Instead, it’s usually just a mismatch. For others, it’s a need to explore further with love, a mindset that requires free will, strong confidence, good communication and a non-jealous personality. Surely, there are dysfunctional open marriages as there are dysfunctional closed ones. But can an open marriage ever really work? Experts say there are such that can work but it takes the right kind of couple and the proper mindset. Open and honest communication is the most important aspect. An open marriage doesn’t mean a person can have sex with whomever, whenever. Instead, a certain set of pre-agreed upon rules are made and adhered to, with each mate’s preferences in mind.

According to psychologist Deborah Anapol an expert on polyamory— practicing intimacy with more than one partner, though many couples who in an open marriage struggle with jealousy from time to time, very few say they regret being able to share intimacy outside the confines of their relationship. There are many alternative romantic and sexual couplings going around nowadays. People are getting married later on in life due to the time it takes to get a proper education and work your way up. The new generation prefers lots of choice and not getting tied down. In the wake of the sexual revolution and the explosion of dating and hookup apps, people have freedoms and opportunities they’ve never had before in the history of humankind. That and the elevated divorce rate has non-traditional people looking for new ways to have their needs met, explore their sexuality and enjoy their life with others.

Still, the reason for entering into such a relationship is important. One party should not be pressuring the other into entering into such an agreement. Another party should not be going along with it when they really don’t like the idea, just for the sake of saving the relationship. Instead, this is something that both parties have to be sincerely interested in. For some couples, it’s a way for a person who has a large sexual appetite for instance to have his or her needs met without disenfranchising their partner. For others, it’s a way to express their freedom. They believe the human heart has the capacity to love more than one person and in more than one way. They feel that commitment and fidelity are not synonymous. Besides intermittent jealousy, the potential for a stream of uncomfortable conversations and lots of chances to be tempted to lie to your partner, cause many to steer clear of the idea. Others fear the chance that no matter what rules are in place their spouse could run off with another. Really it’s all about how you feel about one another and your relationship. If it’s a way to renew the marriage or explore new dimensions of love and freedom, go for it. If it’s to placate someone or a last ditch effort to save the marriage, you may be setting yourselves up for a terrible fall. For more pick up a copy of the book, The Seven Natural Laws of Love, Polyamory in the 21st Century by Deborah Taj Anapol, Ph.D.

Finding the Right Person

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Finding the Right Person

Dating around is great. You get to meet so many different people, see your real likes and dislikes, and have so many romantic adventures. But there comes a time in almost everyone’s life, from the love bug who just hasn’t found the one to the player who is tired of the game, when it’s time to settle down and find love. Here are some strategies to help in finding the right person. First, you need to change your mindset completely. Most people date willy-nilly, pushed by the winds of fate to this person or to that. But this will be a conscious effort. It’s like looking for a job, the important part is meeting people and networking until what you’re looking for rises to the surface.

Now that you are in the proper mindset, don’t set out alone. Elicit the help of your friends. Who knows you better than them? You’ll want similar qualities to who they are, and they’ll know you so well that they’ll be great help. Send out a BOLO or Be On the Lookout. In other words have your friends and even family, if you are comfortable, on the alert for singles that match your criteria. It’s much easier when you have a whole legion of matchmakers at your side. You don’t have to sound desperate. Just tell them you haven’t met anyone you like lately and so you’re changing tactics. They know what you like so it should be easy. And offer to do the same for your single friends too. It makes it more like a singles exchange.

Take a look around. Sometimes people are emotionally involved with someone already, but they’ve written that person off for one reason or another. Do you have a friend or a coworker that you love to chat with? Do you guys share intimate details of you lives? Do you even have a pact that you’ll end up together if you or they never find anyone else? If you can picture yourself kissing this person than you are already into them. Shake off the denial. Have a talk with others that have seen you interact. And then why not hang out, flirt a little and slowly see if there’s any interest in taking things a bit further. You can always have some wine, and tell them it was the wine talking. A good friend would excuse and forget a little faux paus. But if it does work out you’ll have the right person for you, and they were in your midst all along. How funny and cute.

