Archives for Love & Affection

Love & Affection

What Does Happiness Mean to You?

More and more over the past decades, social scientists have been studying happiness. You've probably seen headlines declaring the happiest countries, or the science-based paths to a happier life. Some of the studies are based on huge numbers of participants. It is possible to do surveys of that many people when you ask simple questions that are easy to code. Often, happiness is measured by people's answer to just one question. They indicate how happy they feel (or how satisfied they are with their life) on a rating scale by choosing one of the numbers. For example, the scale might range from 1 to 9, with 1 indicating the least happiness and 9, the most. But what if happiness means different things to different people?
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General

Grief Over the Loss of a Pet Is Finally Getting Acknowledged in the Workplace

Pets have a special place in the lives of so many people. They can be our loving, nonjudgmental, loyal friends, always there for us, always happy to see us. They can even be coolly aloof, and that can have its own charm. Many people feel quite attached to their pets. Even apart from any special bonds, pets can be important in the way they are part of the patterns of our everyday lives.
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General

College Love Stories, Reimagined

I went to Vassar College because a friend of my father's, knowing that I had good grades, told him I should apply there. At the time, I had never heard of it. Neither had my dad. I grew up in the tiny town of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, outside of Scranton. Once I realized that Vassar was an elite school, I was a bit embarrassed to have tried for admission. About a month after I applied, my high school guidance counselor asked if I had heard anything back yet. I said I hadn't, and didn't really expect any good news. To which she replied, "Oh, honey, you shouldn't feel that way. In 1933, a girl from this school applied to Smith, and she got in."
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General

If You Are Single with No Kids, Who Is Your Family?

Today in the U.S., it is just about as ordinary to be single as to be married. There are 107 million unmarried Americans who are 18 or older; if you start counting at 16, singles have outnumbered married people for years. Alongside the steady and remarkable increase in the number of single people is another striking development – the rise of people who never do raise any kids. If you are single and you have no kids, who is your family? Do you even have one?
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General

Marriage Is Over, and Not Just in Iceland

Iceland, it seems, is done with marriage. So says CNN in the article, "Is marriage outdated in Iceland?" My inbox is filling up with "did-you-see-this" emails and the article has already been posted several times in the Community of Single People. For good reason. Icelanders are not just forsaking marriage, they also seem to be remarkably free of stigma and shaming when it comes to people who are single, perhaps especially single parents. Americans, in contrast, are getting married much more often than Scandinavians. (Sometimes the same people in the U.S. do it over and over again). In our land, matrimania and singlism are rampant. But here's the thing. Even in the U.S., the end of marriage has come. Let me share my favorite rant on this topic:
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