Romantic Love: Feeling or Choice?

From Hollywood to Cleo, the cultural representations of Romantic Love are clear: it’s a spontaneous feeling of attraction and affection for another. And like all feelings, we don’t choose it: it’s something that just happens to us. We spontaneously ‘fall’ into love and we are powerless to prevent it. To be sure when it strikes,…

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Knot Yet! #5: Responsibility Phobia

What comes first, maturity or the responsibility? In the world of adultesence, the absence of the necessity to be responsible, delays maturity. Most of us look back at adolesence and shiver – it’s a tough time developmentally when the young person is reaching for independence but doesn’t quite have the mental resources to cope with adulthood. Many…

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The Marriage Myth

Part 5 in the Quest for Happiness Series Too many times have we heard the complaint – “I’m just not happy in this marriage anymore”.  For couples today, personal happiness has become the measure of whether a marriage is ‘working’. The mass media and our romantic fantasies conspire to convince us that we have a…

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Knot Yet! #2: Age does matter…sort of

It seems like good advice – well-meaning parents offer it all the time… “you’re too young to get married, you don’t know what you want from life yet.” In fact, the prevailing ‘wisdom’ of the culture seems to be that the older you marry, the more likely it is that the marriage will endure. But…

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Loving Smart

How to Love Over many years we’ve come to realise that most of our mistakes in love come from the assumption that everyone experiences love the same way. A number of authors have developed frameworks to help us understand the foolishness of this idea. For example, in ‘The Five Love Languages’ Gary Chapman recognises that…

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Respect & Cherishment

What’s the Diff? While everyone experiences love uniquely, some clear gender patterns have emerged through relationship research. In one study, when given the option between the negative choices of being ‘alone and unloved in all the world’ or ‘inadequate and disrespected by everyone’, 74% of men preferred be alone and unloved, compared to only minority…

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Marriage: to be happy or to be holy?

”… And they lived happily ever after”… it’s the ending of the fairy tale love story and has become the expected story line of most modern day couples. Swept away by passion and the overwhelming experience of ‘falling in love’, couples expect the wedding to seal their happiness in permanent (and effortless) marital bliss. Of…

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Daily Strongest Feeling

“Honey we need to talk!” Those five words strike unparalleled fear into a man’s heart. They usually mean an unpleasant message or a very long and arduous interaction. No wonder men dread these words! While women are marathon runners in the endurance conversation; men are optimised for the sprint encounter – fast, focussed, effective communication…

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Smart Dating #2: Ask ‘Why’ before you Try

Sexual Compatibility Since the 1960’s the slogan ‘try before you buy’ became a common excuse for premarital sex. It’s still popular today and has underpinned the rise in cohabitation. We’ve been led to believe that ‘sexual compatibility’ is the most influential factor in a successful marriage. Of course when you think it through, the line…

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Kiss Me Quick!

Sex or Nothing? Kissing is highly under-rated in our culture. Since the sexual revolution, sex has come to dominate romantic relationships and dominate our thinking about what it means to be sexually intimate. Even married couples of more traditional values, where sex is confined to within marriage, can fall victim to this sex-or-nothing thinking about…

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