Showing posts from October, 2017

My, How Things Have Changed

Funny, isn't it? When the bride and groom above got married, it was assumed it would be the first time either one of them would have sex. When the couple below married, it was assumed that both had dated others before, slept with those others, maybe lived together them, and broke up, but now they were giving up all sex with other people to be true to their marriage partner. The only way a modern couple could buy this premise was to invest their partners with almost supernatural qualities. He or she had to be The One. Each would keep the other safe, be their best friends, offer continuity and adventure, provide unconditional love and support, at the same time providing adventure, novelty, and fulfilling sexuality with excitement and edge. And this would last forever. Many years ago, when marriage was essentially an economic union, love was not a part of the deal. When you married you increased each other's net worth with a dowry or land or estates, along with pro

Kicking the Can Down the Road

Consider a hypothetical couple, Alis and Brick. They fight a lot. In the beginning it was over Alis's spending habits but now it seems to be over everything. They rarely have two words to say to each other. Then Brick moves out, only to beg to return a month or two later. That little dance repeats itself during the ensuing year, usually because the possibility of really 'giving up' the relationship that each invested so heavily in triggers the psychological effect of loss aversion . You see, in humans (except, interestingly, in high-functioning autistic people) 'losses loom larger than gains'. What does that mean? For example, imagine you purchased 100 shares each of two stocks, both selling at the same price.  Stock A has increased in value by $50/share while stock B has lost $50/share. What would be the most logical thing to do with the stocks now? If you guessed to sell stock B and hold on to the stock that's appreciating, you'd be right logica