23 February 2014

It's Complicated: Relationships in 2014

Three articles were making the social-media rounds this February and, together, they just might be an odd enough trinity to tell us something about relationships in the year 2014.

First, an Atlantic article showing how Facebook can predict who will be in a relationship -- perhaps before the couple themselves are even aware of it.

Second, a Guardian reprint of a New York Times piece titled "Does equality kill sex?" -- with the result being that men who do only 'manly' things and don't try to 'help around the house' have sex more frequently and with partners who report greater sexual satisfaction.

And third, a short Independent article suggesting that polyamory may be the key to a longer, happier marriage -- that is, 'outsourcing' a few needs, as the needs couples place on each other are allegedly increasing over time.


After reading all three articles, I started to get the feeling, however, that there may not be anything 'new' to any of these studies. Of course two people will increase their communications before 'hooking up', of course male/female gender roles are adequately hardwired no matter how much we may try to reprogram them, and throughout all human history, of course, it seems to have been too much for one person to fulfill all of another person's emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical needs. It seems that the old saying "The more things change, the more they stay the same" has struck again, despite whatever 'newness' researchers try to attach to their data. Human relationships are just... complicated.