Attend social occasions, even if you don’t feel like it. Pump yourself up, slap a smile on and go out and mingle. You never know who you are going to meet. Too many singles have a negative attitude about social functions and don’t go, missing an opportunity to meet someone new. Or you might meet someone who knows someone perfect for you. So no social occasion is ever a waste. Look out for singles events in your area. Take up a new hobby that’s social; a sports team, book club, writers or artists club, whatever you fancy. And try internet dating. You’ll land the one soon and have a whole lot of fun in the process. For more advice read, Calling in “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life by Katherine Woodward Thomas.

Kissing 101

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Kissing 101

Some of us are born great kissers. Others figure it out on their own, practicing in ways portrayed in sitcoms from making kissy faces in the mirror to practicing on cold fried chicken. Still others practice with a long line of partners starting in about middle school, and through trial and error, under bleachers and in the corners of parties, they develop their skills. But however you learned the venerable and ancient art of locking lips, how do you know you’re doing it right? How do you know some sensei might not come along and show you a technique sure to knock your next date’s socks off? Enter kissing 101. That’s right, you can now sign up for classes that are sure to give your kisses a kick. The Kissing School in Seattle is one such institute of higher smooching education. Founder Cherie Byrd was not satisfied in only letting the fine citizens of the emerald city have access to her special program. There are also what she calls “playshops.” She doesn’t like the word workshops since they have the word work in them. While playshops insinuate fun.

If you want a playshop to come to your vicinity contact them through kissingschool.com. The event lasts all day. You sign up with your partner. You aren’t assigned one or anything. It costs $275 for Seattle residents, $350 for playshops that come to your city or town. In kissing 101 participants are given exercises to loosen up and help develop their kissing abilities. One such exercise is licking juice off their partner’s face. Technique, such as tilting your head the right way is not the focus of the class. Instead, the focus is more on getting you into the right mindset. Lots of people it turns out are selfish kissers. They think about how they feel when kissing. But instead they should try to form a connection with the person they are kissing. Feel what they are feeling. React to what they like, look into their eyes, try and match their breath and do those little extras that you know will drive them wild. While many students feel nervous, shy or anxious in the beginning, by the end they feel confident, blissful, even enthusiastic. The top grade you can hope for is to make your partner swoon. That’s the euphoric, dizzying feeling that one gets after experiencing a really sexy, intense kiss. Even if you are an expert already, it sounds like a great way to add a little spice to a Saturday. And who can’t use a few pointers to sharpen their kissing skills? For more advice on this topic, read Kissing: A Field Guide by Violet Blue.

Couples who Don’t Want Children Discuss the Matter maybe once

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Couples who Don’t Want Children Discuss the Matter maybe once

Some couples who don’t want children discuss the matter one time, others don’t discuss it at all according to a new study. Middlesex University’s Edina Kurdi will present her findings at the annual conference of the British Sociological Association. She conducted an online survey which had 75 female participants 35 years old or older, 40% of which said that they had either never discussed having children or had once early on. Nine of these participants did come and meet researchers in person as well. The question on the survey asking about the discussion around the decision not to have children was skipped by 12 participants. 63 answered the question. 23 said that it was only discussed once. Three of the women said the issue simply never came up. According to Kurdi one participant in the study said, “It only needed one brief discussion, along the lines of ‘I don’t want kids — do you?’ ‘Nope, me neither’. Then move onto something more interesting to talk about… and neither of us reconsidered our options. There was no need to.” Of the results, Kurdi stated that she was surprised by them, and found them interesting. Certainly they must have expected a more in depth discussion. But when two people are of the same mindset on something then why should they have to discuss it in greater detail?

Regarding this research Kurdi said, “Not having children is obviously a very important decision, and what was interesting from the research was the negligible amount of discussion that couples engaged in. Many are agreeing not to have children in one conversation, or in an unspoken way. One possible reason that couples did not need to talk about the issue much is that they could accurately sense their partner did not want children from their beliefs and lifestyle.” Kurdi’s research followed the reasons why couples decided not to have children and other people’s reaction to childless couples as well. According to this researcher, “Very little attention has been paid to the negotiations within romantic relations about not having a family, even though developed countries are facing a general decline in fertility combined with an accelerated rate of childlessness.” This is a serious issue affecting many countries. Japan is in a serious crisis that many Western European countries are facing too. There aren’t enough children born to support financially the aging population which will soon retire. South Korea will soon see this issue as well. Russia has instituted a “baby making” holiday in order to reverse the problem. In the U.S., we have waves of immigrants entering and so don’t have to worry so much. For more on this topic, read Two is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice by Laura S. Scott.