Tonight - On Human Happiness/Relationships are the Key - 1/4/10
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Mon Jan 4 13:25:26 EST 2010
- 3-PART HAPPINESS SERIES BEGINS TONIGHT
- SPEAKING OF RELATIONSHIPS AS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS......
- 3-PART HAPPINESS SERIES BEGINS TONIGHT
Television Review | 'This Emotional Life'
On Human Happiness, and Why It¹s So Hard to Find
New York Times
January 3, 2010
> ³As scientists now know, successful relationships, more than any other factor,
> are the key to human happiness,² . . .
> . . . . (those) who cannot read the emotional cues other people give off.
How you know that the lazy days from Christmas to New Year¹s are over: PBS
puts up a three-night, six-hour special led by a social psychologist at
Harvard. It¹s time, apparently, to put our thinking caps back on.
The program, ³This Emotional Life,² which runs Monday through Wednesday on
most PBS stations, is actually relatively easy on the brain; parts of it
even feel lightweight, like something Dr. Phil might serve up. But it
certainly requires more commitment than the marathons of reruns that have
filled the air in recent days.
The psychologist, Daniel Gilbert, makes a genial host as he looks at an
array of human emotions and what happens when they run out of control. The
overall point is to create a picture of human happiness and the obstacles to
Those whose quest for happiness involves regular purchases of lottery
tickets may want to consider another strategy. ³As scientists now know,
successful relationships, more than any other factor, are the key to human
happiness,² Professor Gilbert says early in Part 1, before returning to the
notion of what does and does not bring happiness in Part 3.
He gives us two interesting case studies in the first half of Monday¹s
installment. One is a touching look at a couple in Wisconsin whose son,
adopted from Eastern Europe as a young child and now 13, has had difficulty
forming a bond with them and relating to people in general. (³This was not
the dad I wanted to be,² the boy¹s father says in the segment¹s most
emotional moment.) The other focuses on a man with Asperger¹s syndrome who
cannot read the emotional cues other people give off.
The second half of Part 1, especially a lengthy look at several marriages
that feels like garden-variety couples counseling, grows sluggish, but
things pick up in Part 2, which examines darker emotions like anger and
fear. Though the series at first makes odd use of an assortment of
celebrities, some of the appearances begin to seem relevant in this part.
Having the singer Alanis Morissette or the writer Adam Gopnik expound on
anger might seem gratuitous, but the notoriously hotheaded tennis player
John McEnroe ? Makes perfect sense.
And then there¹s the New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, commenting during a
segment of Part 2 on the uniquely human ability to fear something that
hasn¹t happened yet and probably won¹t. ³When I¹m walking down the
street,² she says, ³and I think about air-conditioners dropping off of the
edges of buildings onto my head, even if somebody says, Well, it¹s only a
one in a million chance it¹s going to happen,¹ I mean, there¹s eight million
people in this city, and so that¹s actually a lot of air-conditioners.²
One more thing we all need to start worrying about.
Monday night on most PBS stations (check local listings).
- SPEAKING OF RELATIONSHIPS AS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS......
Sharing the news. Dozens of you sent this article with comments that the
poly movement is also being organized/reported in your regions. Some
included comments along the lines of asking 'heaven to help us'. I guess
it's to be expected that when infidelity, divorce, and serial marriage are
rampant, people will continue to try come up with a variety of "solutions".
I'm sure a TV report on this phenomenon is not far behind.
