Relationships as Science


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Oh my, I’ve turned into one of those blogs that talks about relationships and feminism and that. I’d love to talk about tech, but I don’t do anything these days that warrants a post like that unless you want to hear some Adobe Flash tips. Let me know, I guess?

In any case, I read a research post today that I found interesting and at the same time a cause for concern. Why did I find this? Not that it’s any of your business, but this is what comes from science blogs it seems.

Here I thought it was communication

In a seashell (because nutshells are too common), the post analyses the science of a successful lasting relationship, although suffers largely from having too few couples and not selecting couples from a wider spread. Their research worked to the hypothesis that relationship stability depended on the couple’s ability to deal with conflict, and the hunch was that it depended on how quickly men cooled down after an argument.

The research found that in fact it actually depended on how quickly women cooled down instead. But it is unclear if this is one of those ‘gender’ problems, or rather a power problem in the relationship, though it seems to be the latter.

So what is the concerning part?

In this sense, it means the women are the ‘less powerful’ in the relationship. While this may be true in their selected group because men are more likely to be the breadwinners in the family, is this also true with younger couples now?

The person with less power tends to want more change in the relationship. They tend to be more frustrated and less satisfied when the issues they raise aren’t resolved. ”It would be quite reasonable to think that the less powerful person would be the one for whom cooling down would be more critical,” [Psychologist Robert Levenson] explains.

I wonder how many could say they agreed with that?

It wouldn’t be as possible to conduct long-term relationship research with a young group, who will more readily break off and start new relationships, but I’m hoping in future generations there won’t be such an imbalance of power (though it doesn’t seem to be a problem above).

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