Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who Knew it was that easy?

If I've learned anything in this month of blogging, it is that great posts do not get started at 11.36pm.  Deep thoughts do not come to fruition in....24 minutes.  However, I have also learned that the posts generating the greatest number of cyber-tumbleweeds are those where I fail to make a serious effort.  Hmm.  Is that a haiku?

A paradox, at least.

Regardless.

Tonight, I have the beginnings of a Big Idea, but given that there are now...21 minutes until the deadline, I will merely introduce to my Big Idea, and leave the Big Idea Posting for another day.  (Not tomorrow.  Tomorrow's the End of Term Review Post.  Woo hoo!!)

Sorry.  Back to the Big Idea.

Oprah (source of so many Big Ideas) has in her magazine a small - I mean really small - piece on "the truth about what keeps marriages together." Helen Fisher, the article's author, undertook research to discover what makes romantic love last.  They were searching for "people who said they were still wild about their longtime spouse."  Eventually they found 17 people who were willing to have their brains scanned whilst they looked at photos of their sweetheart.  "Most were in their 50s and married an average of 21 years."

Now, we all have been told that romantic love doesn't last - that marriages are built on "good communication, shared values, a sturdy support system of friends and relatives, happy stable childhoods fair quarreling, and dogged determination."  But the results of this study stopped the scientists short:
...the brains of these middle-aged men and women showed much the same activity as those of young lovers, individuals who had been intensely in love an average of only seven months.  Indeed, there was just one important difference between the two groups:  Among the older lovers, brain regions associated with anxiety were no longer active; instead, there was activity in the areas associated with calmness.

Dr Fisher then quotes a survey by psychologist Marcel Zentner PhD, who in examining 470 different studies on compatibility found "no particular combination of personality traits that leads to sustained romance - with one exception:  the ability to sustain your 'positive illusions.'    Dr Fisher paraphrases - "Men and women who continue to maintain that their partner is attractive, funny, kind and ideal for them in just about every way remain content with each other."

[It's on page 182 in the December '09 issue, I can't seem to find the link right now.]

Really?  It's as simple as focusing on the positive?  Wow.  I think a bunch of divorce attorneys are in BIG trouble if people start believing this malarkey.

So I want to know:  do you guys think this is possible?  I have to say,  it stopped me short.  I live with a man who is able to call out - and believe - the best in me.  I can't profess to being as good at that.

More on this soon, I promise.  It's got those wheels a'turnin.

4 comments:

Cheryl said...

Think it and you will be it! Isn't that the premise of The Promise or whatever that book was? Looking forward to more on the topic from you AND your end-of-month review.

Wendy said...

I'll have been married 20 years next August and I'm still crazy in love with my husband. It's not exactly the same love it was 20 years ago, but I'd say it's better - we have weathered some really bad storms. I totally get what the article said about losing the anxiety - I'm comfortable with my marriage without it getting to routine (although we do have to work to keep it that way).

kirsten said...

Ha Cheryl - that's what Torbs said! "Isn't this like, The Secret?" The Secret is a bit of an in-joke here in Paradise. Or at least for the Coopers and us. :)

creinsch said...

i like this!!!

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