South African film director Roger Michell’s latest film, Le Week-End, casts the spot light on a thirty year marriage, as the happy – or might that be, not so happy – couple celebrate the milestone with a weekend in Paris.
Thirty years is a long time for a couple to be together, and that, surely, is an accomplishment in itself, but wouldn’t the flames of passion have long since diminished after a union of three decades? The answer is, you would be surprised, and can come down to the “complexity”, or otherwise, of both partners:
As with music, so it is with love. The complexity of the beloved is an important factor in determining whether love will be more or less profound as time goes on: a simple psychological object is liked less with exposure, while a complex object is liked more. A complex psychological personality is more likely to generate profound romantic love in a partner, while even the most intense sexual desire can die away. Sexual desire is boosted by change and novelty and diluted by familiarity. Romantic profundity increases with familiarity if the other person, and the relationship itself, is multifaceted and complex.
Couples aged 55 and over said on average their courting process took more than two and a half months (78 days) whereas for those under the age of 25 it takes just under one month (24 days) for them to refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend, according to the study by PIXmania.
The really good news though is the ridiculously contrived “three day rule” – and if you don’t know what that is, keep it that way – has now been consigned to the dustbin of history:
Instead of obeying the “three day rule” to contact a date, the research revealed 68 per cent of people said they were now happy to communicate with their new love interest within four hours of a first date.
I had naïvely assumed there were only two types of kissing – the regular and the French kind – or maybe four types, if you count Eskimo and butterfly kisses. But Cane’s book suggests 30 different ways to kiss your lover, all of them more or less PG-rated. (Hands go wandering if you’ve been kissing long enough, even with someone else in the room.) He came up with that number after surveying people about their kissing preferences for the book. But truthfully, 30 different kisses is an exaggeration: It’s more like 30 different kissing scenarios that a couple acts out together.
Using a price parity calculation, DB has created the “cheap date” index which consists of i) a standard bouquet of roses, ii) cab rides, iii) pizza, iv) a soft drink, v) two movies tickets and vi) a couple of beers. What the “hit rate” of said basket of products in achieving the desired goal is unclear, but what is clear is that while the disparity between the most expensive (Sydney, Australia) and least expensive (Mumbai, India) place for a cheap date is vast at over 250%, and even a cheap date in Mumbai will set one back some $88.30 (and rising… the price that is).
That’s why I switched my operations to the NSW Central Coast…
The odds of running into your soul mate are incredibly small. The number of strangers we make eye contact with each day is hard to estimate. It can vary from almost none (shut-ins or people in small towns) to many thousands (a police officer in Times Square). Let’s suppose you lock eyes with an average of a few dozen new strangers each day. (I’m pretty introverted, so for me that’s definitely a generous estimate.) If 10% of them are close to your age, that’s around 50,000 people in a lifetime. Given that you have 500,000,000 potential soul mates, it means you’ll only find true love in one lifetime out of ten thousand.
In other words, if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with?
Naisho is married to the Eiffel Tower. She has a passion for inanimate objects, and her mission is to fight the stigma surrounding the disorder and create a global network of sufferers – like Amy, in love with a church organ, and Eija Riita, who married the Berlin Wall.
(Thanks Coffee Girl… the real CG, not the person posing as her via email recently.)
Despite these handicaps, if you know how many candidates there are, there is a simple rule to maximize the chance of finding the best mate: sample the first K candidates without selecting any of them, and then take the first subsequent candidate who is the best of all you have seen. K depends on N, the total number of candidates you will see. As N gets big, K moves toward 1/e times N, where e is 2.71… So sample 36.9% of the candidates, then take the first candidate who is the best you have seen. This gives a 36.9% chance of ending up with Ms (in my case) Right.
The one, true love, great concepts for rom-com screenwriters and writers of pulp romance fiction, but not the rest of us.
The relatively recent cultural narrative of The One – the idea that everyone has a soulmate whom they are destined to love for ever, and that your life will always be incomplete if you fail to meet, mate and move in with that person – is not only implausible, but also cruel. It implies that those who do not find their One will somehow never be complete, that those who divorce, who live and raise children alone, or who find alternative arrangements for happiness, have somehow failed as human beings. To my mind, that’s a decidedly unromantic idea.