> . . . . polyamory (or poly, for short), a term coined around 1990, refers to
> consensual, romantic love with more than one person. Framing it in broad
> terms, Sekora, one of the three founders and acting administrator of the
> 500-person-strong group Poly Boston, says: ³There¹s monogamy where two people
> are exclusive. There¹s cheating in which people are lying about being
> exclusive. And poly is everything else.²
> Everything else with guidelines, that is, although those vary according to the
> agreed-upon needs and desires of the people in the relationships. After all,
> this isn¹t swinging, in which a couple seeks out recreational sex. This isn¹t
> even the free love of the ¹60s and ¹70s, characterized by psychedelic
> love-ins. And despite the shared ³poly² prefix, this certainly isn¹t the
> patriarchal, man-with-many-wives polygamy that has earned increased public
> attention with the HBO show Big Love. Polyamory has a decidedly feminist,
> free-spirited flavor, and these are real relationships with the full array of
> benefits and complexities
> There¹s also polyfidelity, in which three or more people are exclusive with
> one another. On the open end, there might be chains of people. . . .
> they all consider the others life partners. ³No one has said the words Till
> death do us part,¹ but I think that¹s the intent,²
Beyond Monogamy: Love¹s new frontier
Boston Globe Sunday Magazine (cover story)
Jan 3, 2010
It¹s not monogamy. But it¹s not cheating or polygamy, either. It¹s called
polyamory, and with hundreds practicing the lifestyle in and around Boston,
is liberal Massachusetts ready to accept it?
Jay Sekora isn¹t actively looking for an additional relationship, but he
admits to occasionally checking a dating site to see who¹s out there.
Sekora¹s girlfriend, Mare, who does not want her last name used here for
professional reasons, said she is not pursuing anyone, either, but is ³open
and welcoming to what might come along.² In the three-plus years they have
been together, a few other people have come along, like the woman whom
Sekora, a 43-year-old systems administrator from Quincy, met online and
dated briefly until she moved away. There was also a male-male couple that
Mare and Sekora, who identifies as bisexual, dated for several months as a
couple. Other than that, it has been the two of them. Well, sort of.
Through the lens of monogamy, this love connection may appear distorted, but
that¹s not how Sekora and Mare, who is 45, describe their lifestyle.
Adherents call it responsible non-monogamy or polyamory, and the
nontraditional practice is creeping out of the closet, making gay marriage
feel somewhat last decade here in Massachusetts. What literally translates
to ³loving many,² polyamory (or poly, for short), a term coined around 1990,
refers to consensual, romantic love with more than one person. Framing it in
broad terms, Sekora, one of the three founders and acting administrator of
the 500-person-strong group Poly Boston, says: ³There¹s monogamy where two
people are exclusive. There¹s cheating in which people are lying about being
exclusive. And poly is everything else.²
Everything else with guidelines, that is, although those vary according to
the agreed-upon needs and desires of the people in the relationships. After
all, this isn¹t swinging, in which a couple seeks out recreational sex. This
isn¹t even the free love of the ¹60s and ¹70s, characterized by psychedelic
love-ins. And despite the shared ³poly² prefix, this certainly isn¹t the
patriarchal, man-with-many-wives polygamy that has earned increased public
attention with the HBO show Big Love. Polyamory has a decidedly feminist,
free-spirited flavor, and these are real relationships with the full array
of benefits and complexities -- plus a few more -- as the members of Poly
Boston¹s hypercommunicative, often erudite, and well-entwined community will
³With affairs, you get sex. With polyamory, you get breakfast,² says
Cambridge sex therapist Gina Ogden, citing a well-known poly saying. Ogden
is the author of The Return of Desire, in which she dedicates a chapter to
affairs and polyamory. ³Polyamory isn¹t a lifestyle for everybody, any more
than monogamy is for everybody,² she says. ³Keeping one relationship vital
is a lot of work, and if you start adding more relationships, it becomes
more work.² Though common descriptors used for monogamy don¹t easily apply
to polyamory, there is a recognizable spectrum of how open these
partnerships may be. On the closed end, you might have a couple in a primary
relationship who will then have one or more secondary relationships that are
structured to accommodate the primary one. There¹s also polyfidelity, in
which three or more people are exclusive with one another. On the open end,
there might be chains of people where, for example, Sue is dating Bill and
Bill is dating Karen and Karen is dating Jack, who is also dating Sue.
Continued... Long, six-page article with photos:
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